Using new language technologies and machine translation
Read about the Translation’s Bureau’s approach to and advice on new language technologies and machine translation.
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To use or not to use machine translation, that is the question
Today’s machine translation tools are fast and easy to use and can sometimes produce impressive results. However, they do have drawbacks that should be kept in mind:
- they make meaning errors
- they don’t take into account the cultural context or target audience
- they don’t know how to formulate text in a “natural” way
- they don’t know specialized vocabulary and don’t take into account terminology preferences
- they can’t resolve inconsistencies in the text being processed
In addition, their servers are often located outside the country and can store the information that is provided to them, which is a threat to confidentiality.
This is why the Translation Bureau recommends using machine translation only if:
- the information isn’t protected or classified
- the subject isn’t specialized
- the presence of potential translation errors won’t have any consequences, including non-compliance with the Official Languages Act
- the result won’t be distributed or will be professionally revised before being distributed
If any one of these criteria is not met and you are part of the Government of Canada, use the quality services offered by the Translation Bureau (available on the Government of Canada network only).
Do you have a machine translation that you would like the Translation Bureau to revise? You should know that it often takes longer for the Translation Bureau to revise a machine translation than it does to translate it. Send us the original text and our highly qualified employees will use the best tools to efficiently produce a high-quality translation.
New language technologies, the Translation Bureau and you
Technology is evolving quickly, and more and more tools are available to meet all linguistic needs. That said, support from language specialists remains essential to ensure the quality of a translation. This is why the Translation Bureau has been investing in the best tools and training its employees to use them for a long time. Our goal is to serve our clients in the most efficient manner, combining the power of technology and our employees’ expertise to produce the highest quality results.
Since each person and organization has different needs, operations and means, the Translation Bureau can’t offer advice on choosing the best tool. For this very reason, the Translation Bureau doesn’t make its own tools available to other organizations.
Are you part of the Government of Canada? We can save you the trouble of choosing: entrust your linguistic needs to the Translation Bureau (available on the Government of Canada network only)! As the exclusive employer of translators, terminologists and interpreters in the Government of Canada’s core administration, the Translation Bureau has highly qualified employees who are able to put the best technology at your service.
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