Back to Top
AI applied in linguistic technology: Neural translation

What are the steps of a translation performed by artificial intelligence and then post-edited by a translator?

This translation process follows very precise and rigorous steps, guaranteeing the quality of the final text: 

1. Analysis of the original document by a specialist

First, the content of the original document is analysed by a specialist who will validate the possibility of using artificial intelligence based on various technical, linguistic, and support factors.

The client’s timescale will also be considered according to the volume of texts provided. Indeed, even if the first phase of translation is almost instantaneous regardless of the size of the text, the work of the translator in charge of post-editing will take longer if the length of the texts is significant.

The post-editor's working time therefore will vary, but it is still much faster than for a traditional translation, carried out entirely by a human translator. 

Depending on the client and the purpose of the text, several decisions will have to be made: 

  • The client can, for example, provide his own glossary, which must be processed, and computerised, as well as his specifications (concerning the style to be adopted in the translation) 
  • The case manager, or a translator, must also analyse the original text in order to detect complex parts of the vocabulary (such as proper names, addresses, and very long sentences that are sometimes problematic)
  • During this stage, the technician in charge of the service will then assign the work to a specific publisher, chosen according to their knowledge of the target language pair (target language and source language) and their specialisation according to the theme covered in the original document. 

2. Translation of the source text by artificial intelligence     

Then, the source text is introduced into the computer system responsible for translating it into the target language. Depending on the field concerned and the complexity of the subject, and in order to homogenise terminology and the formulation that must be consistent, translation tools may be used.

When, as sometimes happens, the same word has many different meanings, artificial intelligence usually takes care of choosing the most appropriate term.

Over time, terminology databases will begin to be created. They will allow the terms to be refined according to sectors (especially if the client continually updates a technical glossary). Glossaries are globalised and grouped by sector of activity.

It should be noted that translations carried out directly by an artificial intelligence program (without the use of post-editing by a human translator) will not be of sufficient quality to make the text usable. 

3. Post-editing by a professional human translator

The post-editor then intervenes at the end of this process to carry out the most important step.

Indeed, during the post-editing phase, the translator takes into account the subject and context of the translation, and its style, and corrects all errors (spelling, syntax etc.). They also check that grammatical rules are respected and adjust punctuation.

In conclusion, the work of the human brain remains essential. The professional translator guarantees quality proofreading, allowing a reliable and intelligible final version to be produced.

Translation Artificial intelligence post edition MT

What types of texts can be translated with artificial intelligence?

These new translation methods are not suitable for all types of texts, or for all language pairs. 

Technical and legal texts seem to be particularly suitable for this translation system. Similarly, translation with artificial intelligence and post-editing is perfectly suited to urgent services, such as email translation, which often has to be done in an extremely short period of time.

This process can also be applied to the translation of specifications, letters, contracts and legal documents, press articles, websites, and any specialised documents (technical, legal, medical, medical, financial, commercial translation etc.).

Alternatively, literary works and some highly editorial documents cannot be translated in this way, as post-editing would be more expensive than direct translation. 


When to use this type of translation?

Translation with artificial intelligence and post-editing by a human translator may be particularly beneficial in the following cases: 

  • If you need to carry out a translation within a very short period of time
  • If you have a limited budget
  • If you have large volumes of texts to translate, and want to minimise the costs.


What are the deadlines and prices for this type of translation? 

Translations carried out jointly between artificial intelligence and human translators remain extremely profitable, in terms of time, price, and quality/price ratio. The rates for this type of translation are significantly lower than those for a traditional translation service.