Advancements in Machine Translation That Your Company Will Benefit From

Created: Oct 19, 2023 | Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Just like the ancient Father’s dreamt up the innovations we have now, do you also dream of a world where language isn't a barrier, but a bridge? Well, we do! Dive into the machine translation magic, and discover how it is revolutionizing how companies communicate and grow globally!

What is Machine Translation?

Machine translation (MT) is the use of software to automatically translate text from one language to another, and it has come a long way since the early days of Google Translate. 

Artificial intelligence is the core technology behind modern machine translation systems and, more specifically, neural machine translation. Unlike traditional rule-based systems, modern machine translation uses deep learning algorithms and large amounts of data to produce translations that can, in many cases, rival human translators in terms of fluency and speed.


Generic Machine Translation Engines

Machine translation has evolved rapidly in recent years, with tech giants and startups alike pushing boundaries. Here's a detailed exploration of some of the major advancements in machine translation in recent years:

  1. Google's BERT - Although introduced almost 5 years ago, BERT has been a valuable addition to the translation industry. BERT, which stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, is a technology that reads words in relation to all the other words in a sentence, rather than in order. This helps in grasping the context better. Google's utilization of BERT significantly improved the fluency and accuracy of English to Spanish translation, among other languages.
  2. Facebook's M2M-100 - The Meta groundbreaking tool doesn't rely on English as an intermediary language. Translating directly between any two of the 100 languages preserves more original nuances. This has a broad implication for content creators, especially in regions where English isn't the primary language.
  3. OpenAI's GPT Models - OpenAI’s models are the epitome of how deep learning and vast amounts of data can combine to produce results not just in language generation but also in translation tasks. They're increasingly finding use in chatbots and customer service applications.
  4. Real-time translation in Augmented Reality (AR) - Tools like Google's AR-powered Translate feature in the Lens app allow users to see translations overlaid on their physical environment. For instance, a tourist wearing AR glasses can see instant translations of street signs or restaurant menus.
  5. Instant camera translations - Previously, Duolingo’s Tinycard was a notable player in this field, offering users the ability to translate printed text via a smartphone camera. However, it's worth noting that Duolingo Tinycards has been disabled.
    Despite this, another notable application that has been gaining traction in the instant camera translation space is Microsoft Translator. The Microsoft Translator app, which offers real-time camera translation, enables users to point their smartphone camera at texts in a foreign language, and it provides instant translations on the screen. This can be incredibly helpful for travellers and businesses, allowing them to quickly understand signs, menus, and other printed materials in unfamiliar languages.
  6. Amazon's Alexa Multilingual Mode - Launched for homes where multiple languages are spoken, Alexa allows users to switch between languages fluidly. For businesses, it offers a way to interact with customers in multiple languages without manual intervention.
  7. DeepL Translator - A German startup, DeepL has often outperformed tech giants like Google and Microsoft in blind tests. Using the power of convolutional neural networks, DeepL has provided translations that many believe come eerily close to human quality.
  8. Microsoft's Custom Translator - The Custom Translator allows businesses to customize Microsoft's neural machine translation models for their specific terminology and style. For instance, a legal firm can train the translator to understand and use legal jargon, ensuring that translated documents don't lose critical nuances.

The vastness of innovations in machine translation underscores the growing importance of breaking down language barriers. Companies are leveraging these tools not just to reach broader audiences but also to enhance user experience, streamline operations, and foster global collaborations. With the pace of these advancements, we can only anticipate even more transformative changes in the near future.


Recent Advancements in Machine Translation

  1. Translated's Cutting-Edge AI Voice Translation Service: The latest stride in this journey comes from Translated, a pioneer in language solutions, who have unveiled a groundbreaking service that is set to revolutionize podcast and video localization. What makes this service truly unprecedented is its ability to enable companies and individuals to not only translate their content but to recreate their own voices in target languages. By amalgamating transcription, adaptive machine translation (MT), the expertise of skilled linguists, and cutting-edge AI voice cloning technologies, Translated's solution empowers users to retain the essence of their voices while delivering content in the world's most widely spoken languages.
  2. MemoQ’s Adaptive Generative Translation: affectionately known as memoQ AGT, memoQ represents a groundbreaking approach to translation automation. At its core, this technology leverages a Large Language Model (LLM), akin to the engine behind the popular ChatGPT service. memoQ AGT goes a step further by providing instant domain adaptation, ensuring that translations are finely tailored to the customer's pre-existing language resources. The remarkable aspect is that it accomplishes this without necessitating any retraining or fine-tuning of the model itself. In essence, both the language data and control over the translation process firmly remain within the customer's grasp.
  3. SlatorCon 2023 Highlights Innovations in the Translation Industry: SlatorCon 2023, held in Zurich, brought together over 150 language industry leaders for a day of insightful discussions and networking. The event shed light on crucial advancements and shifts within the translation industry.

    Key takeaways include the emergence of language AI as a product and the industry's ability to adapt to economic contexts, talent challenges, and AI. It emphasized the relevance of language service providers (LSPs) in a content-rich world and the need for LSPs to innovate and experiment. The event also underlined the importance of consistent evaluation of Large Language Models (LLMs) and the challenges associated with their use, including biases and computational resource requirements.

Translated's Cutting-Edge AI Voice Translation Service


What do These Advancements Mean for Your Company?

The implications of these innovations for businesses are immense:

  • Global Outreach: With tools that can quickly translate between multiple languages, reaching out to a global audience has never been easier.
  • Cost-Efficiency: While hiring a certified translation company might be necessary for legal or technical documents, day-to-day translations can be managed using advanced MT tools, saving costs.
  • Improved Customer Service: Real-time translation allows businesses to engage customers from different linguistic backgrounds, enhancing the customer experience.
  • Efficient Communication: Companies with multinational teams can ensure efficient communication across borders without language being a hindrance.


Is it Safe to use Machine Translation?

The rapid advancements in machine translation have undoubtedly provided businesses with a multitude of benefits. However, with these advancements come new challenges and considerations. Let's dive deeper into the safety and reliability concerns tied to some of the prominent technologies discussed previously.

Machine Translation Software Challenges 
Google's BERTWhile BERT has made translations more contextually accurate, there are times it may provide outputs that might not capture the nuanced meanings of certain phrases, especially in languages with complex grammar structures. This can lead to potentially misleading translations in business or legal communications.
Facebook's M2M-100One concern with systems like M2M-100, which can translate between any pair of 100 languages, is the potential dilution of context when not pivoting through a common language. Some subtleties may be lost, leading to translations that are technically correct but may miss cultural nuances.
OpenAI's GPT ModelsThough powerful, GPT models can sometimes produce verbose or overly complex translations. Relying solely on these models might result in translations that, while grammatically correct, might not sound natural or straightforward to a native speaker.
Real-time translation in Augmented RealityAR translations are quick and convenient, but they are also susceptible to errors due to visual obstructions, poor lighting, or the quality of the source material. Misinterpretations in a business setting, for instance, during a presentation or a meeting, could lead to misunderstandings.
Instant camera translationsWhile handy for tourists, instant camera translations might not always be accurate. Factors like handwriting, font irregularities, or even a smudge can result in incorrect translations.

Beyond these technology-specific concerns, there are overarching issues with machine translation:

  • Data Security: Relying on online translation tools can risk exposing sensitive business information. Not all platforms guarantee data privacy, potentially allowing third parties to access confidential documents or communications.
  • Lack of Human Touch: Machine translations lack the human touch, which means they might miss out on cultural, idiomatic, or contextual subtleties inherent in human communication.

To navigate these pitfalls:

  • Businesses should be discerning about when and where to deploy machine translation. For critical documents or communications, always employ professional translation services to ensure the accuracy, cultural appropriateness, and confidentiality of the content.
  • Companies must prioritize platforms that focus on data privacy and security, ensuring that business-sensitive information remains protected.

In summary, while machine translation is a powerful tool with numerous applications, it is essential to be aware of its limitations and potential risks. By understanding these, you can make informed decisions about how best to integrate machine translation into their operations.


How is Translayte Riding the Machine Translation Wave?

The world of translation is not static, and neither is Translayte. As the machine translation wave surges forward, Translayte is riding atop, harnessing the latest technologies to improve and streamline its services across various departments. Let's delve deeper into how Translayte has integrated machine translation advancements into its HR, Customer Support, Quality Assurance, and Project Management team.

HR (Human Resources)

  • Onboarding & Training: For a global workforce, we use machine translation to aid in the swift translation of training materials, ensuring all our employees, regardless of their native language, receive consistent training.
  • Employee Engagement: With a diverse workforce, our internal communications are translated instantly, promoting inclusivity and ensuring every employee feels valued and informed.

Customer Support

  • Real-time Assistance: Utilizing real-time translation tools, our customer support representatives assist clients from various linguistic backgrounds without delay, enhancing the Translayte customer experience.
  • FAQs & Knowledge Base: Machine translation allows us to quickly update our knowledge base in multiple languages, ensuring a wide range of our customers can self-serve and find solutions without language being a barrier.
  • Email Communication: We use MT software to streamline email communication with clients, improving response time and reducing the likelihood of errors in client communication.

Quality Assurance

  • Error Detection: Using advanced machine translation tools, combined with human expertise, we work to detect and correct any discrepancies in translated content. This dual approach ensures a higher accuracy rate.
  • Feedback Loop: Using machine translation, feedback from various language-speaking clients is instantly translated and integrated into the quality assurance process, allowing for continuous improvement.
  • Checks & Balances: Translators use AI to check translations before submitting them. This ensures that our translations are accurate and reduces the need for extensive manual review, saving time and improving efficiency.

Project Management

  • Multilingual Project Coordination: With our team members (spread across 14 countries) and clients spread globally, machine translation ensures that project updates, reports, and communications are swiftly translated, keeping everyone on the same page.
  • Task Automation: Repetitive tasks, like sending project status updates in different languages, are automated using machine translation, freeing up our managers to focus on more strategic aspects of the project.

Incorporating machine translation into these sectors has not only increased Translayte's efficiency but has also enhanced our inclusivity, reach, and service quality. While the power of human expertise remains irreplaceable, combining it with the capabilities of modern machine translation tools offers a competitive edge.

By continuously integrating these advancements, we strive to remain at the forefront of the translation industry, offering our clients the best human and machine worlds.


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