Machine Translation: A New Era
Machine Translation is a tool positioned to create new competitive advantage. However, most mid-sized localisation service providers are still intimidated by the complexity, cost and lengthy deployment times traditionally associated with production quality MT systems.
In a world where margin erosion and price compression are daily challenges, competitive advantage will be on the side of those who embrace MT early and are able to manage it effectively.
MT has come of age in terms of accessibility, cost, computing power and security. While previously only used by the largest LSPs or by governmental bodies, MT today is a totally different prospect; a prospect that many mid-sized LSPs are only now starting to come to terms with.
Developing client focused MT engines has always been a challenge little understood by the LSP community and often over-complicated by purveyors of MT consultancy services. After all, if it didn’t sound complicated they would not be able to charge high consultancy service fees for their advice. However, a turning point has been reached in the industry with many vendors developing solutions that are easy to use, manage and deploy. This is opening up the benefits of MT to the mid-sized LSP community and enabling them to compete with the big guys.
Similar to the early days of Translation Memory, competitive advantage can be achieved by companies who adopt this technology early and build it into their client’s localisation workflows. Progressive LSPs are taking a pro-active and strategic view on this, acknowledging that it is better to be ahead of this MT technology adoption curve and to build up a level of understanding and expertise early so that they can share the benefits with their clients when they ask for MT services.
And ask they will. Reported in a recent Common Sense Advisory survey, while a very small percentage of translation agencies use MT on every job, nearly a quarter of small LSPs, and more than half of medium-sized LSPs, will apply it if requested to do so by their clients.
Progressive mid-sized LSPs want to respond to this game-changer and are starting to experiment with MT cloud-based platforms in increasing numbers. Make sure you’re not left behind!
NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of GALA.