Simple rules to make machine translation 100% accurate [at zero cost]
Google Translate is both praised and scolded. It's a free and instant translation service, so what sometimes it is awkward.
If you need to understand the context, then it's a fantastic platform. However, if you want to share your story in different languages, it might contain embarrassing phrasing. We learned how to make machine translation more reliable and happy to share our knowledge with you.
Rule #1: Write shorter sentences.
Machines and professional human translators struggle equally if your content is complicated to read and follow. If you follow
Translatability easiness based on the number of words in a sentence
≤ 10 words - Easy
11-15 words - Relatively easy
16-20 words - Average
21-25 - Hard
≥25 words - Extremely hard
Rule #2: Create consistency in topics
Machine learning is doing well with contextual consistency. But suppose you jump around different topics, events, or features in one paragraph. In that case, it is impossible to deliver excellent translation. If the aspect has not yet been fully disclosed, and the writer returns to it at the end of the story, the machine loses contextual consistency.
Writing easily translatable text makes requires following the rule: "One paragraph, one purpose".
Rule #3: Avoid creative writing
This is the primary failure of the writer. As human translators are not copywriters, machines are even less creative in translation.
It is essential to understand that the associations should be straight-forward.
If we take any metaphors
"this was just a Band-Aid for the problem" or
"he is a walking dictionary" or
"she was a like swan, gliding across the stage" or
"stubborn as a donkey"
People across different cultures use different metaphors, and machines are not reliable in translating them. We suggest avoiding metaphors and creative writing. Instead, keep in mind that your readers come from various cultural backgrounds. Therefore it's smart to keep your story clear and understandable for everyone.
Example from Forbes magazine:
Rule #4: Do test translation
Any copywriter, writer, or blogger must adhere to all good chefs' rule - before serving guests, you must try the dish yourself!
Golden rules are:
Pause and do other tasks
Open your story, try to read it through the eyes of another person
Cut off the excess, simplify the complex, emphasize the main thing
Apply machine translation to the language you understand
English is not the mother language for most of us. Test the translation to your other language or between any pair of languages you understand.
As Google Translate and similar do not have convenient editing options, we suggest Translatewise.com - it’s a free translation platform, but includes rich text editor and possibility to make a few small changes to make your translations sound native.
Step 1: Open Translatewise.com and sign up, it takes just a couple of clicks
Step 2: Paste your text and choose any target language from 140 available languages
Step 3: Read your translation in target language
This is important! You will find some sentences or words poorly translated. Improve the source wording and press Translate again the just the same sentence.
Step 4: Once you achieved the great wording of machine translation for the whole text, you can choose more languages. It’s free and easy in TranslateWise, or you can do it using Google Translate one by one.
Rule #5: Use speller after
Make sure to correct your spelling mistakes - nothing spoils the impression of even the most beautiful article, like some silly typos!
Rule nr 6: Get it well translated among one pair of languages.
Once machines get contextual and grammatical constraints right in one target language, it is possible to translate the story into other languages.
You can be sure that turning it into ten languages without involving a translation agency is now possible. Just by using Google translate. Only in a couple of clicks.
You can save enormous resources, and more important - open up new opportunities!
We suggest adding a clause that this is 100% machine-translated text at the end of your translations. People are most thankful to read valuable articles in their mother language.
Hopefully, these rules will help you translate better.
Thanks for reading!
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