13 Dec/18

Post-Editing Machine Translations – the New ISO 18587 Standard

Post-Editing Machine Translations – the New ISO 18587 Standard
Post-Editing Machine Translations – the New ISO 18587 Standard

Translation produced by machines provides a time and cost-efficient addition to human translation. In the wake of artificial intelligence (AI), machine translation is becoming increasingly established in the translation industry. Just as with a translation done by a translator of flesh and blood, there are also different levels of quality in machine translation. The results of machine translation can therefore subsequently be improved – in other words, ‘post-edited’. Post-editing is also crucial because one hundred per cent precision is still not possible right now. Simply adopting the raw version of a machine translation would mean considerable losses in quality, especially with rarer language combinations and specialist areas. With the advent of machine translation, job profiles in language service companies are also further developing. This is how, for instance, the job of post-editor emerged – someone who reworks machine-translated documents, checking them for readability and eliminating grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes.

Reliable translation quality through certified processes

For translation services in particular, there has been a DIN standard since 1996 that defines the requirements of translation orders. In 2006 DIN 2345 has been withdrawn and EN 15038 came into force. In 2015 it was replaced by the currently valid ISO 17100 standard. What this standard does not regulate, however, is the handling of machine translations. To be able to cover the translation and localisation requirements of international companies and to take on and process urgent, high-volume translation orders, machine translation is necessary under certain circumstances. For one thing, documents for which there was previously no time or budget can be translated in this way. For another thing, language service providers remain competitive if they expand their services and adapt them to the growing customer demand for machine translation solutions. This is why the new ISO 18587 standard, which determines “the requirements for the process of full-service human post-editing of machine translations and the core skills of the post-editor”, was introduced this year. A distinction is made here between full-service post-editing, which aims to produce a text comparable with a human translation and light post-editing, which merely aims to make the machine-translated text comprehensible.

Data security in the era of machine translation service providers

Automated translation processes, particularly using allegedly free online translation engines, certainly do carry security risks. The respective translation engine is ‘fed’ with the content entered by the user. Sensitive data can inadvertently be saved and become publicly accessible. Take care in selecting a translation service provider for the translation of sensitive documents who, for one thing, complies with ISO 18587 and, for another, possesses their own translation engines that are not cloud-based and can therefore guarantee secure data storage. EVS Translations is one such translation company. Our on-site processes are examined by an external, independent auditor from docConsult GmbH for compliance with the ISO 18587 standard and the fulfilment of its requirements confirmed.

Depending on the purpose of your translation document, the option of machine translation can be an appropriate addition to your translation strategy. EVS Translations would be happy to advise you on the subject of machine translation and on the different levels of post-editing. Contact us on +1 404-523-5560 or use our contact form!