Aidan Collins is User Engagement Manager at KantanMT. In this blog, Aidan discusses how Machine Translation can benefit Localisation Service Providers(LSPs) as they meet the challenge of translating a growing volume of information.
Machine Translation Rides the Crest of a Volume Wave
“Findings from Common Sense Advisory show that if marketing, customer care, web, or translation managers are going to meet the needs of their many users, they will have to evaluate how to integrate MT into their global content strategies – regardless of the type or size of their organization.” Don DePalma, Common Sense Advisory
The above quotation, written in the 2011 article As Content Volume Explodes, Machine Translation Becomes an Inevitable Part of Global Content Strategy has proven to be prescient. The article flagged up what was clearly becoming a new wave in global content strategy management. It is now clear that in the last few years, many LSPs (and even other non-LSP companies) have begun to examine the advantages of introducing Machine Translation to their everyday workflows. In the past months, as User Engagement Manager at KantanMT, I have been approached for information by lots of LSPs who see adopting Machine Translation as an imperative for their companies.
Indeed, I have also liaised with companies from the automotive, medical, IT, and legal industries who are all trying to find out more about Machine Translation. Many of these are doing this to decide whether Machine Translation is a service that they should now be requesting from their LSPs; others are looking at the feasibility of introducing Machine Translation in to their own existing localisation/translation workflows.
All have expressed one common reason for approaching me – they know that KantanMT has made Machine Translation affordable, accessible, and easy-to-use. Where once they saw Machine Translation as an onerous and expensive option with high consultancy fees, expensive high spec hardware and complex software, and requiring highly educated staff with big salaries – they now see it as being as feasible and easy to use as the everyday CAT tools they already know.
Globalisation is a driving force behind increasing demand for affordable and high quality Machine Translations. This is because client companies are striving to make larger volumes of information available in an increasing number of languages so as to compete on a global level.
To draw another quote from the aforementioned Common Sense Advisory article:
“It’s simply a matter of numbers. There is far too much content being created and far too few translators or money to translate it all – or even a tiny fraction of it.”
Increasing volumes of content and too few human translators is a fraught equation. It is one that presents LSPs with a challenge that they must address. Many LSPs are begiinning to realise that an accessible MT solution, such as that provided by KantanMT, meets this challenge and brings with it very clear advantages:
- Increased Productivity: By integrating KantanMT into localisation workflows, LSPs can increase their translation productivity (some KantanMT members have reported increased productivity levels of up to 400% on certain translation projects!).
- Increased Capacity: By increasing translation productivity, LSPs can grow their translation capacity. Members using KantanMT have reported that the technology has enabled them to take on larger client projects which they would previously have had to turn away.
- Increased Project Margins: Faster turnaround times on translation jobs and increased translation capacity means more profit.
- Increased Profit Allows for Investment: Companies are now finding that they can invest more money in growing their businesses. They no longer need to remain stagnant but can confidently plan a growth strategy.
- Wider Customer Base: Opportunities and customers who were hitherto out of the reach of SME-sized LSPs are now accessible as Machine Translation increases the workflow capacity of these SME-sized LSPs.
- Overcomes the Resources Problem: LSPs are able to take on a bigger number of large clients without draining their own resources.
- Optimised Use of Translation Memories(TMs): Many LSPs have gigabytes of TMs that they find difficult to optimise. The ability to now take these valuable reservoirs of data and to upload them to create Machine Translation engines means LSPs can make the most of these huge databases.
And it is clear that LSPs are voting with their “digital feet”! In just six months, KantanMT has seen over a thousand LSPs sign up to try out this affordable and user friendly Machine Translation platform. They have simply had to register on KantanMT.com and begin uploading their data.
These statistics show how LSPs have thrived using KantanMT to date:
- Over four billion words uploaded
- Almost 1,500 Machine Translation engines created (many within hours)
- 168 million words translated in to multiple languages
Figures as of April 15, 2013.
KantanMT has free webinars on KantanMT.com to help neophytes become familiar with uploading data and creating powerful Machine Translation engines. I can guarantee that people will be amazed at how easy and accessible we have made Machine Translation. And if you need any more help or advice simply contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I am eager to help!
Aidan Collins, User Engagement Manager, KantanMT.com