Machine Translation

The Race is On: Ulatus Post-Editing Vs. DeepL’s Machine Translator

If you have a document that needs translation, your thoughts might immediately turn to seek an online translation tool as an option for the project. After all, countless people use machine translation tools every day for quick translation assistance, especially since they are free of cost and yield quick results. However, depending on the scope of your translation needs, it is important to seriously consider whether a machine can successfully accomplish the same results.

To help you decide whether machine translation is correct for you, we compare Ulatus’ machine translation post-editing (MTPE) service with DeepL, one of the more popular machine translators in the market.

Machine Translation Vs. MTPE

Before analyzing the two services in-depth look, it is essential to explain the differences between machine translation and MTPE. With machine translation, users select the source and target languages and then they enter the text to be translated. Although free tools are available online for basic translations, larger projects would require the assistance of a language services provider (LSP).

Alternatively, post-editing services involve a human translator reviewing and editing the output of the machine translation to check for accuracy and add cultural context and subject matter expertise to the translation. Whereas a machine translation’s output is often inaccurate, MTPE ensures precision by adding a human translator’s review.

Ulatus’ MTPE Compared to DeepL: A Snapshot Overview

To provide an overall picture of the services, here is a quick glance at what each company offers. Ulatus provides translation and localization services in more than 50+ languages and has a presence in over 125 countries; it provides both machine translation and MTPE. With MTPE, customers can select the level of editing they want, depending on their needs.

Alternatively, DeepL offers a free machine translation tool without a post-editing component. Users can translate a maximum of 5,000 characters in each translation, and can choose from 26 languages. In addition, the company gives users the option of selecting DeepL Pro, a paid tool that is primarily geared toward professional translators, developers, and international companies.

A Deep Dive into the Essentials

Along with the above comparison, here are some vital points to consider when weighing both options:

Accuracy

Let’s start with one of the two factors that matter the most to customers, i.e., the accuracy of the outputs. Overall, users have found that DeepL’s translation results are acceptable for quick and basic translations. However, as with other machine translators, the final product lacks the context and understanding that only a human translator can provide. As such, Ulatus’ MTPE can offer a level of precision that DeepL cannot match.

Pricing

The other primary factor that will affect a client’s decision is the cost of the translation service. Price options start at $6.99 per month for DeepL Pro, while Ulatus’s prices vary depending on the client’s requirements. As such, customers should contact the company’s project team to discuss a customized rate.

Turnaround Time

Depending on the volume of content being translated, DeepL’s translator can complete the work at a fast pace. Although machine translation can be completed quickly, adding post-editing will not cause a delay in the project deadline. With their skills and expertise, human translators can efficiently complete the post-editing process.

However, although translators will complete their work promptly, there are steps that can be taken ahead of time to make the process run more smoothly:

  • Create a translation style guide. These guides are a great way to ensure that the post-editing process goes faster. By developing a style guide, translators will have a template for their work.
  • Allow for term extraction. Extracting terminology from the source content before the translation begins means that translators can build a glossary of terms and a translation memory database. Ultimately, term extraction will increase the translation pace while reducing the cost.
  • Ensure that the source text is well-written. The best way to ensure a quick post-editing process is to ascertain that the source text is clean and well-written. Using consistent words and specific terms and making sure that the content is culturally sensitive will significantly reduce the number of edits.

Cultural Nuances

Although DeepL can translate text from one language to another, it is not capable of portraying the human aspect of languages. Machine translators are simply not able to accurately relay idioms, jokes, and expressions. On the other hand, MTPE can achieve a high level of communication by capturing the cultural nuances that make the translation feel like it was written in the target language.

Editing Options

Part of DeepL’s accuracy issues stem from the basic notion that machines cannot do much. The output produced by the machine is the final product that the client receives, even if that output contains errors.

Alternatively, Ulatus offers two levels of human post-editing to ensure accuracy:

  • Light post-editing focuses on eliminating any vital mistakes present in the machine translation’s final output, including making certain that the translation is grammatically accurate.
  • Heavy post-editing, during which the translator will review and modify the machine translation output to ensure that the end result is a precise translation.

ISO Certification

When a translation company meets stringent international standards, it can achieve the ISO 17100 certification. As a part of the mere 1% of LSPs globally to meet the necessary  requirements, Ulatus has proven that it adheres to strict criteria for accuracy, data security, quality assurance, client satisfaction, and project management. Because of this achievement, clients can feel confident that their translation will be top-notch.

Collaboration

DeepL offers customers a means to contact the company with questions and issues. Yet, a primary advantage of working with human translators during post-editing is their availability to collaborate with clients as needed.

Data Security

Safeguarding documentation against cybersecurity threats can be difficult to, especially since those threats have become more sophisticated through the years. Machine translators are especially vulnerable to attacks, including malware, viruses, spyware, ransomware, and data thefts.

Ulatus maintains high standards for data security to ensure that information remains confidential and protected.

Word Choices

When deciding on DeepL or MTPE, one must consider that every major language that is spoken across the globe contains a huge number of words. For example, Japanese has about 500,00 words, and French includes approximately 135,000 words. In addition, many of these words represent more than one definition, which further complicates the translation process for machines. Conversely, human translators who are doing post-editing will understand the context and meaning of the words, and, therefore, they will select the best word choice.

Subject-Level Translations

There are many fields that require translators who are subject matter experts and understand the terminology and jargon used in the specific industry. For example, words that are used in the medical and legal fields are highly specialized, and machines cannot understand their meanings. As such, huge translation errors can occur, and one mistake in a medical translation can cause grave consequences. Therefore, it is critical that human translators who understand the industry be part of the translation process.

Furthermore, professors and students who want to publish academic papers in other languages will not get solid outputs from machine translators, such as DeepL. Similar to the medical and legal fields, academic subject areas are highly technical and require the type of work that human translators can produce.

Access to Useful Tools

The DeepL machine translator can only work with the tools built into it, while human translators who are engaged in post-editing have a variety of tools available for their use. Such computer-assisted translation tools include:

  • Terminology managers which ensure that translators use consistent terminology throughout the entire translation.
  • Translation memory tools, which are databases of texts available in several languages.
  • Terminology databases, which allow translators to find the correct terminology for a specific field.

After carefully reviewing the differences between Ulatus’ MTPE and the DeepL translator tool, it is clear that some of the main benefits of MTPE are that it provides translation precision and cultural context and collaboration and project management tools at a customized rate. By working with a human translator during MTPE, businesses can be assured that they are getting the best-translated product that meets their specifications.

Summary

While DeepL’s machine translator might be a good option for simple translations, it falls short of matching the benefits that Ulatus’ machine translation post-editing (MTPE) provides. Please take a look at our in-depth comparison of the two services.

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