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AI Translation: Expectations Vs. Reality

AI technology has drastically improved due to scientists enabling computer programs to ‘self-learn’. Hence, a computer can re-program its own code in order to function better at its task at hand. Which begs the question, is AI translation set to become another norm in our lives?

 

What is AI Translation?

 

Rather than using a human translator, an AI translation will automatically translate one language into another. As a result, allowing you to comprehend what someone is saying in another language and hold a conversation with them.

AI technology can read individual words in a number of languages. It finds the similarities between the different languages that exist between words. Thereafter, building a translation!

 

The Advantages of AI Translation

 

When people hear that AI translation tools exist, they tend to expect translation tools used in sci-fi programs. Such as Doctor Who and Star Trek, where you hear people talking in your native tongue. However, this is far from reality!

Instead, the main advantages of AI translator tools in comparison to human translators is that AI is both cheaper and quicker. Here are some of the other advantages of using AI to translate languages:

  • Quality in domain- and language-specific engines is enhanced
  • Incredibly quick, normally only takes a minute or so
  • Ideal for websites
  • AI tools will let you translate a large number of languages, whereas a human may only be able to translate one or two
  • Becoming more accurate

The Disadvantages of AI Translation

 

Although machine translation looks good on paper, there are a number of disadvantages:

  • Accuracy can be low in some industries. (You may not realise this as you may be unfamiliar with the language)
  • Mass localisation is poor, with some languages giving more accurate results than others
  • AI does not recognise the context something is said in, so can produce confusing results
  • A language mistake can be very costly i.e. a tattoo in another language

 

The Reality

 

Many people put a lot of faith into AI translation tools because they see them as a fast and low-cost way to translate a large volume of texts. This is very common in industries such as Finance, E-Commerce, Legal etc.. AI translation may prove to be a powerful tool to achieve massive localisation. However, the accuracy of the different languages is not yet standardised.

 

In Conclusion

 

If you need something translated from another language, you should weigh up the cost of a bad translation against the cost of using a human translator. A bad translation will not only cost your turnaround to be longer but it also costs more money to resolve the mistakes!

If you’re looking to localise an e-commerce website or a large-scale portal, then AI translation is wonderful. In fact, you can leverage on a domain- and language-specific translation machines and human post-editing to translate high volume contents to targeted languages.

This encourages the user to repeatedly visit your website and may even recommend it to friends.

How to Ensure Your E-Commerce Website Localisation is Ready?

Business is going global and e-commerce is booming. That means you’ll soon have to make sure that your e-commerce business is able to keep up with international demand. But, before you can do that, you’ll need to make sure your e-commerce website appeals to the international audience. This is done through e-commerce website localisation. In other words, you localise your website in order to make it more relevant to your local audiences.

Here are a few ways to go about it.

 

User Interface

 

It is easy to fall victim to the false idea that your user interface doesn’t impact user behaviour as long as it is designed well. The truth is that the design of your user interface can have an impact on how it is received among certain groups.

For instance, factors such as character choice, word length, shopping icons etc do tend to vary according to culture. So, you will have to start paying attention to these details and make the necessary changes.

Exchange Rates/Currency

 

Make sure you update prices to reflect current exchange rates and local pricing trends. There are also conversion norms that you’ll have to follow. Each country has its own norms, so take the time to research and study such topics.

For pricing elements such as VAT, make sure the necessary rules are built in for when they’re applicable.

 

Payment Processing

 

It is an established fact that online shoppers tend to prefer shopping in their home currency. So, to ensure your e-commerce website localisation is ready, make sure your shopping cart is capable of carrying out these conversions in real time. Also, pay attention to the payment processing solutions used in each market. There can be location-based preferences with regard to this as well.

 

Legalities

 

One of the harsh realities of doing business across the globe is to comply with regulatory policies and legal requirements. Now, the rules and laws vary from country to country. This is why you need to start focusing on these things and learn about them. This will prevent you from having to deal with regulatory or compliance issues in the future.

For instance, using copyrighted material for your local website can trigger legal problems. So, pay attention.

 

Conclusion

 

As business becomes more global, there is no doubt that your e-commerce website will soon have to adapt. The facts are in and the simple truth is people prefer to shop in their own language. They want businesses to truly cater to them in every way possible. This is where e-commerce website localisation steps in.

So, it’s time to adapt and catch up with the trend.

Is AI Translation Really Changing the Industry?

As the business arena becomes more globalised, the need for localisation via translation grows and that growth fuels the need for better and more effective translation technologies (such as AI translation). As they say, necessity is the mother of all inventions. This philosophy stands true even for translation technology.

The growth in translation needs gave birth to machine translation (MT), which overcame much of the challenges posed by traditional translation processes. But new challenges keep cropping up. Fortunately, newer technologies are showing up to save the day.

One such technology is Artificial Intelligence or AI-based translation. AI translation offers distinct advantages compared to the older MT technology. For instance, it can factor in linguistic nuances and context to provide more accurate translations.

 

Already in Play

 

AI-based translation is already at play. You can see it everywhere from Google to Facebook. For instance, if you visit an international website via Google, you’ll have the option of seeing the translated version. There’s almost no human involvement or intervention here. It’s Google’s own automated translation service.

Microsoft is also offering its own real-time translation app, which can translate speech, text, and even images. What’s even more amazing is that this application can run offline, making instant translation a reality.

Even Facebook switched to AI translation as its primary approach in 2017.

One of the key benefits of AI translation is that it factors in context and entire sentences, which boosts accuracy.

 

Neural Machine Translation (NMT)

 

Traditional MT relied upon existing translations or translation memories to get the job done. However, now, we have something called Neural Machine Translation or NMT.  NMT makes use of translation memories as well. But it goes further and uses something called deep learning to boost translation accuracy.

NMT literally builds what is called an artificial neural network, sort of a like a human brain. What does that mean? Well, it means that the system can correct itself by going back, assessing, and correcting its approach or method.

On the contrary, traditional or statistical MT relies on correlation to choose the best possible translation. This method simply does not provide the same level of accuracy.

 

Conclusion

 

AI-based translation has come quite far. However, there are still some challenges to be overcome. For instance, AI translations are still plagued by grammatical inaccuracies. There are also complaints of such translations lacking nuance.

So, human translation still remains a necessity. Though AI translation may be evolving, it is too soon to predict its overall impact on the translation and localisation industry.

 

How Artificial Intelligence Works When Translating a Language

 

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