In recent months, the famous weekly of political-economic information The Economist has published an article about our world, The world of linguistic services. Johnson, the author of the text and columnist on linguistic issues, offers a vision of what the translator of the future will be. A prediction that is already topical, as repeatedly underlined in our blog.
In these texts, we have dealt with the issue of machine translation from time to time, spreading our vision of language services and our daily work.
The ASTW workflow has been based for years on human-machine interaction, or rather, on the linguistic-mt binomial.
All those who have experience in our sector are well aware of the limits that still “afflict” machine translation engines. However, the benefits that these technologies can offer are also well known.
The task of machine translation is not to replace the linguist, but to help him in his profession. And it is precisely within this perspective that all the quality control systems present in the main translation tools come into play.
Terminological consistency, correct use of sectoral language and, why not, grammatical and syntactical accuracy. These are just some of the main advantages provided to the linguist in terms of textual quality.
Moreover, the mere presence of these automated processes will allow the human professional to focus almost exclusively on the most complex translation tasks.
But let’s get back to our topic.
The translator of the future
As already mentioned, within the article the magnifying glass is placed on our work, describing what will be the translator of the future, or rather, the translator “from now on“.
The author cites as an example the opinion of a legal translator from Madrid. In one of the last projects addressed by the linguist, machine translation had converted the term “negligent” with “malice”. This could represent a serious problem within the courtroom, since “the law in question considerably increases penalties when misconduct is intentional”.
The text continues by exposing what was foreshadowed at the beginning of our article, that is, talking about the pros and cons and the different positions of linguists towards machine translation.
Johnson concludes his contribution with an idea that I hope, ironically, will enter soon into our sectoral language. In essence, if the ideal translator will be a perfect combination of human skills and technological components, they might as well be called CYBORGS.
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