The importance of using a modern, up-to-date computer in the professional translation industry cannot be overstated.
As technology is progressing, files are getting bigger and heavier. Professionals need to rest assured that the technology they are using is more of a help than a hindrance. Modern computers are now made to more and more powerful to handle changes in technology.
Choosing what laptop to use for your work is always a difficult task. As many laptops tend to be not as powerful as desktop PCs, it is always a good idea to do some research before you buy and make sure you are purchasing the right equipment to suit your needs. Start by checking out our laptop buying guide to help guide you in your decision.
Choosing the right PC
First off all you need to begin your search for the perfect computer. Nowadays, for uses such as professional freelance translation, people don’t tend to buy desktop computers. Laptops are the better option: the fact they are so easy to carry allows us to work wherever we are. Laptops are always easily accessible. Whether you are writing an email or editing a video or translating a document, laptops are a necessity.
It is important to know all the specifications of the laptop you are buying. Understanding the right performance, the configurations and how much it can handle will help you in your search. Laptops are a big investment and although they are becoming more affordable, we need to make sure that our budget meets our requirements and expectations.
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your new computer, for example, RAM, motherboards, processor, battery life, connectivity, etc. Always remember to look for good storage options. Memory is really important because computers regularly process large amounts of significantly large files (in design files for instance) at a time. Individuals should look for SSD (solid state drive) hard drives instead of the older HDD (hard disk drive) hard drive tech. In SSD hard drives the data retrieval rate is noticeably greater than the HDD hard drives. So, for faster boot rate, SSD hard drives are highly recommended. It will help you work faster, saving you time by quickly processing large files.
Powerful computers in professional translation
Getting back to our topic, yes, state-of-the-art, fast and powerful computers are essential for professional translation. This profession requires many hours of work, so, to save time and therefore achieve better results, using an efficient computer is a wise career move. Nowadays, the computer plays a central role in the translation process, alongside the language professional. This is known as machine translation. According to David Wigg, modern computers are also able to translate technical texts which are written in an organized manner containing restricted syntax. Apart from these, computers are also used to provide a base translation of uncontrolled or unorganized texts so that the translator can post-edit and finalize the text.
These computers are also needed when using web servers for online translations. There are millions of searches for many millions of different words every day in millions of languages. Not just words, but sentences, paragraphs and even essays can be translated even quicker when human translators and machine translation work together using powerful computers. These machine translation engines are increasingly being used by language service provider with thesauri and dictionaries in separate applications. These applications are called translator workbenches.
As well as MT, translator workbenches, those in the industry also rely on fast computers to store and work with “translation memories”. The translation memory stores previous human translations and reuses them automatically at the right time.
Humans and computers working together
Machine translation is useful in the sense that it is quick, cheap and efficient for certain types of text. However, relying completely on computers for translations is not a very good idea since it will be prone to errors. After all, it is but a machine. Language mostly depends on the fact that it is context-embedded and it takes the help of a human being to understand the true meaning behind the words.
Therefore, to ensure the computers translate texts into completely publishable quality texts, they must be reviewed by an individual person. The key to getting the best results is translating texts with the help of computers and then reviewing them by the help of a person so that the original context of the entire text is not changed. Modern computers nowadays use a sort of approach for translations called “linguistic knowledge”. Certified translators have two steps of approach: one for the target language and one for the source language. Simultaneously, these powerful computers also check for grammar and semantics in the language source.
The computers also analyze a huge amount of identical texts in the source and target languages. The program in it then uses the variants that match most frequently and uses them in translation. This method is called statistical machine translation. Google Translate, for example, uses this method. It does not apply grammatical rules as because its algorithms are based on statistical analysis.
There is also another majorly used tool called the computer-assisted translation. The computer-assisted translation or computer-aided translation, or CAT is used when a human translator is translating a text with the help of software designed by computers to help and facilitate the process of translation. Using a fast computer with a solid-state drive is the best choice for translators working with CAT tools, as the software will work much faster, saving you time.
In this way, computers are now able to deal with large translation projects with ease. The only weakness of these computers is their inability to interpret and understand the human aspects of language and context – and that’s where you come in!
No matter the power or speed of the computer, and no matter how efficient it is, machine translators cannot replace human translators or guarantee the same results. For high-quality, accurate translations, the combination of powerful computers and skilled linguists always the best solution, until of course actual high-performance artificial intelligence is created. Human translators will not be in danger any time soon, as machine translation is not able to understand and analyze a text like a human would do.
At BeTranslated, the experienced team of seasoned translators always work using the latest software and the best IT solutions to provide you with polished, fluent translations. Get in touch today for a free quote!