ISO 18587: Post-editing according to client requirements
As good as necessary, as cheap and fast as possible.
There is no question that machine translations are constantly improving. However, as of now, they still cannot match the quality of native specialist translators. Granted, the exact amount of errors as well as the type of errors to be expected depend on the quality of the source text, among other things. Still, 10 to 20 serious errors per page are not uncommon. So, proof-reading and post-editing by a human translator are still needed to get pro-grade results.
In spite of the extra work, the two main advantages of machine translation should, of course, be maintained as far as possible: speed and cost savings. Ideally, without undermining the translation quality you need and want. The industry standard for machine translation and post-editing, ISO 18587, regulates all the processes that are intended to ensure this.
Therefore, we first check whether your source text is suitable for machine translation at all. If this is the case, we then determine in a personal conversation with you what is particularly important for your project. For technical documentation, for example, the accuracy of the terminology is usually more important than the style.
When revising the machine translation, the post-editor can then focus on those aspects of your text that are crucial to your project. The results are not always at the level of a purely human translation, but they would meet your requirements as established in our initial consultation. Of course, if time and resources allow, our translation agency will try to exceed those requirements as well as your expectations.
The ISO-18587 certificate
The new standard.
1954 is considered the birth of machine translation. In that year, the first MT system, developed by IBM and Georgetown University, was introduced to the general public. Of course, it was rudimentary and the quality was not good, but, well, all beginnings are difficult.
Although the systems have improved steadily since then, it was Big Data and Machine Learning that forced a true quantum leap in translation quality. Only in recent years has it reached a level that companies could take seriously for large-scale commercial use. Thus, it is not surprising that the ISO-18587 standard was only introduced in 2017. It regulates and checks all processes relevant to the post-editing of machine translations.
We are particularly pleased to meet the standards for ISO 18587 as well.
ISO 17100 and ISO 18587 complement each other perfectly
Translation processes and post-editing.
ISO 17100 defines all processes that are relevant for the creation of specialist translations as well as their quality. This begins with the selection of native specialist translators and extends to the systematic application of the 4-eyes principle, i.e. a second proofreading loop by another translator. The goal is to ensure the highest possible translation quality.
ISO 18587 treats high translation quality as an important goal, but only as one among many. The focus is on the client’s expectations and requirements and how they are to be met. These can vary from project to project, as can the budgets and deadlines for the projects. This is why the standard calls for clear communication between the client and the project manager as well as between the project manager and the post-editor.
Both ISO 17100-compliant translation according to the four-eyes principle and the revision of machine translation according to ISO 18587 involve post-editing. With full post-editing of machine translations, the process is the same, but unfortunately so is the effort and cost. Cost savings above 20% are rare.
Most companies therefore opt for a light post-editing. The parameters established by the client set limits on how much the machine translation can be improved. However, one major advantage remains: Translation projects can be scaled very well, as delivery times can be shortened almost at will, just at the expense of post-editing. Nevertheless, even a slight post-editing may sometimes drastically increase the quality of a machine translation – at savings of up to 50%.
The certificate as a decision-making aid
Evidence for suppliers.
Machine translations are not perfect, even with light or medium post-editing included. How good they are depends on many factors, such as the quality of the source text, language pairs, subject areas and text types. Ultimately, however, a good preliminary discussion is the best way to ensure that you get a translation you are happy with.
Because of the certificate, you can be sure that we follow all industry standards from the consultation to the choice of the MT system to the post-editing. Often enough, we go above and beyond. Anyone can claim that, of course. But we would be happy to convince you. Just get in touch for a first non-binding preliminary talk.
Answers and quotes
Tailored to your needs.
Are you wondering if your text is suitable for machine translation?
Would you like to know how much you can save on post-editing?
Then simply get in touch with us.