When copywriters have their work translated by way of machine translation, errors, ambiguities, and omissions are introduced in the target language.
This process unmistakably demands a comprehensive pre-processing step in the form of machine translation pre-editing to ensure precise and error-free translations.
The Role of Machine Translation Pre-Editing
Machine translation demonstrates impressive logical processing power, but tends to struggle when fed illogical phrasing in the form of slang and creative or idiomatic expressions. This makes it necessary to have a person revise the text after the translation – a process commonly referred to as post-editing.
Due to the relatively high cost and labor-intensive nature of editing machine-translated text, some content managers prefer to have their content pre-edited instead.
What is Machine Translation Pre-Editing?
Pre-editing for machine translation simply means preparing content for machine translation. The purpose of machine translation pre-editing is to improve the accuracy and quality of machine translation output by having human editors make small adjustments to the source text before it is translated by a translation engine.
Any time you relinquish control to an automated language system, you have the potential for that system to make wrong, or ill-informed decisions. When fed pre-edited, optimized content, machine translation engines can produce considerably enhanced translations, reducing or eliminating the need for subsequent editing.
Especially when documents are to be published in multiple languages, it can be very lucrative to pre-edit them. After all, pre-editing for machine translation is a one-off activity that benefits the translations in all languages.
Pre-Editing of Dutch Machine Translation Input
As a pre-editor, I can analyze your Dutch copy from the perspective of a machine translation engine. This allows me to optimize your Dutch writing prior to the translation process on several issues, including:
Drag & Delete
First, I check your Dutch text for errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation because machine translation might misinterpret your content or transfer the error into the target language.
Correcting Political Incorrectness
Dutch copywriters often want to conform to politically correct and inclusive language. But are they using the proper Dutch vocabulary to trigger machine translation on this issue and avoid embarrassing mistakes?
By using common Dutch terms, you reduce the chance of discrepancies in the translation.
- Ik heet Marianne en ik ben boerin.
- My name is Marianne and I am a farmer's wife.*
- Ik heet Marianne en ik ben boer.
- My name is Marianne and I am a farmer.*
However, politically incorrect terms cited as an example should be retained in the translation. This is done by tagging the term concerned.
Dividing Long Sentences
Machine translation often faces difficulty parsing long sentences and complex constructions.
Dividing complex sentence constructions up creates clear, short Dutch sentences that can be translated more accurately.
- Om met de app aan de slag te kunnen, moet u die eerst opzoeken in de Apple App Store of Google Play Store, aanschaffen met een geldig betaalmiddel, downloaden, activeren door een nieuw account aan te maken of u aan te melden met een bestaand account, en vervolgens te configureren door de toepasselijke waarden op te geven.
- To get started with the app, you must first look it up on the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, purchase it with a valid means of payment, download it, activate it by creating a new account or signing in with an existing account, and then configure it by specifying the applicable values.*
- Volg de volgende stappen om met de app aan de slag te gaan:
- Zoek de app in de Apple App Store of Google Play Store
- Koop de app met een geldig betaalmiddel
- Download de app
- Activeer de app door een nieuw account aan te maken of u aan te melden met een bestaand account
- Configureer de app door de toepasselijke waarden op te geven
- Follow the following steps to get started with the app:
- Find the app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
- Purchase the app with a valid means of payment
- Download the app
- Activate the app by creating a new account or signing in with an existing account
- Configure the app by specifying the applicable values*
Making Terminology Uniform
Synonyms can help make your Dutch writing livelier but they also pose a risk to translation software. After all, the synonymous properties of a word do not necessarily transfer along with the meaning.
Making Dutch terms uniform ensures that they always refer to the same concept in the translation.
Without any cultural context, Dutch idiomatic expressions and creative writing are challenging to translate for most translation software.
By offsetting idiomatic expressions or simplifying creative outbursts, machine translation will be able to process these phrases properly.
- Je kunt praten als Brugman, maar er is geen haar op mijn hoofd die daaraan denkt.
- You can talk like Brugman, but there is not a hair on my head that thinks about that.*
- Je kunt praten wat je wilt, maar ik ga niet akkoord.
- You can talk all you want, but I don't agree.*
Writing Abbreviations in Full
Not all Dutch abbreviations are recognized by machine translation.
Errors can be avoided by writing abbreviations and acronyms in full.
- De BN'er uit ZH werkt nu bij de NS.
- The BN'er from ZH now works at NS.*
- De bekende Nederlander uit Zuid-Holland werkt nu bij de Nederlandse Spoorwegen.
- The well-known Dutchman from South Holland now works for the Dutch Railways.*
Adding Missing Words/Phrases
Dutch writers tend to omit words, especially in dialog.
Complementing the sentence with the missing word clarifies the intention of the writer, thereby making machine translation more accurate.
- Nog gevaren?
- Any dangers?*
- Heb je nog gevaren?
- Did you sail yet?*
- Ga nu naar de elektronicawinkel.
- Now go to the electronics store.*
- Ik ga nu naar de elektronicawinkel.
- I'm going to the electronics store now.*
Adding Missing Context
Contemporary machine translation performs better when given an overview of the content's context. Missing context can be easily added.
- Ze drukte de drukker vast.
- She squeezed the printer tightly.*
- Ze drukte de drukker van haar jas vast.
- She squeezed the press stud of her coat.*
Translating Foreign Languages
Dutch texts interspersed with foreign language phrases, quotes, soundbites etc. could pose a real challenge for machine translation. Where possible, it is best to unify the sentence by translating these elements into Dutch.
- Hij zei geïrriteerd: "Soit, life is nu eenmaal a bitch".
- He said irritably, "Soit, life is a bitch now".*
- Hij zei geïrriteerd: "Het zij zo, die dingen gebeuren nu eenmaal”.
- He said irritably, "So be it, these things happen".*
Dutch Machine Translation Pre-Editing Rate
Do you think your translation workflow could benefit from a Dutch machine translation pre-editing process? If so, please fill out the quotation form or view my rates for more information. BlacKKite will be in contact within the hour to help you with your pre-editing project and provide a no-obligation quote.