The initiative of using computers to translate natural languages was begun in the 1940s (Lynne, 2002). Since translation commenced, interpretation has undergone notable developments in scorn or trepidation. These developments have dismissed the very impression that someone could still think that translation may perhaps be mechanized, or others who had fear of their profession being taken over completely by technology. The work of translators has shifted into numerous novel dimensions in the recent decades. The shift has been contributed by scientific advances as well as the need for globalization. The remarkable rise in the amount of data to be translated, alongside accessibility of translation-memory tools, majorly has facilitated changes in the process of translation as well as work processes and associations with clients (John, 2003). In this paper, I will present an overview of these developments, looking at the role of translation technology in machine translation for independent translation.
It has been proven that translation technologies facilitate consistency, and the consistency enables the translators to center their superlative efforts on matters of high priority. Several disadvantages include high costs in terms of monetary lay out as well as learning curves. The deepening divisions in the labor market and the theoretical limitations of translation that result narrow text-replacement activities. Therefore, it is concluded that the resolution to these challenges lies in the development of more control over technology (Lynne, 2002). Currently, several key technologies are electronic in nature, and as such, most of the translations may be expected to change from the ideal of correspondence between fixed texts. Translators are rarely commonly engaged to translate whole texts, in the area of electronic technologies, as it had been done with books having concordances. Translation, in relation to general text production, is more like operations with databanks or set of technological tools, instead of the complete definitive sources of text (Kay, 1997).
Limitations of Translators
Electronic technologies affect major aspects of Machine translators work. They fundamentally affect them in three ways: first it affects the way translators communicate with clients. Secondly it limits the quantity of data that are retrievable as well as the speed of transmission. Thirdly, it affects text, and this means that text becomes a temporary arrangement of content (Makoto, 1989).
Limitation on Translator-client communications
Today, with the advancement in the digital age, the electronic formats not only concern mere texts, but also communications with clients and other translators. Internet has enabled source text to be sent and received electronically, across domestic and national borders. This has several consequences. A machine translator allows people to conduct their activities anytime and at any location. The market for translations is not limited to one’s home or country. Example a source text can be sent from one continent to a translator in a different and be translated immediately. All that is required is for the client to provide a list of name, language combinations and areas of concentration on one of the many available web sites whose objective to set clients and translators in contact with one other. This process is expected to lead to a point where the charges waged for translations will come to be virtually the same all over the world, though this is far from happening.
Machine translators rather frequently work on material that is which are not in the public domain, thus require much trust between clients and the translators. Before the client sends or receives the information, they must be familiar with various forms of encoding and decoding. The client needs to encrypt information before propagating it so as to prevent it from the internet hackers. The communication between the translators can be enhanced by electronic communications, particularly with internet media for professional translators. These are usually categorized by topics and language pairs. Some of these websites may be open others to public while others may restrict participation to registered members. Reading the posted messages can help students and novice translators to learn more about translation and realize how the professionals support each other.
There are also the discussion lists for professionals, who are usually guided by their own communication guiding principles, and thus new members recognize the process of intermingling in the midst of professionals. For example, through reading messages about novice translators the learner may often find out that the program is in persistent development and has functions they ought to have been overlooked. Additionally, professionals respond by explaining terminologies that appear complex while providing hints regarding various techniques of terminology mining. These opportunities, therefore, create a valuable bond between students and the professional world.
Limitation on translation memories
Machine translation memories create databases of source-text and goal- text segments in a manner that paired portions are re-used. Such tools are important utilities for the translation of any text which has a high degree of recurrent expressions and phrases, examples of such cases are; user manuals, and several versions of the same document. The use of translation memories in some cases has boosted the speed of the interpretation process. Therefore, eliminating costs lead to the rise in demand for translation services (Bedard, 2000). Machine translation memory tools reuse former translations by apportioning the source text into segments, which the translators interpret sequentially in the customary manner. The output segments are then directed to built-in databases. The memory compares with previous translations and whenever it finds a source segment equal or similar to one already translated it is retrieved. In the industrial applications of translation long and short memory tools, translators are built in a manner that facilitates interpretation in every word replacement activity. The translator’s obligations involve more than replacement of the source-text; the translators are used to provide meaningful communication.
Limitation on translation texts
Machine translation is limited by the nature of the texts that we manipulate. Human beings are familiar with texts that have been automated hyperlinks to other documents, which allow the reader to move from one text to another easily. This links make the document appear to be lack definitive beginning or end, and; therefore, such information cannot be translated linearly.
Machine translation is perhaps the transformation technology with the most influence over the accepted thoughts. The initial stern attempts to create machine translation systems dates back in the 1940s. During this period, the Soviet Union and the United States developed projects that aimed at moving the rocket technology out of German so as to decapitate the Nazi military power. The technology was subsequently used in spying cold war antagonsts. It is frequently said that the original expectations were simple minded, which was the reason why the US almost abandoned this project following negative ALPAC report in 1966 (Lockwood, 2000).
The former approaches were based on rather complicated concepts of code-breaking, and there is slight proof that the plan was to generate super output that would be of instant use. Certainly, the core limitations of the day were on the ability to store as well as retrieve huge chunks of information. The funding was done away with when the Cold War went through a comparative thaw. After several generational developments machine translator is available and comparatively functional. Nevertheless, the system is exceptionally useful for essence translations from languages that people ignore. Users can identify the texts or fragments of interest that they can then have translated.
Machine Translators systems can sometimes generate excellence translations in very limited contexts. This could be made possible by restricting the grammatical structures of the original text and fine-tuning the system to operate with a simple text type. An example of this structure is a machine translator that takes the model of the one used in the Canadian weather reporting. This machine translator has been in continuous use since 1984. The machine translator can also be used successfully together with controlled writing of content and careful revising of machine translator output. The machine translation systems do not replace human intermediaries (Boitet, Machine-Aided Human Translation., 1995). This can be supported by the fact that the key use of machine translators is to locate the fragments of texts that require human translation. Moreover, machine translators output cannot be used professionally without human revision. Finally, the upcoming improvement of quality machine translator output requires stern interest to controlling writing of the input. Therefore, the machine translators only assist in fast and quality translation of text and not replacing the role for professionals.
Advantages and Disadvantages for Translators
Professionalism regards technology as a necessity that facilitates advancement. Several decades ago people talked of computer aided translation that today seem redundant. Almost all translating is aided by computers (Kay, Machine Translation: The Disappointing Past and Present.” 1995). Moreover, the most innovative tools are almost certainly the everyday ones which are not specific to translation. The advantages brought about by technology are massive and cannot be refused. The machine translation memories accomplish the most tedious tasks to enable the translators to focus on the most creative features of translation. The machine translation intelligent means that our best human efforts are employed only where they are most needed. Nevertheless, technology is not flawless, and translators need be very conscious of those limitations. The following aspects are critical and awareness seems most needed.
Machine technology requires new investment, in purchasing tools as well as for facilitating the learning of how to apply them. Mostly, the investment required ought to be lower than the benefits you expected. For example, it will be of less importance to study a translation-memory suite unless the aim is to evaluate the application of a competing brand. Totally the products are comparable in their fundamental technology, and you ought to be able to find your own way in learning the other (Boitet, Machine Translation: A Better Future?” 1995). Technology investment is very important in moving a segment of translation from a market to another. This can be attributed by the customer or the client offering jobs requiring knowledge of a certain tool. This facilitates faster learning, a process which ensures the application of proper tools in interpretation.
The future perspective
The design of machine translators systems is done by computer scientists and linguists. Many people are of the belief that the machine translation breakthrough can only be due to the growth of computer science and linguistics. Possibly, in a few decades from now, super-powerful computers with much smarter software that can produce expert automatic transactions will be in place (Lange et al, 1997). A lot has to be done to develop comprehensible and domain specific machine translator systems. Translators' expertise has to be analytically and thoroughly studied and integrated into existing systems. Several stakeholders including computer scientists, linguists and translator experts should work together in order to design efficient system based on a hybrid approach. Time has come now for the translation experts and scientists to play their part diligently. Experts need to use their skills and expertise to advance the development of machine translators within predetermined domains.