How Machine Translation and Human Editing Can Work Together

Computer switchboard depicting machine translation

How Machine Translation and Human Editing Can Work Together


With all the discourse around AI tools such as Bard, ChatGPT and Bing Chat at the moment, you’d think it was a completely new technological advance. 

But no! Here at Managed Language, we’ve been using similar tools for years. Our post-editing machine translation service combines the speed of technology with the creativity that comes from human insight. Meaning we’re able to deliver high-quality, engaging content in a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods.

Read on to find out more about PEMT, its benefits, best practices, and how we implement it in your translation projects.

What is post-editing machine translation (PEMT)?

Post-editing machine translation (PEMT) is a process where human translators review and edit machine-translated content to ensure its quality, accuracy, and suitability for the target audience. PEMT can help you save time and money by reducing the amount of human effort required for translation, while also improving the quality and consistency of your localized content.

We believe the human element is vital. Our linguists compare the translated text that the software has churned out with the source copy, checking grammar and clarity while infusing it with cultural insight. The AI software is ideal for high-volume projects, such as product descriptions for e-commerce clients.

Machines can assist translators by providing accurate and quick translations, but they can’t replace them. Human translators have the skills and knowledge to ensure that the translations are faithful, clear, and stylish. Technology is advancing, but we still need humans to oversee it.

Why use PEMT for your localization projects?

PEMT can offer several advantages for your localization projects, such as:

Faster turnaround times: Using AI tools or translation software is an ideal choice for large volumes of text as they can produce the translated copy in minutes, meaning you can meet tight deadlines and scale up your localization efforts as a result. 

Lower costs: PEMT regularly reduces the cost of translation projects as it reduces the amount of time highly-skilled linguists need to be working, especially when used for low-priority or repetitive content. But don’t skip the linguist element all together! 

Higher quality: The linguists will ensure that the machine translated content meets the quality, standards and expectations of your new target audience, by correcting any grammatical errors, inconsistencies, or cultural nuances that the machine is likely miss. 

Greater flexibility: You can choose between different levels of post-editing depending on your needs and budget. Our service, in particular, is bespoke — our project managers will work with you to determine the level of input your project needs from the machine and linguists. 

How to implement PEMT in your translation projects?

To implement PEMT in your translation projects, you need to consider some key factors, such as:

The source text: Your source copy must be clear, concise and well-written to ensure the accuracy of the machine translated output. 

The machine translation engine: There are many, many translation tools to choose from, especially with the rise of ChatGPT etc, so it can be tricky to pick the best one. We’ve created our own software that we constantly review and update to ensure the quality is as high as possible. 

The post-editing strategy: Work closely with your project manager(s) to determine the scope of post-editing needed for your content as this will ensure you get the best results and the most engaging copy. Style guides and glossaries are incredibly useful at this stage, as well as a clear feedback structure between yourself, the project manager and the linguists. 


Ready to try PEMT for your localization projects? Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve fast and accurate content delivery with our PEMT service.

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