Some of you may have heard of a new translation field called post-editing. Post-editing, as described here is the “examination and correction of the text resulting from an automatic or semi-automatic machine system to ensure it complies with the natural laws of grammar, punctuation, spelling and meaning, etc.” (Draft of European Standard for Translation Services, Brussels, 2004)
However, you may be less familiar with the concept of pre-editing. As the name suggests, pre-editing is the process of adjusting text before it is automatically translated in order to improve the raw quality of the machine translation output and to reduce the amount of work required in the post-editing process. This process is most typically used when a document is going to be translated into more than three languages, which is when it becomes more cost-effective to invest time into pre-editing as opposed to more time into post-editing.
Pre-editing can involve many different types of tasks. One such task is that in which the source text is written with fixed rules such as using short sentences, avoiding complex or ambiguous syntactic structures, term consistency etc. Other pre-editing tasks can involve spell checking the source text, format checking, and tagging elements in the source document that are not to be translated.
There will always be a trade-off between time and money spent on pre-editing and post-editing. What is important for the client to keep in mind is that if a document is going to be translated into many different target languages, it probably makes more sense to spend more time in the pre-editing phase.
If you have any questions regarding either of these services, or how they could be of use to you or your company, please contact us at Translation Services.