What is it about?

This article provides an unbiased, up-to-date, realistic view of what automatic translation can do.

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Why is it important?

Machine translation (MT) or automatic translation is rarely discussed without bias. For some it is considered the arch nemesis of translators because it is believed that MT will be so good as to eliminate the need for human translators and interpreters. For others, MT is dismissed as a ridiculous, useless instrument that is merely an endless source of nonsensical "Googlish". Yet others see machine translation as the key solution to meet the growing demand for translations.

Perspectives

Machine translation should be considered as just one more state-of-the-art tool to be deployed in interlingual communication situations where appropriate. Professional translators should know the uses and limits of MT to improve their service as needed. Human translators who cannot deliver a translation quality significantly above the quality of MT translations have reasons to worry.

Prof. Dr. Peter A Schmitt
Universitat Leipzig

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This page is a summary of: Who is afraid of MT?, Lebende Sprachen, January 2015, De Gruyter, DOI: 10.1515/les-2015-0010.
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