5 Ways to Determine Machine Translation Post Editing Rates 

5 Ways to Determine Machine Translation Post Editing Rates 

Knowing how to determine your machine translation post editing rates is a necessity as post editing of machine translation is increasingly becoming popular. 

Machine translation has always been around in the translation industry, however, it’s had its drawbacks. Despite it being very affordable and fast, it isn’t always efficient. It produces low-quality translation, sometimes even lower than human translators. 

However, MT efficiency has increased over the years and has made post editing of machine translation easier and faster. 

To accurately determine your machine translation post editing rates, it is necessary to understand how machine translation works. 

What is Machine Translation?

machine translation post editing rates

Machine Translation (MT) is the process of translating texts from one language to another with zero human involvement. This process is otherwise known as automated translation. MT is very popular because of its benefits: 

  • It saves time as it can translate hundreds of words in minutes 
  • It costs less to use a Machine Translation Software as opposed to hiring a professional translator 
  • Because it is technology-driven, it can remember certain terms and infuse them in translation where needed. 

Despite these benefits, machine translation proved inefficient: 

  • Its translation is often inaccurate
  • Context is lost in translation 

Although there has been a major improvement in MT due to technological advancement, machine translation is still far from 100% accuracy in translation and context. These disadvantages are what gave rise to machine translation post editing. 

What is Machine Translation Post Editing? 

Machine translation post editing or MTPE is the process of proofreading and editing texts translated by a machine. Machine translation works hand in hand with a human post editor to achieve 100% accuracy in translation.

It requires a professional translator to improve the standard and efficiency of machine translation. 

How Does Machine Translation Post Editing Work? 

After running the source text through the MT software, the MT software provides a raw translation of the source text. 

Do not publish or submit a raw document fresh out of an MT software without editing 

After receiving the raw text from the MT software, the editor then removes the raw and sometimes inappropriate words that may be culturally sensitive. He also puts context back into the translation by professionally reviewing the text. 

Why Machine Language Post Editing?

You might wonder what the need for machine language post editing is when a professional can simply translate himself without the use of a machine, after all, he is a professional. But post editing greatly reduces workload, increases efficiency and maximizes productivity. 

Post editing of machine translation includes correcting basic grammatical errors, swapping poor word choices, improving tones and retaining context which is very important in translation. Post editing simply improves the standard of machine translation by humanizing the translated content. 

How to Determine Machine Translation Post Editing Rates 

Factors to consider when post editing machine translation: 

  • Language pairs
  • Workmanship
  • Machine Translation Software 
  • Industry
  • Word Count 

1. Language Pairs

Language pairs are a vital component to consider when determining your MT post editing rates. This is because some machine translation software might translate a language pair seamlessly leaving little to no work for the post editor. On the other hand, the software might find it difficult to translate, leaving a ton of work for the post editor. This factor can cause a fluctuation in your post editing machine translation rates so it’s best to consider your workmanship. 

2. Workmanship 

In cases where the machine language software is unable to translate documents with 100% accuracy, as a post editor, you’re bound to do more work. When determining your machine translation post editing rates, factor in your work hours, as well as the effort put in to improve the quality of the machine translation. In cases where the software provides translations with about 80 – 90% accuracy, leaving you with little to no work as a post editor, you might want to reduce your rates. 

3. Machine Translation Software 

Consider the machine translation software used. Some software provides more accuracy than others and can help reduce your input as a post editor. For this reason, you can decide to charge less because you imputed less or charge more considering the cost of your software (if you decide to purchase one) 

4. Industry 

Certain industries require specialized translations such as tech, legal, manufacturing, medical etc. With highly specialized translations such as these, post editing is absolutely necessary and crucial to verify the accuracy of the document. However, we’ll advise you not to use machine translation for legal and medical documents as this might be illegal in some countries. 

5. Word Count

Word counts can influence your machine translation post editing rates. For documents with high word counts, you can decide to charge per word per your usual rate or offer a discount. Offering a discount might not seem favourable but it’s a great way to retain customers and increase likeability. 

Choose iVoiceAfrica for Affordable Machine Translation Post Editing Rates 

iVoiceAfrica has provided hundreds of accurate MTPE for several clients across the world. Our Machine Translations are post edited to utmost accuracy, ensuring that information and context aren’t lost in translation. 

We have translated over 80,000 words in the legal, medical and media industry to name a few. iVoiceAfrica also offers affordable post editing machine translation rates. Get a free quotation. 



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