Training and development is an inseparable part of any profession and translation is no different. As post-edited machine translation (PEMT) is gaining more and more traction as a service, many translators might find themselves looking for training courses that would allow them to become qualified post-editors. But finding the right resources is not always easy or straightforward.
Elements of machine translation technology and post-editing often form part of translation university courses around the world. But not all translators will have had the chance to study these as part of their university courses, particularly those translators who became language professionals before MT and PEMT gained wide popularity in the industry.
Even though learning on the job does give hands-on experience, it is often helpful to understand the mechanics of how machine translation is produced in order to anticipate typical mistakes that might occur in the translation and therefore calibrate the post-editing focus.
Understanding the possibilities and limitations that this technology can offer makes the post-editing process more approachable.
The post-editing standard ISO 18587 published in 2017 aims to bring more structure into PEMT processes used by language service providers and providing linguists with the right level of information to support linguists working on post-editing projects.
To comply with the standard, translation companies who offer PEMT as a service often provide some level of training for linguists who are interested in working on that type of projects. This can vary from some brief instructions provided by a Project Manager to structured and elaborate training packs.
SDL, mostly known for its CAT suite Trados Studio, offers an online course in post-editing followed by a paid certification exam, which can be completed online. The course is video-based and provides an overview of the machine translation technology, including its history and the impact it has had on the role of translators.
Not only does it touch on the theoretical aspects such as differences between available MT systems and their implications on the post-editing process, but it also provides more practical guidelines, including examples of under- and over-editing.
After completing the training, the student is presented with 30 multiple-choice questions. In order to pass, 20 out of 30 questions need to be answered correctly. There is a time limit of 30 minutes for the whole exercise.
If the participant passes the certification exam successfully, they receive a certification logo that can then be used in their personal communications to actively publicise their post-editing skills.
Independent industry organisations such as TAUS offer post-editing guidelines available for free as well as comprehensive post-editing training. In TAUS’ words, their course “helps linguists meet post-editing’s real-world challenges”.
The course caters for a varied audience since it’s not only aimed at linguists but also Project Managers, language technologists, researchers and students.
The theoretical part covers several aspects of MT such as post-editing methodologies and rules, skills and competencies needed to become a successful post-editor and project management for machine translation. This is followed by two language-specific exercises available in 31 languages. The completion of the practical exercises is required using TAUS Dynamic Quality Framework and takes approximately 4 hours.
Industry events also offer good opportunities to become more familiar with MT technology as well as post-editing. The majority of language events feature at least a small mention of machine translation and/or post-editing like the ATC’s Language Industry Summit taking place in London next week.
Toppan Digital Language also offers comprehensive training to any linguist who might be interested in post-editing. The training not only allows you to become more familiar with the principles of post-editing but also helps you to understand what the PEMT workflow looks like at Toppan Digital Language. If you would like to receive a training pack, please reach out to your Project Manager and they will be more than happy to make it available to you.