Hybrid Translation Workflows with Neural Machine Translation and Translation Memories


The localization industry has been watching machine translation (MT) for years. Despite some concerns about the practical aspects of using the most radical change the language industry has ever seen, most professionals agree that new technologies are here to stay, certainly when neural machine translation (NMT) is part of the picture.


NMT is the biggest megatrend to hit the language industry, the blockbuster of localization. We call it a megatrend because it is particularly fundamental, persistent, and not limited to singular aspects of our work. It will affect everything: business, process, technology, people, quality management, decisions on rates, and the kinds of professional roles needed to do this work well.


But NMT can’t stand alone. It is the only language processed by a machine, after all. Humans train and operate the NMT systems and make choices about style, tone, and feeling. The human role will be more important than ever, with new skills required for working with NMT.

In order to facilitate the interaction of technology and humans, workflows and functionalities are used that make it easy to interact– (not to type new translations from scratch, but to edit, in most cases) and to rely on previous good translations that are still valid.