Machine translation: is not online translation

Nowadays, as part of the work of a translation agency, the term “Machine Translation” might seem to imply the use of an entirely automated translation process, i.e. performed only by machines. Actually, this is not the case, since post-editing, the final and the most important step in the process, is always undertaken by professional translators.

What Machine Translation means to Soget Est

Always aware of the development of new technologies for professional translation, Soget Est has been experimenting in the field of Machine Translation (MT) by training its translators (with courses, workshops and webinars) and by carrying out in-company tests and simulations to assess the reliability and quality of machine translation processes.

When can machine translation be used?

Soget Est offers a machine translation service in addition to its usual offer of professional translations done by expert translators in order to guarantee its customers a wider choice when special needs in terms of times, costs and options require a different approach to translating documents.
So why use machine translation?

  • To reduce translation times, also for large translation projects
  • To significantly reduce translation costs
  • For technical translations intended for consultation, not publication

Why is machine translation not always the appropriate method to use?

  • Since machine translation is not suitable for all documents, good results may not always be achieved.
  • At the present time, not all language combinations can produce good quality machine translations.
  • Machine translation cannot handle all documents to be translated, as it depends on customers’ needs.

The International Standard

The International Standard ISO 18587, published in the month of April 2017, clearly and meticulously defines the various steps in the translation process, which may involve the use of sophisticated machine translation systems. However, this process needs to be supplemented by the work of an experienced professional translator, who has the fundamental task of correcting/revising documents, during a step referred to as post-editing.
In fact, machines and so-called machine translation “engines”, which initially need to be duly trained and developed, provide a raw translation output, which is then submitted to professional translators, commissioned by Soget Est, for subsequent processing.


The level and complexity of the post-editing service varies according to what has been agreed between the customer and Soget Est at the time of the preliminary analysis: this may range from a simple spelling and grammar check to a highly complex post-editing process, which may have a significant impact on terminology while guaranteeing superior quality and greater fluency and readability of a document.