Methods of Translation for Localisation

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Methods of Translation for Localisation

In today’s global economy, the ability to get your message heard around the world is a must. As a business, you need to be able to communicate with people who live in different countries, belong to different cultures, and speak different languages. To truly create a brand for all people, you need to make it accessible to all people.

There is a common misconception about the language choice of online users – it’s naïve to think that most people will be fluent in and want to communicate in English. Although it may be the most predominant language of the internet, it isn’t the most preferred. Interestingly, over 70 per cent of global customers want to be able to shop in their own native or local language, their mother tongue, the language of their heart. You are going to experience a lot more success if you pay attention to this statistic and use localisation in your apps, websites, games, or software tools, making them available in multiple languages. If you really want to make an impact on the global market, you need to do all you can to make it accessible to the global market.

Undoubtedly, localisation and translation is a must. However, it is not a simple element to implement. There are various options of translation strategy, each with their own intricacies, advantages, and disadvantages. In order to make the best choice for your business, you need to investigate all of the methods that are available. Once you have a good understanding of the different methods of translation, you will be able to compare it to the needs of your business and make a well-informed decision that is best for your company. Evidently, it’s an important choice to make as the future success of your business and its global strategy depends on the suitability of the translation strategy that you choose! Hence, we will take a look at five important methods, weigh up the pros and cons for each, and hopefully guide you towards a decision that will be in the best interests of your business.


The most traditional method of translation is that done by human professionals, experts in language who use their own skills along with glossaries and other reference materials to create a reliable and accurate translation. In many cases, these translators have specialised experience and knowledge in the content they are translating. When it comes to the translating of sensitive material, where accuracy is paramount, human translators are often the ideal choice. They can quickly and reliably translate important content such as that contained in legal documents, financial reports, medical records, or scientific publications to name a few.

Advantages of human translation. Human translation is excellent in its standards of accuracy and credibility, with very few errors and mistakes. Experts on the subject will be able to ensure that the translation is also understandable to the reader.

Disadvantages of human translation. On the other hand, human translation is time consuming, and expensive. It takes longer to get results which means that can be a challenge for fast paced businesses that need to keep up with changing market conditions.


Machine translation (abbreviated as MT) Remove the need for humans and instead involves translation engines that use algorithms to analyse the content, apply rules of translation, and provide possible interpretations. If the content is simple, then MT is a great option as it helps readers to understand the basic message of the text instantly.

Advantages of machine translation. compared to human translation machine translation software is a great deal quicker. It can take content from a number of different sources and provide a translation of the text in just a few minutes or hours. this means you can update your content rapidly with a great deal less cost. Additionally, there’s less chance of projects being held up by human error.

Disadvantages of machine translation. Although machine translation gets the job done, it lacks the understanding of fluency in context which is crucial in reaching the hearts of readers. the linguistic knowledge and logic for translation is limited which can lead to mistakes in more complex texts.


Combining the two methods of machine translation and human translation, is this third method. while machine translation takes the lead a human translator will then go over and proofread the text to look out for any mistakes or errors inconsistency. Also referred to as Post Editing Machine Translation, it really combines the best of both methods discussed previously.

Advantages of machine translation with human editing. You get the efficiency and speedy delivery of machine translation combined with the quality content created by human translator.

Disadvantages of machine translation with human editing. As this method requires the human element it does take more management and time in order to create the intended result.


Predictive machine translation (abbreviated as PMT) makes use of powerful data and machine learning to help a translation software to be able to learn translation techniques from previously unseen sources.

Advantages of predictive machine translation. This method is a more sophisticated approach than simple machine translation and with translation memories it can result in high quality content without the expense of a human translator.

Disadvantages of predictive machine translation. However, machine learning is a long process, and it depends on being able to access a large amount of data. At the moment the technology isn’t quite ready to deal with long and complex content.


The final method will discuss today is human translation with revision. a human translator completes an initial translation of the text before an additional professional translator reviews the text and checks for any errors or mistakes in accuracy.

Advantages of human translation plus revision. this method produces the highest level of translation quality and ensures the preservation of the meaning of the source text and not just the content.

Disadvantages of human translation plus revision. as you may imagine this method is also one of the most expensive and labour intensive. A lot of expertise is involved, and the cost is much higher than other methods.

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