Professional and Pedagogical Advantages and Disadvantages of Machine Translation

Sattar Izwaini, United Arab Emirates, ID CLEaR2016-338;        Machine translation (MT) is a very significant development in translation profession. The proposed paper will discuss the pros and cons of MT in teaching and professional work of translators. MT has witnessed many improvements that has led to producing a relatively high quality translation with minimal postediting. However, relying extensively on MT in a professional setting can lead to levelling out the output. Translations tend to be of a similar style. No individual style can be seen in the translations; different translators approach texts differently, using different vocabulary and syntax for the same message. When MT system do the job of many translators, businesses would invest in MT. Does this mean a threat for professional translators? Yes and no. Yes, when businesses hire less staff translators and freelancers. The answer is ‘no’ if translators are trained on working with translation technologies. Using MT requires advanced skills and therefore it should be taught to graduate students. To have translators qualified to perform postediting, teaching at graduate level necessitates training students on how to deal with all aspects of MT, in particular postediting. Being readily accessible, Google Translate is sometimes used by novice or advanced students to submit translation assignments. They would often be successful in plagiarizing their homework since the output is very good and requires only final touches. Apart from the ethical aspect, such lazy approach to do assignments can lead to much less practice, which is a very important component in teaching translation.

Key words: Machine Translation, Postediting, Professional translators, Teaching translation.