What Is Post Editing?

Post editing is a “relatively new” service that is gaining momentum as more and more material, that needs to be translated in record time, is produced. The truth is that the great advances in AI have made machine translation more accurate and acceptable, speeding up and making the translation process more cost-effective. Therefore, MTPE (machine-translation post-editing) is the human touch needed for these translations to be fully coherent. Basically, adding the common sense that machines lack.

The MTPE process will only prove effective and time-saving if the linguist can take as much advantage as possible of the MT output, bearing in mind the following:

  • Over-editing goes against that principle, as preferential or unnecessary changes should be avoided.
  • Under-editing should also be avoided, so as not to leave errors in the target version.

Therefore, an effective MTPE output is one that finds the right balance between over and under-editing.
At Baquero Translations, we provide and may require different kinds of MTPE: light or full.

Light post-editing
Light post-editing involves a human post-editor making minimal corrections. These are limited to edits that are absolutely necessary to make the translated text understandable and easy to read. It covers major obvious errors in meaning, missing text, grammar, and spelling, as well as any inaccuracies that could alter the meaning or cause confusion.
As a result, stylistic, locale-specific, and some language issues might be overlooked.
The objective of this service is to provide a fast translation that can be easily understood. The most adequate texts for this kind of service are internal communications, texts with a limited life (to be used for a certain period only), and texts that are not sensitive to produce major consequences. These could be letters, manuals, websites, directories, etc.

The estimated volume covered by a translator per hour: 1200-1500/hour.

Full post-editing
Full post-editing is a more detailed revision, incorporating all necessary structural and stylistic changes. The ultimate goal of full post-editing is to generate a “human-like” translation that reads naturally in the target language and preserves the tone of the source text. This is a good option balancing costs, turn-around time, and quality.
Terminology should be fully checked as well as style, tone, punctuation, etc.
Most kinds of texts including technical, medical, scientific, and business can be subject to full MTPE. However, other texts that are inherently more creative and culturally loaded or complex are definitively discouraged (e. g.: literature, marketing, and advertising, journalistic, certain contracts, etc.)

The estimated volume covered by a translator per hour: 800-1200/hour.

See the following chart summarizing both services.

By: Juan Andrés Baquero and Milton Sintora