Why do you need to beware of machine translation?

Here is another question:  How do you know the translation provided applies to your specific field?

In your own language, in your own field of expertise, you will immediately understand the meaning of certain terms you use daily. But in machine translation software, algorithms choose the term that will be plucked out of the database according to different variables that are out of your control.

In a large document, you might even find different translations used by the algorithm for the same word.

Here is an example I just encountered: logging.

You wouldn’t expect to find “lumber harvesting” in a document about “logging pressure” in utility-meter-reading equipment, now would you? Yet, there was the machine translation for logging in this instance.

You may save money using machine translation, but you still need a qualified translator to review your documents before publication to make sure your translation says what you mean to say, not what an algorithm thought you meant it to say.

Contact me if you need any technical documents translated into French.