Translation Technology

Automatic Translation: What is it and How Can it Be Used?

Learn about what automatic translation is and why it is more than just the software that instantly translates content.

Nathan Lucas's avatar
Nathan Lucas

June 01, 2022


Businesses looking to expand into new markets by targeting customers in their preferred language, will eventually need to localize their content. Automatic translation plays a major role and goes beyond the instantaneous conversion of one language into another. Discover how automatic translation can be leveraged for your website translation projects.

What is Automatic Translation?

Automatic translation uses technology, not just human translators, to quickly translate text into different languages for multilingual websites. It also refers to the movement of processes within the translation workflow, including collecting translatable content, localization, reviewing, and publishing.

Automatic translation is an all-encompassing process in a translation workflow. But, how is it supported, and who supports this process? It's all through automation.

“Automatic” or “Automated” Translation? 

At first glance, the terms "automatic translation" and "automated translation" seem very similar. There are subtleties to the phrases, however. For example, the word "automatic" emphasizes the idea of operating without internal controls or interventions; this is compared to “automated,” which focuses on operating with external controls, with the assistance of software or tool,  in order to increase efficiency. 

"Automatic" translation is geared toward proxy translation, MotionPoint's "hands-off" proxy approach requires little to no effort from people. "Automated" translation includes the integration of translation processes that people must manage. There are multiple possible automations within the realm of automatic translation. Consequently, automatic translation can simplify the translation workflow in various ways. 

Automatic Translation vs. Machine Translation

Automatic translates content from one language to another and includes all aspects of a complex translation technologies and system with automated triggers. This differs from machine translation, a single tool or software that automatically translates content from one language to another without any human input. Google Translate, Bing Translator, Microsoft, and Deepl all use machine translation but are not considered automatic translation. Automatic and machine translations are not interchangeable terms, as they serve entirely different functions. In fact, machine translation can actually be regarded as an automated translation tool that is part of the automatic translation process.

Automatic Translation Technology: How We Automate Translation

Machine translation supports the essential translation of language, while automatic technology fosters the translation process from beginning to end. This includes identifying new content for translation. MotionPoint uses automatic translation technology to increase translation efficiency, from content translation through publishing. MotionPoint's automatic translation technology handles the following: 

  • Detects new translatable content with MotionPoint’s web crawler, and is more efficient and consistent than human eyes searching for content to update.
  • Assigns detected new content to a linguist for translation. This keeps the translation process moving smoothly, and ensures the content will have the most knowledgeable people updating it.
  • Ignores standardized, flagged content that needs to stay the same, no matter which language content is translated into. Examples of content that remains consistent include product or brand names, company logos, catchphrases, or slogans.
  • Publishes translations onto the right domain, giving you peace of mind that your website is fully updated and published accurately.
  • Stores and reuses previously translated content from and into Translation Memory, so the content won’t be retranslated and saves time and effort with translation updates.

Automated Translation Workflows 

The automated translation workflow progresses depends on the translation technology you'd like to utilize. A translation workflow is a system that supports and moves the translation process forward. This workflow is part of and enabled by a more extensive translation management system (TMS), which is the platform that facilitates the translation process through built-in, automated machine applications.  

MotionPoint's translation solutions are directly related to the earlier translation workflows. MotionPoint's proxy translation approach demonstrates automatic translation technology. A translation proxy is a system layered on top of your website to dynamically translate content instantly so end-users worldwide can view your website in their local language. Proxies are intermediary servers managed by MotionPoint that retrieve content, translate it in real-time either through machine translation or by taking from a set of previously approved translations, and display the translated content to end users on your website. It's quick and completely automatic.

With MotionPoint’s translation integration approach, the process is supported with connectors, application programming interfaces (APIs), or plugin technology. If someone chooses to use integration technology, for example, they'll have to decide if the content will be translated automatically or if a linguist will review each piece of content. Automated translation and integration controls how automatic you want the process to be.

Instant Application of Translation Memory

Translation memory (TM) is a database that stores original and translated content for a language pair in translation units or segments. TM eliminates redundant translation of relevant segments. Content is translated once, saved in TM, and reused as needed. With automatic translation, TM is triggered when segments that register as untranslated are flagged for translation. Conversely, other translated content is instantly published on the multilingual website.

Real-Time Quality Assurance and SEO Considerations

To ensure accurate translation quality, it’s critical to include real-time quality assurance (QA) or testing for any multilingual website translation effort. This includes testing a localized website utilizing required browser or operating system combinations to ensure the multilingual versions of your website don't have linguistic, cosmetic, or functionality issues. Additionally, SEO considerations are important because keywords in English are not the same as keywords in another language, and one-to-one word substitution is not the same as the translated meaning. A professional translation service can provide the best keywords for native language SEO automatically.

Continuous Translation

These automatic translation processes are linked to continuous translation. This process relies on automation to manage and localize content through software, the sequence of steps involved in producing a professional translation. This is the ultimate automatic process for translation as it brings together all of the elements of translation to keep the process moving smoothly and perpetually.

Ready to Begin Automating Your Content Translation?

Automating content translation can launch your translation projects further than ever. MotionPoint is a localization company that offers several content translation solutions for website, mobile, and multimedia assets . MotionPoint's translation technologies can automate the entire translation workflow process, enabling businesses to get ahead faster in new markets in all languages. No matter what type of translation suits your business needs, MotionPoint has the solution that fits your budget and multilingual translation goals.

Last updated on June 01, 2022
Nathan Lucas's avatar

About Nathan Lucas

Nathan Lucas is a web developer who enjoys bringing to life the ideas and concepts of the marketing and sales team. If they can dream it, he can build it. When he's not working, he enjoys being a husband and father, adventures in the great outdoors, fitness, and art!

Nathan Lucas's avatar
Nathan Lucas

Digital Marketing Developer


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