Machine Translation services are API-first, which makes them useless unless you either have an integration or write code. However, the engineering resource is scarce, while the lack of integrations with existing systems is the single biggest hurdle in using AI.
Not everyone makes best friends with APIs.
At Intento, we started with reducing the integration complexity by introducing a single API middleware to poke all Machine Translation vendors in June 2017. Then, this summer, we released command-line tools for Machine Translation. Here is our next step — simple, beautiful and human-friendly web tools to play with Machine Translation at scale.
Does Machine Translation work for you?
This question triggers very diverse responses. For some of the Language Service Providers (LSPs), MT provides up to 40% reduction of human translation efforts and halves the turnaround, automating mundane job for human translators. For others, it does not work at all and only makes things worse: same effort, same time to market, frustrated translators who have to edit crappy MT output.
There’s a vast difference in the performance of MT engines across different language pairs even for General/News domain, as we demonstrate in our evaluation reports. For specific domains, such as Legal or Medical, there’s even larger spread.
Moreover, the latest NMT engines possess some of the human features: they may have bad mood (think 5xx API errors) unpredictable quirks, not working on sentences with specific words, of a specific structure or exceeding a certain length.
And quirks mean quirks: among of the 20+ engines we work with there’s one which does not translate anything about Jedis, another one which drops keywords in SEO texts and yet another one which thinks “hello world” is untranslatable.
Choosing the right MT
It’s hugely important to evaluate all available MT engines when deciding which one to use for a specific project — and if to use at all. For some cases, it even makes sense to combine multiple MT engines in one project and let the translator choose.