As machine translation such as AI translation continues to expand, there is a growing demand for “post-editing,” which is the reworking of the AI-translated results.
Having developed rapidly in recent years, post-editing is a process in which a human editor corrects and improves machine-generated output such as AI translation.
There are two types of post-editing. The first is “full post-editing,” where a human editor corrects and improves the accuracy of an entire machine-translated text, giving it a natural flow and added background akin to that of a human translation. The other is the simplified “light post-editing,” where the goal is simply to grasp the general meaning of a text, and only partial fixes are done by hand.

■Post-editing and Pre-editing

A similar term to post-editing is “pre-editing.”
Both processes are done by a human editor to improve the output of machine translation methods.
They differ in that post-editing is when corrections are applied to a machine-translated output, whereas pre-editing is when texts are checked for things that machine translation can struggle with and edited for clarity before they are translated. This can mean things like shortening longer sentences or avoiding double negatives, or reviewing the context or other materials to ensure that grammatical elements essential for easy understanding are present.
Using both the pre- and post-editing processes can not only raise the quality of machine-translated output but get it done quicker too.

■Necessary Post-editing Skills

High-quality post-editing demands many skills from a translator, from understanding a text’s background, reading between the lines and rendering nuances into natural expressions, to information gathering, research and specialized knowledge.
A translator must also be careful not to add information that is not found in the source or leave out vital information from it, and also be able to identify the kinds of errors that are typical of machine translation.
The ISO 18587 international standard for post-editing is granted to businesses that provide post-editing services that strictly adhere to established guidelines and meet a high standard of quality. Since there is no organization in Japan that supports companies who wish to acquire this certification, companies can evaluate their own compliance with the standards and, if applicable, can operate and declare their compliance with the standards at their own responsibility. This “supplier’s declaration of conformity” system is defined by ISO/IEC 17050 (JIS Q 17050).
When choosing a translation company for post-editing, consider choosing one that has declared compliance with ISO 18587.

■The Advantages of Post-Editing

The dramatic development of AI translation is behind the increased demand for post-editing, which is the process of improving the accuracy of texts translated by machine translation. A major merit of AI translation is the ability to translate a large volume of text in a short amount of time. If the translation output is highly accurate, there are cases where extensive post-editing may not be necessary, which greatly reduces time spent translating. Even with light post-editing, where the goal is to make the broad idea of a translation understood, post-editing can be kept to a minimum, reducing the time needed to complete the translation.
Thus, the advantage of post-editing is clear: the amount of time spent translating can be reduced by combining post-editing with highly accurate machine translation like AI translation.

■Things to Be Aware of When Requesting Post-Editing

When doing post-editing, it’s important to understand the level of quality that is required for the deliverable, which will help you distinguish whether you will need full post-editing or light post-editing to ensure that the finished translation meets the required standards.
Choosing between full post-editing or light post-editing depends on the desired translation accuracy and the amount of time spent translating. Full post-editing requires a high degree of translation accuracy, but if the requirement is too high, it may take just as long as a human translator. Spending a lot of time post-editing negates the biggest benefit of machine translation, which is saving time. That’s why it’s best to determine whether to use full post-editing or light post-editing depending on the content and deadline, use highly accurate machine translation tools, and commission a translation company that can perform high-quality post-editing.

■Toin’s Post-editing

At Toin, our highly experienced post-editors have advanced translation skills and knowledge about light post-editing and full post-editing and can quickly optimize machine-translated text according to your needs.

ISO 18587 certified
Toin has made a supplier’s declaration of conformity with ISO 18587, the international standard for post-editing, since December 1, 2022. With our high-quality full post-editing service, we provide AI translations that are highly accurate and reliable.

Highly skilled translations
Toin has obtained ISO 17100 certification in the fields of “information technology and telecommunications,” “medicine and pharmaceuticals,” and “finance, economics and law.” We support your translation work by translatorsproviding high-quality translations performed by expert and backed by international standards, helping you to streamline your business. We provide safe, high-quality and professional total translation services that only a translation company with a long history can offer, including post-editing, human translation and machine translation. If you are considering implementing a high-quality post-editing service, please feel free to contact us at Toin.

See here for information on Toin’s AI translation service T-tact AN-ZIN®.