Training MT post-editors

Training MT post-editors is crucial. They need clear guidance in order to identify the scope of manual MT post-editing that will be expected from them.

The following are some practical recommendations that may help:-

  1. Create clear guidelines with detailed examples of what needs and does not need to be post-edited. As said earlier, post-editors need to be very clear on what they are to look for during post-editing.

  2. Anticipate potential issues and appropriate solutions. One of the most likely questions MT post-editors will always ask is how to reconcile the style guidelines meant for human translation and MT guidelines when a project uses both. For instance, suppose that a project leverages 70% of the translations from a TM and the remaining 30% is machine translated. In this scenario stylistic inconsistencies will occur in the product. Post-editors need to be reassured that this is all right. This is part of the price that has to be paid if MT benefits are to be harvested.

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    Ask your post-editors to report linguistic patterns that required severe post-editing. This feedback will help the writers to make the necessary adjustments in the source for next time.
  4. Another potential issue is key terminology inconsistencies. This goes beyond merely stylistic considerations and demands immediate attention. Also, whenever a global change of a term is made in the MT output, this change must be replicated in any TM that is used in the same project.

  5. Before post-editing starts, give your post-editors a test with some tricky MT segments to post-edit. Then give them feedback. This will provide them with a clearer understanding and more confidence to apply the MT post-editing guidelines.

  6. If there are several post-editors working on the same language, make sure that they all share the same knowledge and understanding of the post-editing requirements.

After post-editing, it is advisable to let a post-editing coordinator proofread the final output, at least perfunctorily. If unnecessary corrections are noticed, update your MT post-editing guidelines and inform your post-editors for future reference.

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