Accept it or not, but artificial intelligence takes more and more place in our life. Translation is one of the spheres where you can’t imagine your life without AI technology. The dictionaries in their original paper form are losing their popularity and get replaced with online or machine translation softwares. And it’s for the best! At least for those who don’t want to dive deep into language but need instant translation without much effort and at no or low cost.
AI Machine Translation
Machine translation, or MT translation, is an automated process of converting one language into another. Using machine translation software one can create an equivalent of the source text in another language without much effort or time spent from their side.
MT translation softwares can be classified as follows:
- Rule-based system (RBMT)
Rule-based systemis the translation system based on programmed information which gives directions on how a phrase should be translated into another language. RBMT were used by first machine translation softwares and gave poor translation results.
What sounded reasonable - to perform translation based on word-for-word conversion mixed with a set of grammar rules - in reality turned into unnatural sounding or even hardly understandable texts. Exactly that time machine translation got an unpleasant fame of poor translation software. However, it didn’t stand still and was evolved to improve the quality of converted texts.
- Statical machine translation system (SMT)
Statical machine translation systemis the translation system which analyzes information from source and target languages using corpora, a collection of existing human translations, to predict the best translation for the given text.
Although text translated with SMT was more readable and comprehensible, it still produced inaccurate translation from time to time. That’s why the best translator tools prefer the next machine translation system.
- Neural system (NMT)
Neural system is the machine translation system which uses neural networks to learn and produce translation. The sophisticated language translation algorithms used by NMT show more accurate and natural translations, that’s why it is more preferable among translation systems nowadays.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is created to improve machine translation by turning it into a tool that is constantly learning. It requires less human involvement and works on accuracy by consuming a lot of data from available sources.
AI machine translation is considered to be the next level of machine translation evolution.
The advantages of AI Machine Translation for eCommerce business
Inaccurate translation can cost a business millions of dollars and their reputation. A good example of this statement is Swedish brand Electrolux who started distributing their vacuum cleaners with the slogan “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. Although the company meant that their vacuum cleaners had good suction power, they didn’t get much sales of these devices and had to put efforts to restore their reputation among the American audience. For obvious reasons.
AI translation usually involves multiple translation drivers to convert text from one language into another, so it reduces chances for such mistakes. Of course, it won’t give you the same results as agency translation performed by native speakers, but still it shows quite accurate results.
So in case you still hesitate whether your business needs AI machine translation, here are the benefits it can bring you:
- Saves time
AI machine translation is the fastest way to translate your entire website into multiple languages. While agency translation requires about 72 working hours, AI machine translation will take a few minutes or hours (depending on the volume of the text).
- Reduces costs
Professional translator time and efforts will cost you a penny. AI machine translation is much cheaper in comparison with it.
- Is more diverse
For some language pairs it’s quite difficult to find a translator. AI machine translation provides more options in this case and doesn’t require you to waste time on searching for an expert.
- Is easy-to-use
The translation software is really comprehensible - you don’t need any specific knowledge or skills to launch translation: enter the software, choose original and target language, copy/paste text and a real-time translation is ready. A lot of MT translation softwares have integrations with translation apps, which allow you to perform translation of your website without tedious copy/pasting. In this case you will need to choose content and click the Translate button.
What are the best machine translation tools in 2022?
1. Google Translate
Google Translate is a world-known translation software which supports 133 languages at various levels. Google Translate started to gain its popularity when it used SMT as a translation system, that’s why a lot of people around the world still associate it with poor quality and unnatural translation results. However, the time of SMT has passed and for the last few years Google prefers the NMT system which proved its effectiveness for millions of users around the world.
Together with online document and website translation, Google offers image translation, conversation mode on mobile (to automatically translate the oral speech) and offline translation.
2. Bing Microsoft Translator
Bing Translator is a machine translation system produced by Microsoft. Being a Microsoft cloud service, Bing Translator is integrated in Microsoft Office, Microsoft Edge, Bing, Skype, etc.
Bing Translator supports 105 world written languages, recognises the speech of 45 languages, allows multi-device translated conversation, gives an opportunity to learn native accent with Text-to-Speech feature, translates images, etc.
Bing also uses NMT technology and focuses the attention to word order for more natural sounding.
3. Baidu Translate
Baidu Translate is a machine translation software mainly popular among Chinese audiences. Having started with translation of languages paired with Chinese, today Baidu supports around 200 languages, more than any other translation services.
Baidu offers a variety of useful features: text and website translation, image, conference and real-time speech translations. The software is based on deep learning technology, an improved SMT system that results in higher quality of translation than usual SMT softwares. In other words, Baidu prefers to develop SMT rather than switching to NMT, which can also give good translation results.
4. Reverso Translation
Reverso Translation is AI-based translation software that supports 18 world languages. The engine offers online translation based on NMT, which is presented with meaning, context examples and pronunciation options.
Reverso Translation is majorly used for word or document translation and is supported with search history and vocabulary list, making it appealing for language learners.
5. IBM Watson Language Translator
IBM Watson Language Translator is a cloud-based machine translation software which supports around 56 world languages.
The software allows users to translate text and web pages, customize them based on terminology or examples, perform real-time communication translation (emails, chats, etc.) and contact their virtual assistant for required troubleshooting.
Watson Translator is based on neural machine translation technology and works through Rest API. In addition, Watson Translator is integrated with other Watson services, which make it more powerful and useful for Watson clients.
All in One Translation Solution
Same as we mentioned when describing pro translation drivers, there’s no universal machine translation software for everyone. Each existing software has its own advantages and disadvantages, which can suit your business but are improper for another.
That’s why we recommend using multiple translation drivers at a time for translation on your website. But don’t worry, there's a much easier way to get such translations than copy/pasting and comparing results in multiple sources. In fact, you will need just one translation app, which will be integrated with different translation softwares.
LangShop is one of the best translation solutions on Shopify market. It allows to translate your store:
- using pro translation drivers Google and DeepL;
- using AI machine translation, which is performed by several translation engines;
- with the help of professional human translators.
For AI machine translation LangShop uses Google, Yahoo, Baidu, Bing, Watson, Kakao, and Prompt translation sources. It runs a text through these engines and chooses the most popular equivalent for each phrase. This way the chances for more accurate translation are increasing.
To translate a product with AI machine translation using LangShop, you will need from LangShop admin go to Translations > Products > choose product and target language > select Standard Drivers in dropdown > specify sections in advanced settings and click Translate.
When the translation is ready you can make use of translation suggestions provided by different translation drivers.
LangShop doesn’t limit you in translation methods, so you can combine them or experiment to find the best for your store. You may choose the most significant pages to order translation for, run pro translation for products, and allow standard drivers to take care of the rest of your website content. Or you can stick to a specific AI machine translation software you trust the most to add additional language versions of your website.
Create your website content in the language your customers understand with LangShop!