What is post-editing?

Previously, a human being would translate a text and another human being would check the text for any errors. Now, often enough, machines translate the same text and a human being checks the text for any errors. The translation industry is thus moving from a human-to-human translation workflow to a machine-to-human workflow. The checking that a human being does after DeepL or Amazon has translated your text is called “post-editing.” The post-editing effort is the time that a human being requires to edit a machine-translated text so that it sounds natural or “native.”

Anyone who has used “track changes” in Microsoft Word knows all about post-editing. Based on the amount of red-highlighted changes, you can actually see how much work was required to edit a particular text. Lots of red means lots of effort.

At Language Pilot, we aim to help customers recognize the likely amount of red (the post-editing effort) in their documents with our text-review consultancy and our text complexity assessment tool, the TCA. We also offer a neural translation plus proofreading service that is oriented towards translating documents that involve little post-editing effort, like standard legal contracts.

Christopher Reid