As the technological explosion in the field of artificial intelligence continues to gather momentum, generative AI has become a formidable tool with the potential to redefine the landscape for the translation industry and assist in enhancing efficiency, improving quality and expanding access to translation. Our guide is intended to help you understand generative AI from the perspective of translation. 

The text you have just read was prepared by a chatbot on the basis of a short instruction – called a “prompt” – to demonstrate how artificial intelligence can provide a helping hand for your communication.

Here at World Translation, we believe that AI is a smart tool – but we are also well aware that knowledge and experience are required to make the most of chatbots such as ChatGPT or Google Gemini. It is not just a question of prompting appropriately, but also of having the translated, AI-generated content validated by a native speaker to screen it for errors and adapt it both linguistically and culturally. 

What is generative AI?

In the burgeoning development of artificial intelligence, generative AI has emerged as an impressive frontrunner. Conventional AI runs on rule-based systems and explicit programming methods, where pre-defined rules make it possible for the technology to perform a given task. This applies, for example, to Google’s search function, Apple iPhone’s voice-enabled virtual assistant Siri, and the way Netflix recommends relevant films and TV series.

In contrast, generative AI is a new generation of artificial intelligence that offers almost limitless opportunities. Generative AI is built on artificial neural networks known as “foundation models”, which are trained using enormous datasets. This type of artificial intelligence has the capacity to generate completely new and original content for you on the basis of the prompts you feed into it. Irrespective of whether this prompt is in the form of a question, a dataset or another instruction, the technology will create output from it.

What is a prompt?

A prompt is a brief instruction or a question fed to an artificial intelligence model to guide it to carry out a specific task. In the context of generative AI and translation, the prompt tells the model what to translate and how to translate it.

A good prompt needs to be:

  • Clear and specific: It must state precisely what has to be translated and what type of translation is required. 
  • Contextual: It must provide the model with relevant context about the text that is to be translated – the target group and the purpose of the translation, for example. 
  • Concise: It should be as brief as possible, while still containing all the necessary information.

An example of a prompt could be:Example of a prompt

The prompt states that the text “Hi, how are you?” is to be translated into Danish. It also provides the model with context about the text, as it states that the phrase is a greeting.

Generative AI for your translation needs

There can be no doubt that artificial intelligence is gaining more and more ground in the translation industry. This being the case, we believe that it should be embraced as a resource. At World Translation, we are keeping pace with developments and using artificial intelligence in contexts where it makes sense to do so.
Machine translation vs. human translationGenerative AI is an exciting tool that can help boost the efficiency of translation processes. However, even though AI can represent a good solution in certain cases, it is important to recognise that professional translation is still essential in assuring high levels of quality, efficiency and security.

Specifically, AI can help to cover the following needs: 

  • Terminology: AI can extract terms from existing texts and assist in creating a termbase to ensure that trade terms, expressions and the names of technical components are used consistently in all texts. This boosts the efficiency of the translator’s work and benefits you directly. 
  • Research: AI can be used in connection with researching specific trade terms or components in your native language or a different one. 
  • Brainstorming and ideation: AI can provide inspiration for new ideas and concepts for your communication in foreign languages.
  • Copywriting: AI can help write professional texts in foreign languages; blog posts, product descriptions and marketing material, for example.
  • Translation of texts: AI can be used to produce an initial translation of websites, product descriptions, marketing material, legal texts, emails and messages. The texts generated subsequently need to be edited.
  • Generation of subtitles: AI can write subtitles for videos and podcasts, making them accessible to a broader public.
Video translation

Even though generative AI is becoming better and better at understanding context, tone and cultural finesses in languages, we strongly recommend that you have the post-editing performed by a professional. Because while generative AI can provide assistance, the technology will never replace human experience and knowledge. There is also a risk of chatbots “hallucinating” or quite simply giving a wrong answer because they do not necessarily have the specialist knowledge that you or a translator familiar with the industry will possess.

So you must always read – or have someone else whose native language is the target language read – and post-edit the AI-generated material before you publish it. In this way you can enjoy the best of both worlds: fast, AI-assisted initial translation and personal, high-quality editing.

World Translation’s approach to generative AI

At World Translation, we view generative AI as a valuable tool to supplement human expertise. By arrangement with the individual customer, we can use AI to streamline processes and boost efficiency, while still placing emphasis on quality control and the human touch. We have a team of experienced translators who review and validate all AI-generated translations to ensure that they are accurate, idiomatic and top quality.

We offer a variety of services based on generative AI, including:

  • Machine translation with post-editing: We use AI to translate your texts quickly and efficiently, after which our experienced translators review and validate the texts to ensure optimal quality.
  • Bespoke solutions: We develop bespoke solutions based on generative AI that match your specific wishes and requirements.

There can be no doubt that artificial intelligence is here to stay. The technology is developing at incredible speed and has the potential to redefine large areas of our work. That is why World Translation sees AI not as a challenge, but as an opportunity.

Nevertheless, it is clear that AI – in the translation industry at least – cannot do it alone. Extensive linguistic and cultural knowledge is required to communicate effectively and professionally, and to prompt a chatbot appropriately.

With a strong translation partner, you can be sure of a much higher level of service and security than when simply using a chatbot like ChatGPT.

For example, this combination provides:

  • Cultural understanding: AI can misunderstand or may not be fully familiar with cultural references or context. A native language translator makes sure that the cultural context in the translations is correct. 
  • A critical eye: AI translations may lack accuracy or miss the finer points of language because the system can only work with the input it is fed.
  • Correct terminology: AI generates the most likely answer to your prompt, on the basis of the patterns it has learned from its training data, and this often results in a generic language. When you need to have texts translated within a specific professional area or for a specific target group, they will often feature special terminology which may not necessarily be the most likely answer for a chatbot.
  • Creativity and unique texts: In a scenario where everyone is using AI for their texts, the texts themselves could turn out largely identical. A human review of the texts increases the likelihood of your texts standing out from all the others.

Would you like a hand getting started?

If you are dreaming of using artificial intelligence for your translations but aren’t quite sure where to start, World Translation is ready to help you get under way.

You can find our contact details here – Give us a call or send us a mail to find out how we can work together to tackle your translation needs.

Contact an expert (Eva Maria)

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