Beyond Translation: Unlocking the Benefits of Machine Translation

welocalize October 29, 2021

Seamless translation and localization are crucial when streamlining and scaling your company’s content translation output. After all, translating volumes of marketing, customer service, and other business-critical content efficiently and accurately speeds up your internal operations.

This is where machine translation (MT) comes in.

MT automates your localization and translation processes. It also facilitates seamless implementation of your patient-centric approaches across languages and markets, from chatbots to conversational artificial intelligence (AI).

Operating under the life sciences industry means actively adopting MT with post-editing machine translation (PEMT) to optimize internal operations while delivering effective customer experiences.  While maintaining or even increasing quality.

We’ll cover the benefits of machine translation and how adopting MT will supercharge your internal operations.

What Is Machine Translation?

Machine translation means using software to translate speech or text from a certain language to another. MT software uses patterns, algorithms, and language models (from large existing translations databases) to recommend translations to language professionals.

It can also translate massive text quantities with little to no human intervention and factors in glossaries, online resources, and the specific subject categories, such as legal and medical (among others).

Machine translation comes with various systems, types, and capability levels, with some continuously learning and improving the translation suggestions over time. MT can also work alongside advanced technology and integrate with other translation tools.

For instance, leveraging life science machine translation and AI quality management saves you time and money while helping you achieve fast turnaround times.

How MT Has Evolved and What Is to Come

In its earliest stages, MT started with translating a simple word, usually without the context of a phrase. This made for grammatically awkward and inaccurate translations, since words typically have more than one meaning. Plus, jargon and casual speech don’t always translate seamlessly into other languages.

However, modern MT has come a long way with phrase-based, statistical, rule-based, and hybrid machine translation approaches.

A new approach is neural machine translation (NMT). This consists of artificial networks modeled on the human brain’s neural pathways. The NMT system analyzes each word’s meaning within a sentence by looking at the words that come before it. This is similar to how human brains decipher language.

NMT can assess the meaning of the whole sentence when it reaches the last word, resulting in a clear and better quality translation than the ancient MT approach. This also streamlines training MT engines to deliver high-quality global content quickly.

Modern MT approaches combined with terminology management system (TMS), glossaries, and PEMT ensure accurate translations for life sciences content, definitions, and terms.

MT Solutions for Life Sciences

Deploying MT in the highly regulated and technical landscape can be risky and complex.

However, there are ways to best use MT (through NMT) for life sciences to ensure consistent, efficient, and high-quality multilingual translations and localization.

Off-the-shelf MT Engines

Stock or off-the-shelf MT engines are built by providers such as Google, Microsoft, and DeepL using millions of generic or domain-specific words.

Customized MT Engines

These MT engines offer greater output precision, since they’re based on a stock engine trained further via additional in-domain client data, such as glossaries and translation memories. This allows medical devices, pharma translation teams, and clinical researchers to build a solid translation process for regulated content.

Plus, the life sciences industry heavily relies on specialized terminology, making localization QA plus testing crucial.

Combining custom MT, human post-editing, QA, and regular engine retraining helps ensure quality and efficient translation processes and output.

MT Integrations

Integrating MT with TMS and other translation technology allows users across the company to semi-automate workflows.

It lets you obtain various types of machine-translated output in ranges of acceptable quality at a lower cost (compared to pure human translation).

Leveraging MT helps you meet the demands of translating and localizing high-volume, industry, and client-specific content while saving time and money.

Reasons Life Sciences MT Adoption Is Delayed or Rejected

There are several common concerns that lead to delaying or rejecting adopting MT for life sciences.


Data security is critical in the life sciences industry because patient risk management and safety aspects support all procedures and processes. This makes life sciences and health companies cautious about potential issues, such as no confidentiality, information control loss, and data leaks with MT.


Some customers believe automation diminishes the translation output quality of MT engines.


Customers assume that using MT significantly reduces the costs of the translation process and services. However, the total amount depends on the process, content type, training engines used, and the required language combinations.

For example, testing in global user experience is crucial when launching products in new markets. If you want translated content used specifically for this purpose, integrating other translation tools may be necessary, which adds to the cost.

Why the Benefits of MT Outweigh the Risks

As a company prioritizing content accuracy, risk management, and patient safety, you have good reason to be cautious about MT.

However, reliable language service providers (LSPs) and the many practical applications of MT have made it possible to ensure secure, accurate, and high-quality translation processes and output, even in highly regulated environments like pharmaceuticals.

While MT might not provide the perfect solution, proper and informed assessments of the benefits of adopting it and finding reliable LSPs can greatly reduce and even eliminate associated risks.

Leverage MT and reliable LSPs to Optimize Life Science Industry Operations

Welocalize utilizes ground-breaking MT engines daily in production. This enables us to test what efficiencies we can gain and the production life cycle for our clients.

We have a lot of interesting MT-enabled solutions that we’re working on where AI is the backbone. This includes ISO 18587 Certification for human PEMT services, which impacts the multilingual content life cycle for Welocalize clients. Welocalize utilizes different languages by customizing and training MT engines based on customer requirements.

For more information on Welocalize MT and AI-enabled solutions, contact us today.