On the Complementarity between Human Translators and Machine Translation


  • Maite Aragonés Lumeras World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva
  • Andy Way ADAPT Centre School of Computing, Dublin City University




Many translators are fearful of the impact of Machine Translation (MT) on their profession, broadly speaking, and on their livelihoods more specifically. We contend that their concern is misplaced, as human translators have a range of skills, many of which are currently – with no signs of any imminent breakthroughs on the horizon – impossible to replicate by automatic means. Nonetheless, in this paper, we will show that MT engines have considerable potential to improve translators’ productivity and ensure that the output translations are more consistent. Furthermore, we will investigate what machines are good at, where they break down, and why the human is likely to remain the most critical component in the translation pipeline for many years to come.




How to Cite

Lumeras, M. A., & Way, A. (2017). On the Complementarity between Human Translators and Machine Translation. HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, (56), 21–42. https://doi.org/10.7146/hjlcb.v0i56.97200



THEMATIC SECTION: Translation Technology Research in Translation Studies