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Fear about the low quality of free machine translation stops many business people from using the Internet fully in their businesses. Because sufficient data is not available, business people cannot decide whether machine translation is suitable for their websites.

To get data about the quality of free machine translation, TechScribe produced an article in which most sentences were optimised for machine translation. Free machine translation software was used to translate the article into Spanish and into Norwegian. Professional translators evaluated the fluency and the accuracy of the translations.

For the 660 evaluations of fluency, 84% of the translations were 'excellent' or 'satisfactory' and 16% of the translations were 'bad' or 'incomprehensible'. For the 660 evaluations of accuracy, 87% of the translations were 'correct' or 'partly correct' and 13% of the translations were 'incorrect' or 'nonsense'.

"The English source contains examples of what not to write. Therefore, if we ignore the low-quality results for these sentences, the quality is better than the evaluations show," says Mike Unwalla, the principal of TechScribe. The translators gave comments such as, "Overall the meaning of the text is easy to understand."

"Free machine translation has some problems, and is not as good as commercial machine translation. However, the quality will become better. TechScribe commissioned the evaluations because I did not find data on the Internet," says Mike. "The evaluations give business people new data that can help them to decide whether free machine translation is a suitable business strategy."

For the full set of results, see the following web pages:

• English to Spanish,
• English to Norwegian,


Notes for editors:

Machine translation is the automatic translation of text by computer without the help of a human translator. Machine translation is also known as 'automated translation' or 'computer translation'.

Commercial machine translation is better than free machine translation, because the software can be customised to give the correct translations of particular words and phrases.

Plain English is not sufficient to make text clear for machine translation. For example, plain English does not specify how to use phrasal verbs. Both of the following sentences contain the phrasal verb 'carry out':
* First, carry the most important project out.
* First, carry out the most important project.

Both of the sentences are grammatically correct. For machine translation, the second sentence is better than the first sentence, because the two parts of the phrasal verb are together. However, the best option is to use a one-word verb such as 'do'.

About TechScribe

TechScribe does two things:

* Write text that is optimised for machine translation and for international readers (
* Produce user documentation for software companies (

For more information about this news release, contact:

Dr Mike Unwalla
24 Spooner Road
South Yorkshire
S10 5BN
+44 114 266 6933

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of TechScribe in the following categories: Media & Marketing, for more information visit