Post-editing Translators

Full-time Translator, Part-time Post-editor

Developing New Skills:
Full-time Translator, Part-time Post-editor

Over the past years, a limitless number of business-related activities are expanding around the globe at an astoundingly rapid rate.

Speed has become an essential measure to observe and practice in and by businesses. The global economy is moving fast  and everything which accompanies it has to keep pace.

We take a look at one area that is quickly ascending as well – that’s the career path of the translator.

Translators are the facilitators behind the fast-paced globalized system. Their role in overcoming language barriers when exchanging products and services from one foreign country to another makes globalization impossible without them.

Now, career paths in languages and translation are becoming more noticeable as the world economy grows, thus making them more popular than ever before.

Translators are the facilitators of the world

The industry survey European language industry optimism to lead to more jobs conducted by EUATC (European Union of Associations of Translation Companies) gives an analysis of the 2020 Language Industry Survey showing that more translation job opportunities are anticipated in the coming twelve months. 

European Language Industry Survey 2020 New Services

The annual survey is a joint study initiated in collaboration with the most prominent language organizations in the industry: EliaEMTFIT EuropeGALA, and LIND.

It envisions the growth in job prospects over the following year, which is now 2021. This is supported by the evidence that “more than 50 percent responding to the survey have said that the growth will give rise to more job creation over the coming year.”, suggesting a higher demand for language professionals is coming our way.


How do we prepare for this foreseen opportunity?
Let’s first examine the background of every translation professional.

The beginning of a translator's journey

A translator’s journey typically begins with a personal history that involves a bilingual/multilingual setting, an academic background in linguistics and languages, or simply from a decision driven by a passion and interest in foreign languages.

A heart that beats for languages is indeed a great way to start the journey. This foundation is so essential that it paves and guides the way to success. 

But within this path, one must consider equipping oneself with additional skills for an overall satisfying translator experience.

You’ll need to adhere to two important values:


You have to decide to invest time in learning new methods and skills to be more efficient, thus becoming more productive with high-quality output.


Next, you have to practice this newly acquired knowledge and skills by utilizing them with translation tools and technology in actual scenarios.

These two values will save you as translation and technology evolve together. Open-mindedness to new conditions can be a savior to any individual.

And in this article, let us discuss a supplementary skill for translators – Post-editing.

What is Post-editing?

Post-editing (PE) is the second phase of a two-step translation process known as Machine Translation Post-editing (MTPE). 

PE, performed after an MT-processed output is complete, is a process wherein the translator checks the texts translated by the translation software and applies improvements in accuracy, relevancy, and clarity. 

In other words, the translator enhances the MT-output quality by editing it using human translation skills.

According to the Skills and profile of the new role of translator as MT Post-editor (Celia Rico, Enrique Torrejón), there are three categories of skills and competencies to look for in a post-editor. These are summarized in the following diagram:

Figure 1 PE Skills and Competences

How and where do you acquire the new
skills in Post-editing?

Online Courses with certifications

We list the leading courses in post-editing to help you prepare yourself in adding post-editing to your skill-set. 

1. SDL* Post-editing Translators

The leading provider of technology-enabled language, content management, and intellectual property services, RWS, offers Trados Studio, their latest CAT (computer-assisted translation) tool, which comes with resources and training with certification to support translators and post-editors.

One available training is the Post-editing Course which DEMA Solutions acquired a badge in 2019, It includes learning the techniques and skills involved in post-editing machine-translated output, which guided us to build and establish effective MTPE procedures. It includes both theoretical and practical applications in its scope.

The course equipped our team to learn about the most common behaviors of MT and how-to approaches for effective post-editing, using the right core skills and strategies.

2. TAUS (Translation Automation User Society) 

a. TAUS post-editing course

The TAUS online Post-Editing course equips linguists for the upcoming opportunities in this ever-changing translation industry. It was created in cooperation with the academic world and prominent industry representatives to offer you broadly approved and neutral information based on the latest industry developments .

At the end of the course, participants can download their TAUS Post-editing Certificate & Badge too.

b. Machine Translation Post-editing Guidelines 

In addition, they published an article in partnership with CNGL (Centre for Next Generation Localisation) – Machine Translation Post-editing Guidelines.

Available in 14 languages accessed directly from the website, Slideshare, and Scribd, this guide is intended to help customers and service providers set clear expectations and can be used as a basis on which to instruct post-editors. It specifies their best recommendations, guidelines for achieving “good enough” quality, and for achieving quality similar or equal to human translation.


Research research research. 

Being knowledgeable of what’s already in the industry, studied and shared by professionals in a similar journey gives you an idea and can help you manage your expectations of the positive and negative aspects.

Skills and Profile of the New Role of the Translator as MT Post-editor by Celia Rico and Enrique Torrejón is comprehensive research available in Researchgate, and will help you educate yourself in upgrading your translator profile as MT post-editor. 

Starting with an introduction about MT history and concluding with keys and attempts to answer the anticipated rising profession of becoming a Post-editor in the translation industry, this paper benefits every translator to have clarity based on the analysis of what it is that makes a translator a good post-editor.

"Opportunities don't happen.
You create them."
Chris Grosser

The takeaway in shaping and developing new knowledge and skills with the right attitude is a door to further opportunities always opens. 

Thus, developing the new skills of a translator as a post-editor is not only about extending the list of offered services, but it is an ingredient in the recipe for exciting possibilities and a wholly fulfilling experience in the ever-changing world of translations.


Check out our page about
MTPE types and procedures.

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