The translation world is buzzing with terms like AI, neural machine translation, and MTPE. As these technologies ripen, they offer compelling tools in our linguistic toolbox. Yet, it’s essential to sift through the hype and discern where they truly add value. Let’s dive in to understand when MTPE is the hero and when it might need a little human backup.

What is neural machine translation (MT)?

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is an AI-driven approach to translating text. Unlike traditional methods, NMT uses neural networks, which are algorithms designed to recognize and decipher patterns, mimicking the way the human brain works. This AI-driven method allows for more natural-sounding translations by understanding context, nuances, and linguistic structures.


What is MTPE?

MTPE, or Machine Translation Post-Editing, represents a hybrid approach to translation. It marries the efficiency of AI translations, primarily derived from NMT, with the expertise of professional human translators. This collaboration ensures quick translations that are then refined, corrected, and polished by humans, ensuring accuracy and context-appropriateness.

MTPE: the pros

MTPE excels with content characterized by straightforward and factual tones. Administrative documents, institutional publications, legal texts, and technical guides can benefit from MTPE. Its strengths lie in speed, cost-saving, and the ability to handle bulk translations and frequent updates. However, while MTPE can assist with sensitive documents, the indispensability of human verification for such content cannot be stressed enough.

MTPE: the cons

For content demanding high creativity or extensive localization, MTPE might not be the best fit. This includes content that requires significant rewriting, transcreation, or content that needs to evoke specific cultural or emotional nuances. Moreover, highly sensitive content, especially medical texts, demands a cautious approach given the nuances and implications.

MTPE and data privacy

While MTPE can streamline the translation process, it introduces potential pitfalls in data privacy. Some machine translation platforms might store data, presenting risks of breaches or unauthorized access. It’s paramount to choose MTPE solutions that prioritize data confidentiality, ensuring your content remains secure.

The cost advantage of MTPE

One of the most enticing aspects of MTPE is its cost-efficiency. Depending on the MTPE approach—whether involving one or two editors—the translation expenses can be reduced by nearly 50% compared to fully human-translated content.

MTPE: recap

To sum up, MTPE offers significant advantages in terms of speed, cost-saving, and scalability. It’s well-suited for factual and straightforward content. However, its limitations arise with highly creative, culturally nuanced, or extremely sensitive content. Privacy concerns also necessitate informed platform choices.


At Entre les lignes, our essence remains rooted in the creativity and expertise of the human mind. We cherish the art and finesse of human translation. However, as a forward-thinking agency, we also recognize the potential of technology in shaping the translation landscape. Our commitment is to guide our clients through these evolving possibilities, ensuring the perfect balance of quality and cost-effectiveness.

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