In this article I would like to show you how I like to use DeepL, Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, and ChatGPT as a conference interpreter, especially in conference preparation. You will also see how to use GT4T to combine the different options.
I did some testing for this year’s Innovation in Interpreting Summit and I am happy to share all the short demo videos and my mega sample glossary with you.
I created a sample glossary in German, English, and Spanish, picking terms and expressions more or less randomly from my own terminology database, and had the different machine translation/artificial intelligence systems translate them back and forth between the three languages. Feel free to check the results in the table below. I highlighted in green the “perfect” matches (might have missed some) and in red the really bad mistakes and omissions. Some translations are “ok-ish” or a bit “in-between”, I leave it to you to judge.
This is my collection of machine-translated sample glossaries (You can also open the spreadsheet directly in Google Sheets here)
In the following demo videos (2-4 minutes each) you can see how the different tools work in practice:
DeepL in Powerpoint
Microsoft Translator in Excel
Microsoft Translator in Powerpoint
Chat GPT translates glossary
Chat GPT translates glossary in CSV format
GT4T combines different machine translations
Hot or not?
As of today’s state of the art, machine translation and AI can be used to pre-translate at least parts of a glossary as long as someone with sound professional and linguistic judgment double-checks everything. The systems mentioned in this article are rather similar in terms of quality, so I recommend choosing the right tool depending on the functionalities you need.
Well-known, unambiguous terms (like chemical substances or well-coined historical terms) are usually easier to translate by MT than new, very technical, and ambiguous terms or unusual expressions. And of course: Don’t forget about confidentiality before putting your client’s data through a machine translation tool!
About the author
Anja Rütten is a freelance conference interpreter for German (A), Spanish (B), English (C), and French (C) based in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has specialised in knowledge management since the mid-1990s.