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Behind the scenes at the University Translation and Correction Service  

08 May 2024

With a team of five permanent staff members and 50 freelancers, the University Translation and Correction Service (UVC) offered by the University of Groningen Language Centre works on a range of translation services. Elena Lobanov, coordinator of the UVC, walked us through their processes and highlighted the distinct advantages of human translation over Artificial Intelligence!  

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The UVC offers language-related services, including translation, editing, subtitling, copywriting, and interpreting. As soon as the department receives a translation request, the UVC team selects a translator with expertise in the specific content. ‘Our linguists are specialized and have in-depth knowledge of the terminology used in different fields, such as for medical translations,’ says Elena. The translator pays close attention to language, style and consistency in the translation process. Afterwards, a second linguist steps in for editing and proofreading, which is crucial to ensure the highest quality output. The involvement of two linguists in the translation process has significant advantages over using AI translation tools. Besides, the UVC offers live translation services. ‘Our linguists can attend meetings and conferences and translate content straight into a document, so that attendees can stay on track!’

In addition to translation, the UVC provides editing, subtitling, and interpreting services. “We focus on grammar, vocabulary, consistency, and fit for purpose when editing a document. Substantive editing focuses on the structural and content-related aspects of a text,” she says. When necessary, editors can even bring the article in live with the guidelines of the target journal to which the article will be submitted, which is something an AI tool often cannot do. 

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Subtitling services are offered in both monolingual and bilingual formats. “Our subtitlers use software to transcribe or translate the content and add timestamps. The second round, carried out by another UVC staff member, is all about on-screen readability and synchronization with the spoken content,” Elena says.

While acknowledging the recent advancements in AI-driven translation technology, Elena emphasizes the enduring value of human translators. Human translators have a deep understanding of grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and idiomatic expressions, allowing them to craft nuanced and well-written content. On top of this, the UVC’s translators have an extensive knowledge of University-wide terminology, ensuring consistency and comprehension among readers. ‘Our multi-step translation process guarantees high-quality translations ready for use.’

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Last modified:08 May 2024 1.37 p.m.
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