BALAJCZA Linguistic Services: “A Machine Will Never Replace A Human Being”


Timea Balajcza about the benefits and limitations of computer translations

“In the translation industry, a machine will never fully replace a human being”, claims Timea Balajcza, the founder of Balajcza Linguistic Services, a translation firm based in Warsaw. Her claims are based on years of market experience: the company which was set up in 2010 currently provides translations for over 250 language combinations and cooperates with a global network of 1500 translators. However, this does not mean that Balajcza Linguistic Services does not tap into opportunities offered by modern technologies.

“We use two different CAT programs, but mainly SDL Trados”, says Timea Balajcza. CAT stands for “computer-assisted translation”, whereas SDL Trados is professional software, valued on the market. Benefits of using CAT programs are obvious to the company founder. She reels off a list: “increased speed of translation, optimisation of translation quality, ensuring consistency of terminology”. Basically, to work with such a tool is as follows: files sent in by the client are uploaded into the program which the translator is logged into. On the basis of a database, the so-called translation memory, the program generates prompts which the translator may use or ignore. Each translation prepared using the software or imported into it is added to the memory. It should be mentioned that the software producer, through a cloud solution, offers access to combined translation memory to all users. However, due to data security considerations, Balajcza Linguistic Services exclusively uses a database built on the basis of its own translations. In the case of a company such as Balajcza, that has been operating on the market for eight years and has been translating over 2.5 million words each year, the company’s own translation memory is a significant resource and considerably speeds up the completion of some orders. “Particularly in the case of repeated orders from the same client, where we deal with specific specialist terminology, having such a database is priceless”, emphasises Timea Balajcza.

The possibility of using automatically generated prompts is not the only function of the software that increases the company’s effectiveness. The technology used enables several user-translators to access the same product at the same time. “Our translators often work simultaneously on various parts of the same project. The results of their work are then put together, and the cohesion of the translation is maintained”, explains the company founder. This function is particularly useful in the case of a more extensive and complex project.


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