Compliance management is no simple task in today's world. The sheer volume of data involved is intimidating enough. But when that data is in multiple languages, you have an additional layer of complexity to manage as well as another significant expense to budget for.
Machine translation is no replacement for expert human translators. But it can help solve some of the compliance problems multicultural organizations face.
Internal Compliance Monitoring
Ideally, organizations should aspire to catch (and end) compliance issues as early as possible. Firing employees is an expense in and of itself, and if you address these issues quickly you can often solve the problem with education rather than termination. Meanwhile, whether the behavior in question is illegal, unethical or just plain risky, the sooner you put a stop to it, the less likely you are to get stuck with expensive fines.
Is your organization monitoring employee communication to identify concerning behavior? Machine translation makes it possible to understand, analyze, and review large amounts of archived data in foreign languages, so you can stop problems before they start.
Businesses today generate vast amounts of electronic documents and communications. That makes eDiscovery like looking for needles in a haystack, sifting through tons of irrelevant information to find materials that are relevant to the case. And of course, there are penalties for not identifying and producing all of the necessary documents in a timely manner.
The most workable solution is appropriately-deployed machine translation followed by review and post editing from human experts, when required. Machine translation is not a substitute for human translators. That said, in large cross-border cases, machine translation can be used to produce documents for opposing counsel, and then human translators can translate only those documents that seem relevant. Machine translation can also help your team identify and classify large numbers of documents for review.
Using machine translation when applicable can also improve data security, as long the platform used is secure. (Note: That means free platforms are strictly off limits!) No matter how careful your employees are, each person who accesses a document creates a new security risk. Machine translation can reduce the number of people who need that access to reduce security vulnerabilities.
Machine Translation and Compliance Budgets
As the cost of compliance goes up, so does the pressure for businesses to make their compliance procedures more efficient. Machine translation can help optimize your compliance budget by only using human translators when necessary.
When Machine Translation is a Compliance Nightmare
When wielded wisely, machine translation can be a powerful weapon in your compliance arsenal. But it can also be risky.
For instance, if individuals in your organization rely on free online translation services, your data security could be at risk.
Last year, employees at Norway's Statoil discovered that sensitive data translated using Translate.com's free MT tool was available to the public via a simple Google search.
Though the quality of machine translation has improved by leaps and bounds during the past few years, it's still not a substitute for human translators when clear and accurate translations are required. If inaccuracies make your translations misleading or incomprehensible, that's a compliance risk, too.
Want the advantages of machine translation without the potential pitfalls? Work with an experienced language translation partner that uses both machine translation and expert human translators to reduce costs and turnaround time while maintaining quality.
At ULG, we use custom machine translation tools and an award-winning project management process to deliver accurate translations efficiently and effectively.
If that sounds good to you, reach out.