Essential Qualities You Need To Be A Machine Translation Technologist

by | Dec 18, 2023 | Careers

Businesses focused on scaling and growing globally know that content and products must be localized. To maintain a competitive edge within the global marketplace, the sheer volume of content required to build awareness, educate customers about your product, and support sales calls for rapid and precise translation processes. MT tools offer the scalability required to handle vast volumes of content, but to be effective, they must be used and managed correctly. This has propelled the position of machine translation technologist and AI translation specialist into the spotlight.

MT technologists play a pivotal role in customizing and managing MT tools to create translations that meet the specific linguistic variations of diverse markets. These technical professionals make sure the MT processes can handle the volumes, maintain the brand’s voice and tone, and drive the quality required for each content type.

Aside from having an inside-out knowledge of how machine translation tools and processes work, there are several essential qualities you’ll need to showcase to sustain a successful career in this position within the localization industry.


First things first: Understanding MT and AI translation


There are several pieces of the MT translation puzzle that you must be well-versed in if you want to be an MT technologist at an LSP or global business.


  • MT models: As a capable MT technologist, you should understand the various machine translation models – rule-based, statistical, neural, and now generative (LLMs) – their strengths, weaknesses, and when to deploy each for optimum results. There are many different types of AI translation and a huge number of tools out there on the market – an MT technologist must understand the entire landscape.


  • Understanding of common linguistic errors: while technologists are not required to perform edits, you must understand the types of errors the tools may generate, including potential biases. This knowledge enables them to work towards eliminating these errors and also to advise post-editors on specific issues to be vigilant about, including bias-related errors.


  • How to train MT engines: You must comprehend how to train an engine to boost the accuracy and efficiency of MT tools – it’s all about using previously translated data to make those algorithms perform at their best.


  • Translation memory (TM) technology: Understanding how you can leverage TM technology to enhance translation consistency and efficiency will become a secret weapon for maintaining a coherent voice across diverse content.


  • CAT tool integrations: As an MT technologist, you need to understand how various translation technology tools must integrate to drive a fluid, efficient machine translation process.


  • Quality automation: By learning how you can implement automated processes to ensure translation quality consistently meets the mark, MT technologists can embrace efficiency without compromising on excellence.


Training and skills development


When training to become an MT technologist, there are multiple resources you can access to facilitate a future career in this dynamic field.


Sources for training


Online platforms like Coursera and edX host specialized programs, allowing trainees to study AI-driven translation at their own pace.

Universities are also stepping up their game, adding MT and AI into their linguistics and language technology curricula, while certain educational institutes are also beginning to offer micro degree programs in an attempt to promote upskilling over a shorter period. Pursuing a Master’s degree or even undertaking a certificate course in computational linguistics can provide a solid academic foundation. These programs equip students with technical know-how and also nurture a deeper understanding of linguistics and language.

For a more industry-tailored approach, platforms like Localization Institute can be invaluable. Their courses often focus on the intersection of language and business, providing a pragmatic skill set for those aiming to enter the localization field. Certain companies within the localization sphere may offer these courses free of charge to impart the knowledge necessary to drive top-quality work within the industry.


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Qualifications and responsibilities of a Machine Translation Technologist role


The above knowledge is a must for your success as an MT technologist within any company, but what about the role’s responsibilities? And what qualifications will you need to be considered as a potential candidate?

The primary function of your role as an MT technologist is to customize and deploy machine translation and AI translation tools. This involves ensuring your company’s MT program is optimized and efficient and yields high-quality results while driving ROI.


Key responsibilities include:


  • MT technology assessment – Evaluate MT technology’s suitability for specific translation use cases critically
  • MT model training – Oversee continuous training of MT models for optimal performance
  • Analysis and reporting – Conduct thorough MT evaluations, produce outputs, and generate detailed reports
  • Collaboration – Integrate MT solutions seamlessly into production workflows by working with other teams
  • Strategic development – Bring innovative ideas to enhance MT translation programs
  • Operational training – Document MT processes and train operational staff for consistent solution delivery
  • Stay updated on trends – Identify pivotal conferences, present learnings, and stay current with MT technology trends through industry publications


Core requirements and qualifications:


  • Degree in Linguistics, Computer Science, Translation Management, or a related field
  • Proven track record in MT deployments, showcasing expertise in strategy and hands-on operations
  • Familiarity with current MT tools and platforms and the ability to adapt to emerging technologies
  • Exceptional ability to convey complex MT concepts to diverse audiences
  • Strong analytical skills, emphasizing the evaluation of MT solutions’ efficiency and effectiveness
  • Demonstrated experience working with cross-functional teams, ensuring smooth integration of MT solutions


A candidate proficient in technology, especially in AI, is increasingly vital for companies using machine translation (MT) in global markets. As businesses require more translated content, such roles have grown in importance. The rise of AI in the localization industry has evolved the skill demands for these positions. Therefore, top-tier candidates are those who are continually upskilling and staying abreast of AI advancements.


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Find the perfect Machine Translation Technologist role with the help of International Achievers Group


Now that you’ve grasped the essentials of the role and have equipped yourself with the necessary qualifications, International Achievers Group is here to guide you in securing your place within a global company. As a vital contributor within LSPs and B2B localization teams, you’ll play a key role in achieving successful outcomes and delivering effective localization strategies.

We value your unique skills and traits that set you apart as an ideal MT translation technologist. We understand your career aspirations and are dedicated to pairing you with a diverse range of clients that offer more than just a job that matches your resume. Our commitment is to find a role that aligns perfectly with your professional goals and strengths.

As a job seeker, partnering with us means your ideal role in a global company is not just a dream but a tangible goal. We’re here to leverage your specialist skills and place you in the right position with the right company. Contact us today and take the first step towards a fulfilling career in a role that’s made for you.