Note: This blog post was originally written in Japanese for our Japanese website. We used our machine translation platform Translation Designer to translate it and post-edit the content in English. The original Japanese post can be found here.

"Post-editing" is a translation service where translators revise the machine translation output instead of translating from scratch. It is characterized by its high efficiency, which brings quick turnaround time at a low cost.

However, some people may have doubts like, "Isn't it cheap and bad?" Or, "Is it really more efficient than human translation?" In this post, we’d like to share the benefits and appeal of post-editing, as well as tips for how to use it effectively to get the most out of it.

Thinking about target quality

Post-editing is the work of manually correcting the output of machine translation. In order to make the appropriate corrections, it is important to clarify the target quality (i.e., the translation quality that you are aiming for).

At Kawamura International, we determine the items to correct according to the target quality requested by our client. For example, from simple things such as checking numbers or missing translations to more complicated checks like checking the consistency and use of industry-specific terminology.

There are certain types of documents that are easier for machine translation to handle. When performing the post-editing work, making good use of the unique characteristics of machine translation is necessary.

How to decide on target quality

A solid method for deciding on your target quality is to look through the raw machine translation output that will be the base for the work with the requested details in mind. This is what makes it different from human translation where you translate from scratch. For post-editing work, a translator will only revise what is there in the output of the machine translation.

We have a sample in the table below for considering what items you’d like to include in the work according to the strengths and weaknesses of machine translation. By identifying the items to correct, it’ll be easier to imagine the various levels of accuracy and fluency of post-editing work. Going through these steps will allow you to see the translation quality you want to aim for.

In actual projects, we combine a variety of items that is suited to each request and goal of the project. By comparing the specific errors of machine translation and the necessary work to compensate for those errors, it’s easier to select and incorporate the items for your post-editing work. Even if you don’t see an item on the list, just let us know! We discuss the criteria of post-editing work before we start each project, and it’s always possible to add on new items.

What you can do for further efficiency

In order to utilize machine translation and ensure the target quality more efficiently, effective collaboration with clients and post-editors is essential. You might hear opinions about post-editing work that say it actually takes more effort than translating from scratch or that machine translation errors might remain.

At Kawamura, we build an optimum workflow based on each project. In order to maximize the use of machine translation, we also ask the post-editors who actually do the work and hear what they think.

By choosing to go with machine translation and post-editing, you can expect the following benefits.


For clients: Low cost and quick turnaround time for a review service of machine translation outputs

You get to use machine translation in a secure environment without subscribing to anything. In addition, you'll get professional post-editing services that meet the basic quality in a short lead time at a reasonable cost.

For translators: Acquiring new skills

In post-editing projects, abilities to understand definitions of quality that are specific to each project, to conduct appropriate research, and to make instantaneous decisions to speed up the work are required. All of this will lead to further skill improvements overall as a translator. As you make full use of the output of machine translation, you might find new ways to approach translation. It is also an opportunity to make new discoveries in language to expand the range of expressions you use.

For the many people receiving information worldwide: Large number of untranslated materials will be translated more

The development of the Internet has made it possible to access more information from all over the world. With translations making it possible to access information in foreign languages, you will be able to share things written in your original language with the world.


Machine translation with post-editing will allow us to translate more materials with the basic quality you need. Through translation, we can deliver information and enrich people’s lives and create a world where no one is left behind due to language barriers. That really sounds pretty amazing.


Machine translation with post-editing services are fairly new with their current reliability as a service. There are certainly mixed opinions about it. Some people may have a negative impression from an experience during the development stage. However, we hope that this post can give you a positive outlook based on the advantages and the appeal of post-editing services. In order to create better translations, we’d be happy to hear your opinions and questions. Feel free to contact us at any time!

Kawamura's translation services

At Kawamura International, we’ve got a level of experience with post-editing projects and post-editors that differs from most translation companies. One of our strengths is our ability to select the most suitable translator from among more than 100 experienced post-editors. Additionally, we can handle not only the English and Japanese language pair but also other pairs in Asian and European languages.

We first confirm the target translation quality and requirements with our customers. Based on a consultation, we propose a work plan that suits the request. If you're thinking any of the following:

  • Want to translate quickly at a lower cost while maintaining the quality?
  • Want the best results within your limited budget?
  • Want to translate a large amount of documents ASAP?

You’ve come to the right place — reach out to us to start a conversation!