Thursday, 11 August 2016

OCR in translation- an unbiased analysis

Some of the translators use Optical Character Recognition for preparing final documents to be translated while others don’t. First of all, let us evaluate the reasons of preferring and not choosing OCR in translation.

Using OCR

The upsides

Optical Character Recognition is used in case if a translation memory has to be maintained. When it run on any document, it has to be passed through a procedure of layout. In case of a legal type of document with 30 pages, approximately three hours may be taken. OCR style output has to be corrected and at the same time, it has to be ensured that no data has gone missing; it’s very crucial for perfect OCR document management.

The pitfalls

Quality concerns among agency or translator is one of the reasons why this technology is not preferred. However, this is not a genuine worry as spending enough time for layout process and taking proper care will disqualify the said reasoning. The actual reason is that people don’t want to spend time on formatting but doing so bring favor to the customer by saving translation memory.


It is mainly used on scanned PDF and image documents. The former is commonly related with tax and law industry. They may be signed contracts, death, birth or marriage certificates or else any other type of official documents.

Images having text can be subjected to Optical Character Recognition but the returns are diminishing. Unless, there is enough text, there is no point in using optimal character recognition technique.

For using this technology, you may use any engine. However, do a thorough analysis based on the quality assured and rates incurred. You simply have to run the document, do OCR document formatting and editing followed by its translation. In most of the OCR engines, the process is not that complicated.

It is always recommended to frame a system where things are tracked by customers and an original copy of scanned documents in digital format are preserved by the customers. Most of the times this fails as customers may be busy and service providers want to make the whole process look easier.

MAP Systems offers remarkable class of OCR scanning and conversion services.  If you want to know more details regarding the offering, working methodology and the tools and techniques we use, contact us and we will furnish all needed details.