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HumanAI re-prompting instructions for Freelancers

This article provides insights on our expectations to our Freelancers working with HumanAI tasks, especially regarding prompting and re-prompting the AI translation model.

Article contents

Feedback loop
General rules for re-prompting
Dynamic equivalences
Sources and more information

Feedback loop

Working on a HumanAI task is about analysing linguistic errors and challenges and providing feedback on e.g. how to handle ambiguity or mismatching terminology. Once done with your revision on a HumanAI task, we will ask you to provide feedback specifically on which types of mistakes and inconsistencies you came across.

The goal of this feedback loop is to figure out how we can improve the AI model so it better suits the customer’s style expectations, and eventually supports you better in your work with the QA report.

The AI model is improved by giving it further prompts to instruct it on producing translations that matches the customer’s style guide better. 



In order for us being able to prompt the AI model with useful instructions, they need to be clear, straight forward and formulated as commands. The instructions need to be generally applicable. AI instructions achieve the best results by getting commands with dos and don’ts, which is why we ask you to provide examples of what to do and what to avoid. Find the general rules of thumb along with some examples in the following.

General rules for re-prompting

1. Always be explicit in your prompts. Implicity is source to doubts and the AI will have difficulties working with it in order to produce accurate translations.

Example 1: You come across a very long sentence in your target language and you see it’s been carried over 1 to 1 from the source text. You think the AI should have broken it up into smaller bits by producing several sentences.

Do: Do not use sentences that are more than 25 words. Instead break up long phrases into shorter sentences of maximum 25 words, limited by a full stop.

Don’t: Don’t make sentences too long: more than 25-30 words per sentence should be avoided.

Example 2: You see that the AI model translated a term 1 to 1 into your target language, which created an awkward wording.

Do: Avoid using literal translations of special single terms:
Example: EN source: “granola pot”
Do not translate like this into German: “Granola-Topf” (this is not an established term in German). Instead, opt for a more dynamic equivalent term that would make sense to a native German speaker. If no such option exists, keep the English term “granola pot”.

Don’t: Avoid using literal translations of special single terms:
Example: EN source: “granola pot”
DE example which is too literal: “Granola-Topf” (this is not an established term in German) Better DE example: keep English term “granola pot” or find German equivalent that is well-integrated into the German language.


2. Don’t produce complex prompts. If the topic that you would like to comment on includes more than one layer, work with sub-prompts.

Example: You see that the AI produces translations not following the provided term base. While the customer, who has a webshop for cosmetic products, wants all their product names to stay in English (source language), they want all their webshop categories to be translated into the target language (German).

Do: Always follow the term base provided including both terms that need to be translated and those to keep in English.
A) Example English-German:
Source: Youthful Glow Massager
• Yes: Youthful Glow Massager
• No: Junge Strahlendes Massierer 

B) Example English-German:
Source: Body Brushes
• Yes: Körperbürsten
• No: Body Brushes

Don't: Always translate product names, but never translate category names.


3. Make sure to let the AI know about language nuances in a way it can work with.

In order for the AI to be able to figure out how to phrase the translation and choose the right wording, it is important to inform about certain key factors:

  • Purpose of the translation
  • Target audience
  • Translation strategy

Dynamic Equivalences

A translation is not a random process, but determined by the purpose of the translation and the target audience. Furthermore, it is important to be aware of the level of creativity being put into the output. Is the output to be a very free translation at the level of a transcreation or is it preferred to stay close to the source text? The translation strategy should be clearly prompted in order to receive the intended level of creativity. The purpose of the translation will most likely determine the translation strategy. E.g. marketing translations necessitate an understanding of the cultural nuances and conventions of the target market and the crafting of an enticing message. This involves creativity and maintaining brand consistency. Thus, we should clearly let the AI know that marketing translations demand cultural adaptability, persuasiveness, creativity, and brand consistency and give suitable examples of these dynamic equivalences.
The goal of this should be to make the AI comprehend the translation specifications, especially taking into consideration the purpose of the translation and the target audience, while it uses culture-dependent idioms and expressions in it's output, just like a professional translator would adapt the expression into their target language.


Example: You would like to teach the AI to use the target audience's culture-specific idioms in the output, in order to make the translation sound natural and colloquial. If you have already seen an initial output, take this as a starting point and give the AI examples on what to improve and what is expected of an improved output. The customer in this example is a high-end seller of biking equipment who also has lifestyle blogs about biking adventures.


Do: The target audience of this text are German speaking people of all genders in their 20s and 30s. The purpose of the translation is to create a creative blog post, which meets the target audience with natural expressions that can be understood by German speakers. This should be achieved by using cultural subtleties and language-specific elements, such as idioms fitting the target audience and the purpose of the translation. Translations must fully leverage the characteristics of each language and not copy the sentence structure of the source text. Under all circumstances avoid literal translations by copying the sentence structure of the source text.

Example 1, English-German: Create a colloquial dynamic equivalence for expressions such as "you'd be remiss":
Source: “In the Summer months you’d be remiss not to enjoy an occasional dip in Lake Zürich.
Yes: “Du würdest etwas verpassen wenn du im Sommer nicht ab un zu ein Bad im Zürichsee genießt.”
No: “In den Sommermonaten wäre es ein Fehler, nicht ab und zu ein Bad im Zürichsee zu genießen.”

Example 2, English-German: Instead of using the same sentence structure as in the source text, produce sentences using common German expressions and phrasings:
Source: "A further 10-minute ride away from the urban centre will take you to the district of Schwamendingen, a short journey that feels like stepping straight into the countryside."
Yes: "Nur 10 Fahrradminuten vom Stadtzentrum entfernt befindet sich der Bezirk Schwamendingen. Die kurze Fahrt hierher lohnt sich allein für das Gefühl, direkt auf dem Land anzukommen."
No: "Weiter entfernt vom städtischen Zentrum, nur 10 Minuten Fahrt, wirst du den Bezirk Schwamendingen erreichen, eine kurze Reise, die sich anfühlt, als würdest du geradewegs aufs Land treten."

Example 3:
"Thankfully, our itinerary leads you straight to the peerless Gamper Bar, where you can toast your achievements with a well-mixed negroni in the same neighbourhood where you started the day."
Yes: "Glücklicherweise führt dich unsere Route direkt zur einzigartigen Gamper Bar, wo du mit einem gut gemixten Negroni auf deine Erfolge anstoßen kannst, und das genau dort, wo dein Tag begann."
"Zum Glück führt dich unsere Reiseroute direkt zur einzigartigen Gamper Bar, wo du in derselben Nachbarschaft, in der du den Tag begonnen hast, mit einem gut gemischten Negroni auf deine Erfolge anstoßen kannst."

Don't: Do not translate literally. Do not use literal language. Make use of creative wording in order to express the meaning of the words. The output needs to reflect a colloquial German style and it shouldn’t copy the English sentence structures and terms 1 to 1.


Sources and more information:

Optimizing Machine Translation through Prompt Engineering: An Investigation into ChatGPT’s Customizability - Masaru Yamada