Human vs. Machine

AI, Translation, Languages, Language, Translations

With the dawn of the CAT tool industry in the translation industry, far too often clients assume one uses machine translation to translate their work. Many of the discussions we have had with clients were to convince them that we do not merely put translations through tools such as Google Translate or BabelFish.

The reality is that the idea behind these tools is not unique to the modern age of computers. The field of “machine translation” appeared in Warren Weaver’s Memorandum on Translation already in 1949. Machine Translation research programs popped up in Japan and Russia around 1955 with the first international conference being held in London in 1956.

Decoding Language

Sadly, the value of machine translations has been overestimated since language cannot be codified into a logo-rhythm of ones and zeros. The intricacies of language, including nuances, idiomatic usage and humour make it far too unique to be analysed and pinned-down to a code. Furthermore, language is constantly developing and changing which adds to the difficulty to “crack the code” of language.

It is interesting to note that many machine translation software now has a disclaimer on their websites stating:

WARNING: Only to be used as a casual tool. Not all translations are correct, important translations need to use our professional translation service.

Even Google has changed its philosophy around translations. They have announced on the 11th of November 2013 that the best practice in translation is to use human translators and not machines. In a statement on their website they said: “If you are considering machine translations as an alternative, keep in mind that automated translations are less reliable than high-quality professional translations and may not produce as good an experience for your users.”

Therefore, making use of a trustworthy translator is highly critical if you want to pitch the message correctly to your target audience. Making use of a reliable Language Service Provider (LSP) such as Language Inc. can only benefit your projects since we have already made sure the people we use are professional and have the right skill-sets and experience.

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