Machine Translation vs Human Translation

Machine Translation vs Human Translation

Machine Translation is becoming more and more accurate and effective. The growing evolution of technology gives a strong impetus to this development.

Translation services also evolve to keep up with the challenges of globalization and are increasingly essential. But this is where an important question arises: human translation or machine translation?

Automatic translation is increasingly refined. It is already part of the translation agencies’ offer; due to the speed and complementary they give to the service. However, and separating the different objectives of the translation, the two methods can take place. Perhaps the first major difference is that machine translation, in most cases, will not dispense the human translation.

Efficiency, precision, and speed. What are the differences and limits of automatic language for human?

Culture is only fully understood by humans

Depending on the context and where we are, the same word can have different meanings. Then there are idioms with meanings specific to a particular people. Even the application of slang requires an adequate substitution. Translating these facts into programming formulas is a challenge not yet overcome by machines. Skill, creativity, and cultural identification are very present in translation and it is something that is only available to humans.

Continuous programming dependent on human action

With the 2020 pandemic, we are witnessing the proliferation of new phrases. The “new normal” brought new contexts and neologisms related to the Coronavirus. “Self-isolation”, “quarantine”, “lockdown”, “pandemic”, etc., which in turn created sub-contexts with words like “covidiot” (someone who ignores public health advice), “covideo party” (online parties), “covexit” (the strategy to get out of the lock), “zoombombing” (interfering with a Zoom video call) or “Blursday” (an unspecified day due to the disorienting effect of the confinement).

Machine translators have not been able to keep up with these language developments as quickly as human translators. Nor did they know how to convert them to the localisation of each language and their own neologisms.

Machine translation must be constantly updated, something that can take too long for the urgency and accuracy of communication.

Automatic translators do not interpret the style

The context, punctuation, and organization of ideas identifies whether we are facing an emphatic, argumentative, or more emotional text, such as poetry.

The ability to extract meaning and set the right tone in a translation is only available to humans. An automatic translation cannot, for example, capture the mood of a text with the necessary precision. The result will almost always be something flat, not very emotional, and therefore not highly effective for the reader of that translation.

Automatic translation at the service of human translation

For linear and undemanding communications, automatic translators are remarkably effective. But human translation also benefits a lot from computer translation programs. They will make it possible to increase the speed of translation, allowing human translators to focus on localizing, revising, and improving the final document.

In summary, being mainly a service based on the culture of each people, only human translators have all the skills to make a translation as perfect as possible and thus fully achieve their objectives. Machine translators will continue to evolve and are an especially useful tool, both for simple translations and for contributing to the improvement of human translation services.

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