In the digital era, the world is fast becoming a global village. The worldwide reach of an online customer base can increase your sales potential exponentially. However, to effectively grab your share of the market, your business needs to effectively serve everyone, regardless of their language. To win potential customers and turn them into clients, you need to translate your website into the recipients’ native languages. You can accomplish this through website translation.
With the industrial and technological revolution, machines are fast replacing human workers in almost every area of life. Many people believe that computers produce stronger, more efficient, and faster translation options than humans can. Notable developments have been made in the translation industry when it comes to automation, but the question remains: Which is better, human translation or computer-generated translation?
Introduction to Machine Translation
Machine translation describes an automated software that carries out a translation task. This type of translation allows the user to choose between different available languages.
Most companies have resorted to using machine translation, considering it a viable option for bulk translation jobs. If machine translation were truly superior, companies would have opted exclusively for machine translation long ago.
Although automatic intelligence is making important strides, machines can never replace humans in retaining the original meaning of the text to be translated. Machines merely replace the words in one language with the words in another language, word-for-word, leaving room for distortions in meaning.
Advantages of Machine Translation
The main reasons why people choose machine translation are:
Computers will always have the upper hand in terms of speed. When there is a huge amount of content that needs to be translated, most businesses opt for machine translation because of the time factor.
As appealing as it is to allow machine translation to handle your job speedily, the resulting translation product will be lower in quality. The finished translation may be full of grammatical and typographical errors, as well as errors in meaning.
Another reason machine translation is preferred is that it is inexpensive. It is inexpensive because it eliminates the element of translation task customization. Machine translation fees do not include rework costs, which are an important facet of human translation.
Machines can keep working tirelessly, unlike humans. Thus, machine translators are more consistent than human translators. However, a machine often does not recognize the meaning of words in their context and does not translate accurately.
Disadvantages of Machine Translation
- Quality concerns
Machine translators do not understand the context of the word or phrase. There is no assurance that the final product will accurately convey the message of the original content. Further, machine translators use simplistic word choices. By default, machines opt for the lowest common denominator in terms of vocabulary. As a result, words selected by automated translators can deviate from the original meaning.
- Hidden costs
While the initial translation costs from automated translation may seem cheaper, there are several hidden costs. Since machine translation is not accurate, you will need to hire a human translator to revise and proofread the text, adding additional expenses.
- Off-brand translation
Machines cannot understand your specific word choice and how it relates to your powerful brand. Therefore, they end up substituting your initial brand messaging with generic words, which can send an incorrect message.
Human translators bring a wealth of background, knowledge, and context to their translation jobs. Human translation was the traditional, predominant way of handling translation tasks before the digital era. Human translators have many advantages when compared to machines.
Advantages of Human Translation
Human translators understand a wide range of languages. Their expertise in both languages is particularly helpful in the translation task.
- Guaranteed quality
A top-notch translation sounds fluent, natural, and retains the original meaning. Human translators pride themselves on creating an artistic and natural-sounding final copy of the content. They are aware of idiomatic phrases, cultural sensitivities, and native vernacular, aspects which a machine cannot understand.
- Brand tone and message
Human translators are conscious of the voice used in the content. Therefore, they will convey the same tone even when translating.
Human translators do more than just a word-for-word translation. They capture the initial spirit in the original and preserve it in the translation. Thus, your brand tone and message will be fluently conveyed in the new language.
- Cultural sensitivity
When carrying out any translation job, it is important to consider cultural sensitivity. Each language has distinct cultural norms. Violating them could send the wrong message. It is important to ensure that your translation respects the culture of the recipients.
Human translators are aware of cultural values and unspoken rules. They can create a final product that speaks effectively and sensitively to the new audience.
- SEO benefits
Human translators understand the importance of SEO. When translating, they can use the best phrases for global SEO, an aspect with machine translators have yet to catch up on.
The only downside to human translation is the slow nature of translation. Humans devote much time and effort to creating a flawless translated copy. It takes them considerably longer to finish the translation job.
Also, paying for human translation could be considered relatively expensive when compared to machine translation. However, the quality of output is well worth the price you pay. With our translators, there will be very little need for revisions.
You now understand the advantages and disadvantages that come with using machine and human translation. It is obvious that human translation will always be superior. This is because automated machine translation services lack the insight that humans bring to the equation. Machines also lack self-awareness, which is a major factor when it comes to translation.
At Translation Boulevard, we rely exclusively on human translators. Our team of translators is comprised of linguists, wordsmiths, and translators who are certified by the ATA and other organizations. Our human translators will thoroughly complete the translation tasks handed to them and deliver a high-quality output that is both meaningful and accurate.