Man vs Machine

Translation is not as simple as it may seem. Languages cannot simply be translated verbatim as many key phrases or terms may be lost in translation. To be a good translator, one must understand the constraints of context; the rules of grammar; and the idioms and conventions of the two languages. Some may misconceive translation as being a mechanical process; however, it is anything but that. Those who turn to quick, automated translation services find that out all too soon.

It seems simple enough. You select the text you want translated, copy, paste, select your language pairing, and after one click…presto! You’ve got yourself a translated document. However, using the same service, if you were to decide to take that translated text and translate it back to your native language, you would quickly discover this translation method is not as accurate as you may have hoped. For most, the text would be understandable, but far from presentable. You may notice syntax errors, grammatical errors, and sentence structure errors, just to name a few.

Why is does this happen? This occurs because language will always be filled with complex rules and ambiguity that a machine, no matter how complex the computer program, will not be able to decipher. A machine cannot grasp the context and intended meaning the way a human translator can.

Computer programs will continue to evolve, but when it comes to discerning the meanings of words; word/phrase combinations; or syntax or style, no piece of machinery can compete with the human touch.

As every good professional translator knows, it takes more than replacing one word for another. The translating process involves years of gaining cultural and grammatical knowledge of the two languages in order to accurately translate the real meaning of a word, phrase or sentence and to make sure that its native readers will understand that text as well.

So, if you’re looking for an instant translation that may give you the general gist of a foreign text, an automated translation service may be just what you need. However, if you are looking for a professional, accurate translation of your document done by expert translators, with years of experience, then a trusted translation agency with its professional translators is what you will want and need.

It is no contest. Humans: 1. Machines: 0.

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