Machine vs Professional Translation: When to Use Each Service

Many of the questions that professional translation companies answer these days are based around the technology of translation services. Can machines offer a cheaper or a more accurate option when compared to human professional translators?

The short answer is a resounding no. This generation of linguistic technology simply can't deal with the nuances and connotations of modern language. That being said, many people who need translators do not know the difference between tech-based and human-based translation services.

 

Machine Translation

Machine Translation vs Professional

This refers to a translation that is carried out without any human input. It is definitely a fast way to get things done, but it is not always the most accurate. There are, however, some situations that may call for machine translation.

 

Bulk Translations

If you need a huge amount of content quickly that is more technical or simple in nature, machine translation services may give you the best option. Glossary or dictionary entries or generic pages of information fall into this category of content.

94 Thousand Words In 5 Days Is Not Impossible

Internal Resources

Machine translations can work for internal resources, because you do not necessarily need 100% accuracy for this content. People understand the general meaning of what you are trying to say, so it can have some rough edges. However, you should be sure this content will never cross paths with any of your customers - they may interpret it as unprofessional.

First Drafting

If you only need a partial translation for a huge document, then the instant translation that machines give can be quite a time saver. First drafts usually require only technical word-for-word translations, and a professional translator may take too long for your interests.

The advantages of machine translation is that it is free, it is always improving and it is basically instant. However, its low rate of accuracy, its lack of context and inconsistency, depending on the language you choose, are huge disadvantages that you may want to look out for.

A Brief History of Machine Translation

 

Professional Translation

Professional translation services

Translation conducted by a trained and dedicated professional is definitely a more accurate solution for content. Professional translators will always give the best possible outcome, so if you are looking for high quality work, this is the way to go.

 

Top Accuracy

Language is a living thing, and it requires consistent study in order to be accurate. This is especially true of content like legal documents and other things that cannot afford to be misinterpreted. The investment in a person for this work is always worth it, as you appear more professional.

For Consumers

When you are dealing with consumers, you always want to give them the best possible translation. The consumer has no idea that you are trying to save time or that you used a machine to translate from another language. All that person sees is inaccurate text that does not connect to them in a human way. The image of your company is tied to your translation in many ways; a lack of quality or humanity can give your customers a very negative impression of your brand.

Creative Content

Your marketing and creative content always needs a human touch. After all, you are trying to convince humans to do business with you, not machines! Translation errors have not only produced hilarious campaigns that created some great laughs across cultural borders, but they have also cost those businesses billions of dollars in some cases. Can you afford this kind of loss - either monetary or professionally?

 

Which Should Service Should You Use

The advantages of professional translation include:

  • High accuracy
  • The ability to review text for nuances
  • Providing context for content and being able to recognize creative turns of phrase
  • You will also have a buffer against colloquialisms and a lack of direct translation
The longer turnaround times and upfront cost that you incur will usually be worth it because your company image and short-term sales funnel will not suffer from misinterpretations that invariably come from dry machine translations!

Whether you think you need machine or professional translation services, it is always good to get a professional opinion before deciding. There is a reason that the market for translators is growing - the world of business is getting smaller. Make sure that you have the right professionals on your side to take advantage of these new opportunities.

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