Translation Services vs. Machine Translators (and 5 Surprising Outcomes)

Technology certainly has a place in today’s society. The fact that computers have the ability to translate words and documents into multiple languages in real time is a real marvel. Certainly, translation technology has come a long way.

That being said, machine translators such as Google Translate and Bing Translator are no substitute for human translation. Even with recent advancements and improvements, machines are far from reliable when it comes to translating nuance and context. 

Furthermore, when you are trying to reach your customer base, you want nothing less than perfect translations of your material. The many famous examples of robots failing to interpret natural human languages can be funny, but offending your customers or business partners is no joke.

In short, machine translation systems lack the “human touch” required for adapting cultural references and contextual variances into cogent communications. You do not want to risk cheapening your message with machine or computer generated translations when it comes to communicating with foreign clients, customers, or new prospects. 

The simple fact is that machines fail to reliably translate context because they lack the ability to adapt to local knowledge and relevant news or trends.

5 Surprising Outcomes When You Use a Machine for Translations

1. Ghost in the Machine

Sometimes machines see things that aren’t actually there, seemingly haunted by the memory of previous translations in their database. As a result, the machine will add to the text based on previous inputs. But the machine translator can also do the opposite and erase critical parts of the text.

2. Over-translations

Some words are not supposed to be translated, such as the name of a company or a person. But machines don’t necessarily know that. A literal translation of a company’s name can cause confusion.

3. What Did You Just Say to Me?

Adapting the tone of voice is crucial in communicating your message. For instance, the incorrect use of pronouns in machine-generated translations is common. It could be not only confusing but off-putting to your customers or clients when this happens. 

Different contexts and situations call for different uses of language registers. For example, in a professional setting, the use of a pronoun in German like du (the informal word for you) instead of sie (the formal form of you), can come across as rude. 

4. Corrupted Meaning 

Inconsistent or incorrect use of terminology, punctuation, or units of measurement can corrupt the meaning of the text. Also, one word can have different translations. Conveying irony or sarcasm can be tricky as well. 

5. Less is More 

Concise language can be an effective communication tool. Machines can botch this by using too many words.

Why are Professional Translation Services Better?

Reading about translation snafus made by international companies can be funny, but it’s not funny when a machine translation blunder finds its way into thousands of pamphlets you’ve already mailed out to new prospects or inactive clients. Exceedingly formal, overly casual, awkward, or not-quite-accurate-but-understandable phrases should never be acceptable in a professional setting.

In professional translation, words must be translated not just accurately, but with clarity. Words and phrases need to flow and convey the essence and the heart of your organization’s brand. On top of all of that, the translated text must convey your message with respect to your target market’s culture. Your translations should always communicate the “human touch” of what you have to offer, and that human quality is not possible if you are using a machine.

One way to ensure a superior quality of translation is to hire human professionals to translate content which is critical to your brand. The truth is that translating the basic meaning is not enough when translating in a professional setting. When in doubt, always trust that a professional translation service with qualified, experienced, and native-speaking translators will ensure that your brand’s message remains intact in any language and culture.

Professional Translation Services Provide Support

Are you looking for a professional language services agency that is dedicated to protecting your integrity? You can do better than Google Translate. Look no further than LinguaLinx

Another thing that machine translators cannot provide is support. With our responsive customer service, you will receive the prompt and efficient support you need. Take the next step and contact us. No matter the project, no matter the language, no matter the size of your organization, no matter the industry, we are here for you. Our certified, multilingual translators are native-speaking, subject-matter experts who are far more capable of understanding the nuances of language than a machine. 

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