Why Machine Translation Cannot Replace Human Translators

Effective and precise communication is very important to deal with the globalized world and to expand your business across borders. That is why so many companies hire translation services. The advancement of machine technology has taken translation services to the next level. Some companies opt for machine translation and some opt for human translation.

Difference Between Human Translation and Machine Translation

Technology advancement has impacted different fields of the world and the translation industry is one of them. The machine can do translations but human translation is the best form of translating all kinds of written documents, marketing material, magazines, websites, legal documents, product manuals, and many more. Human translators do the translation by taking all the necessary aspects into consideration, to provide their audience with an impeccable translation that leaves an impact on them.

Machine translation only does the translation from one language to another. It can not perform as a human does. Humans consider the intended message to be retained in the translation process whereas machine translation does only literal translation. 

What do you think the future holds? Will the advancement in machine translation outpace the human translators? No! Why? Primarily because the machines cannot comprehend the cultural aspects and may fail where creative translation (transcreation) is needed!

Let us have a look at why machine translation cannot replace human translation. 

Machine Translation Can Not Deliver Contextual Meaning

There are thousands of languages spoken around the globe and in each language, there are different words that have different meanings according to the context. Context is very important, and out of context translation can ruin the intended message. Peter Gilliver, who is the lexicographer of the Oxford English dictionary narrated that in the English language, the form of verb run has 645 different meanings. Now the question is whether the machine translation can translate all these meanings in their different contexts in more than one language. The answer is no. Humans can translate the context of the word in different languages and they also relate words according to different situations. The competent translator can translate all the homonyms of the words in each language and their relationship with other words. 

At present, machine translation does not possess any skill that can translate different contexts and different meanings that a single word has in the context. So, it’s obvious, we need human translation for in-context translation.

Machine Translation Cannot Understand the Nuances of the Culture

Every country has its own norms and values that shape their culture. The culture of the region also determines their way of communication. The problem with machine translation is that it cannot be sensitive to culture. The idioms, phrases, and slangs used in every culture are different. Machines cannot be programmed to understand the culture. The same words spoken in different cultures have different meanings. Some words and phrases that are considered humorous in one culture might be offensive in other cultures. Only human translators can identify these differences. While machine translation only can do a literal translation. The human translators are native to the cultures and can understand the cultural and linguistic nuances. This gives human translation an edge over machine translation. 

Machines Cannot Be Programmed For Localization

The integration of socio-cultural aspects is what makes translation effective. Linguistics know languages keep on changing according to their cultural requirements and they pay special attention to the contextual meaning. On the other hand, it is very difficult to program machines for new words that appear every time in translation as per their localized dialect. To handle this problem, many machines are regularly programmed with algorithms, but this is a very tedious and time-taking task.

 As contrary to the machine, human translators can easily adapt to the new changes in the language and provide you with impeccable translation with a correct and equivalent combination of words.

Machine Translation Requires Human To Operate

To program the machine with an algorithm and to give it instructions, human beings are required. After the translation, proofreading is required to identify any grammatical and lexical errors. The human translators give the finishing touch to your piece of the document as per the needs of the localized audience. The intricacies of different languages can only be understood by human beings. Artificial intelligence cannot be compared with human intelligence because artificial intelligence is also processed by human beings. Machine translation is developed to assist human translation and not to eradicate them. So human translation cannot be taken over by machine translation.

Machine Translators Cannot Translate According To Style and Tone

Every linguistic writing has a different style and tone, and for seamless translation, it is necessary to translate documents according to their original tone. The translation machines are programmed in such a way that they swap the words with the most appropriate vocabulary, but the use of appropriate vocabulary is not sufficient. For example, there is a difference in tone when we use the words pleasure and happiness. Machines cannot differentiate between the style and tone of words. This is the biggest difference between machine and human translation. Only the human translator can provide you with seamless translation according to the tone of your document.

Bottom Line 

No doubt the machine translation has come a long way since the last decade and many translation companies are using its services to produce rapid translation at an economical rate but this technology is still in the process of innovation and its results need human assistance to get verified. The end of the story is, that precise and accurate translation can only be done by human translators. Chinese Translation Services has a team of native translators that provides you with robust translation services in fast turnaround time and economical rates. Visit us for more details.

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Antonia October 29, 2020 0 Comments