Machines vs Humans
Who can translate better?
In the last decades, we have experienced many technological revolutions. Like most professionals, translators have had to adapt to these new technologies. Nowadays, we have automated systems to make translation easier, these automatic translation tools are very easy to use and can translate faster than any human. You just input the text, select the desired language and ta-da! in a few seconds you will have the translation completed.
But, although they achieve amazingly quick results, these translation services do not take into account the actual context and this detail, apparently small, leads to many problems, confusion and even frustration. Also, these tools do not capture language nuances; sometimes they include errors in grammar and syntax, make poor choices of terms and remove cultural references. In other words, machine translators do word-for-word translations which more often than not, fail to convey the message that was originally intended.
Granted, lately the human translators are able, and encouraged, to use machine translation in order to speed up their work. But they only use it as a supporting element. It might be a first step in the process: after that, translators still have to “clean”, edit, correct, proofread the text, in order to achieve a readable, top notch product. We can say, then, that creativity and quality are two of the main advantages of human translators.
A professional translator will analyze the entire text. Translation agencies usually employ translators whose mother tongue is also the language into which they translate. Therefore, they will use specific idiomatic expressions, producing high quality translations that transmit the meaning of the text and the author's perspective. The creativity that a specialized human translator brings to a translation is an added value for the customer; an automatic translation tool will never achieve this result. An automatic translator only sees a set of words to be translated, instead of a means of expression, and this is where the main difference lies.
A high quality translation will sound fluent and natural. It’s true that an automatic translator may be able to deliver a translation in the blink of an eye, but it will never understand the client's specifications, requirements and preferences. By choosing the services of a specialized translation, you will get translations with the assurance that they will meet your expectations without having to spend a lot of time double-checking or editing texts.
A professional human translator cares about clients, offers translations that can transmit whatever it is that you want to express, applies creativity and critical thinking. It seems that no matter how much technology advances, there will be no substitute for the human touch.