3 Reasons Human Translation Is Still Important
Business people who need translation and localization work done sometimes think it is easier, faster or more cost efficient to rely on today’s technology. Some of them prefer to cut out the intermediary and translate emails and documents simply using translation apps such as Google Translate.
Machine translation has indeed come a long way in the last 10 years, most notably the Neural Machine Translation by Google. But if you are not a native speaker, without the human translator you simply cannot send a professional email in English, or convey messages in Spanish properly. Here are three reasons why a translation agency is still the better choice:
1. Automated Translations Can Cost You Your Clients
When doing business with you, your clients expect the highest level of professionalism possible. Because the media tends to exaggerate and oversimplify things, some people think that Google Translate can now replace a professional translator. This is simply not true. Google Translate has become more accurate in recent years, but it still struggles with sentence structure and vocabulary.
With all the media sharing happening nowadays, not getting a translation accurate can cost you your company’s reputation. If you rely on automated translations, you may lose a partner or client, or just make a bad impression. One famous example of a translation error involves a man who was misdiagnosed in a Florida emergency room — something that resulted in a $71 million lawsuit.
2. For the Non-English Speaking World, Communication Is a Culture Issue
"English speakers with no other language often have a lack of awareness of how to speak English internationally,"
says Dale Coulter, head of English at a language course provider in Switzerland. He knows how one mistake in translation can cost companies thousands of dollars — if not more.
Style and tone, accuracy and words with multiple meanings can be easily confused by an app like Google Translate. Most people in the world do not speak English, so when doing business with them, it is important to speak their language to communicate clearly. Statistics show that out of the 1,500 million people worldwide who do speak English, only 375 million of these are native speakers.
Remember that communication is the key point here. Cutting corners by using an automated translator rather than a human translator may cause you to miss the most important aspects of your message to your foreign clients.
3. No App or Bot Can Replace the Skills of a Human Translator
Human translators are usually multilingual, with years of experience in conveying hidden meanings and complex literary and journalistic connotations. This is something technology can’t yet replace. If you want your message to be understood accurately, choose a human translator.
You may think it is easy to translate a single word using an app, but English has so many nuances a computer can’t detect. Our vocabulary is too complex, and one word can be conveyed in too many different ways that the machines can’t pick up on yet. Machine translation isn’t 100 percent accurate. In fact, translation software provides erroneous and unreliable results, according to Dublin City University, and often struggles with lexicon and semantics. This technology finds it hard to translate larger texts, too.
Your clients trust you with their documents, so you want to ensure privacy across all channels. Choosing a human translator, rather than relying on automated tools that may not guarantee the confidentiality of your data, can be a solution.