With the advancement of technology regarding machine translation, one might ask himself why even bother with having a document translated by a human. Here are a few reasons why isn’t not always a great idea:

  • Quality

Although machine translation is the ideal solution for rapid and cost efficient translation, there is an undeniable lack of quality when it comes down to translating documents using a machine.
There exists a context of communication such as emotion and non verbal language that only a human can understand when translating a document in another language. Moreover, in the case of literary or judiciary documents, human translation will of course remain the obvious best choice.

  • No interaction or feedback with the translator

When dealing with machine translation, you do not interact with anyone about your work but the machine. You cannot depend on someone who has the expertise and experience in the involved languages. Being able to interact with someone who understands the context and culture of the language is crucial. Also, most professional translators like myself have their work proofread by a third person, which you will not have with a machine translation.

  • No consideration of the culture

One of the biggest problems with machine translation is that it does not take into account the culture of the language targeted. If we take for example advertising, a machine will not tell you if a slogan or product name will sit well in the targeted country. The work must be done by a team of professional translators who are familiar with the language and the targeted countries. Numerous brands fell into the trap of translating using a machine. This resulted in words having different meanings and sometimes a vulgar connotation, like the famous example of the term for the SUV from Mitsubishi that means “Masturbator” in Spanish speaking countries. Not very professional…