There is a debate at โดจิน regarding human vs machine translation which refuses to go away. It could be partly due to the improvement in technology yearly and the translation quality that is offered improving.
The following are the pros and cons of human vs machine translation and get to know the situation where you might have to choose in utilizing each of them:
The pros and cons of machine translation
The machine translation advantages generally come down to two main factors: cheaper and faster. The downside to the translation standard can be anywhere from being inaccurate to potentially dangerous or incomprehensive.
Pros of the machine translation include:
- Various tools which are free which are readily available such as skype translator, Google translate and much more
- Turn around that is very fast
- It is possible to translate between various languages by use of a single tool
- The technology of translation is improving constantly
Machine translation disadvantages include:
- Accuracy level might be low
- Accurate is as well quite inconsistent across various languages
- Mistakes made can be quite costly
- Machines will not translate context
- At times the translation doesn’t work
The main thing that you have to consider with such translation is the cost that the potential mistakes can cause you. When you translate instructions for a medical equipment, legal documents, aviation manuals and other kind of content do need accuracy that is 100%. In certain cases, it might cost lives, a lot of money, and damages which are irreparable to the image of the company; and thus, a need to choose wisely.
The pros and cons of human translation
When it comes to human translation, it tends to switch the tables as far as the pros and cons are concerned. A high accuracy standard is achieved at a price of higher costs and longer turnaround times. You will need to decide whether the initial investment is outweighing the cost of the potential mistakes; on the other hand, whether the mistakes are not an option.
The human translation advantages include:
- The high accuracy is determined by the translator
- It is possible the person to interpret the content, capturing the same meaning instead of translating the words only
- It is possible for the human translators to review work, providing in the process high quality
- There is a possibility of creatively using the language like slogans, metaphors and puns
- Translators who are professionals do understand the difference idiomatically between languages
- The humans can be able to spot content pieces where the literal translation is not possible, finding an alternative which is most suitable.
Cons of human translation
- There is a long turnaround time
- It is hard for the translators to work for free
- Unless using a translation agency that has access to so many translators, you are going to be limited to the language which the translator you have will be able to work with
From the above, what it means is that, the human translation might be your best option as far as translation is accuracy is concerned. Other considerations which you have to make are the source material complexity and the two languages that you are translating between.