Why Machine Translation Is Not Good for You

Machine Translation

Why Machine Translation Is Not Good for You

(Last Updated On: May 15, 2017)

Machine translation is a translating tool or software that is associated with the use of machines like computers, etc. It can prove to be convenient and useful depending on how one handles it. One great way to understand its usefulness is to know the best time to use it and on what it can and can’t do.

What is machine translation?

Broadly speaking, it is best to know the whole definition of machine translation (MT) in order to know when, why, and how to use it. As has been previously supposed, MT software is used when one wants to translate from one language to another in the absence of a human translator. MT is usually fixed with the modern translation software devices or tools. As much as technologies are effective and useful, though, a hundred percent cannot really be guaranteed with it in doing a job as it holds no intellect as much as humans with brains do.

On grammar

The functions of a machine translation are variate. It can identify some grammatical rules on the text given and can search some dictionaries in particular to the given text. Other forms of MT make use of corpora in which already translated words or text can be located. Translations can be brought about when MT extracts information on the existing translated text that is related or in particular to the text given. This is done by identifying and detecting patterns. It would then estimate what the most precise translation would be once patterns are recognized.

On translation proficiency

While it is true that this tool has great proficiency, it though has its drawbacks and limitations like any other form of technology. Each language has a fine distinction and different shades. Human translators who understand this would be able to keep up in both lexical and grammatical precision. While doing so, they make sure that the translation cannot affect the meaning of the text content. A software translation tool like MT might be lacking in terms of filling up the gap of language boundaries as well as identifying a particular language nuance in comparison to human translators. As much as it has proven to be useful in doing translation works, depending on it solely though would lead to sub-par translation or even an incorrect translation.

On teamwork with human translator

A work of a human translator though would become efficient and much simpler if a machine translation would be used. If there are some parts that are yet translated from a translation memory (TM) of a translator, the machine translation software can pre-translate it. This would allow the human translator just to review those parts and can make some adjustments if ever the MT would reach its boundaries. This in turn, can speed up the pace of a human translator in comparison when one is not using such kind of helpful tool. Teamwork between the man and technology could lead to good and faster results and some companies already use this in order to cut down costs. Here at DutchTrans, we do not use machine translation tools like Google Translate as even with editing, the translation wouldn’t be the perfect output requested by our clients.

There is no better way to clearly identify the benefits and disadvantages of machine translation than to set an example. One perfect example of it would be the web page’s automatic translation. A browser would automatically send a recommendation of “Translate to English” if an article online were composed originally in a different language. A popular browser that is using this is the Google Translate in Google Chrome. Google Translate is making use of a Machine Translation version that translates a web page automatically to English. Other browsers may use different kinds of translation software though results and functions are almost at a similar level.

On meaning

MT may only give a translation to the idea of the content and may not deliver the meaning of the text content thus it is important to identify its limitations.  For one, it is not able to proofread which is important to ensure that translation is precise and accurate. It cannot also identify and understand sayings, set phrases, etc. in which would lead to a translation that is rather awkward or literal. Further, it may not be able to identify the right meaning of a given word which could be a homonym. Lastly, nuances of different languages may not be recognized resulting to translation errors or mis-translations.

Its function has helped many translators do their translation works much easily, but one should regard it only as a tool that supports and that it shouldn’t be the one doing all the translation work. In the end, hiring a professional linguist in doing the translation would be much advisable to obtain a precise and accurate result.