Why Human Translation is Here to Stay

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Why Human Translation is Here to Stay

It seems like much of the world is continuing in its forward movement to rely on technology for tasks that humans once did. From being able to order your meal from a machine at a restaurant to robot security patrols in certain businesses, it’s almost hard to imagine what type of previously human-filled job could be replaced next.

While AI-powered machine translation is widely available and can certainly be used for basic translation, human translators are without a doubt here to stay. There are plenty of free translation tools online to help people translate words or short phrases that can help for social settings or when you just need to know the meaning of a specific word. But this should never be considered a viable option when it comes to translating for more advanced purposes like business, financial, or legal documents or other forms of official communication.

Machine translation can only get you so far when it comes to translation beyond the most basic word-for-word needs. Anything other than a real human will be unable to accurately translate while keeping in mind cultural sensitivities, nuances of a language, context, and different specialties with fields of business or industry. These are all crucial to the success of translation and should always be taken into consideration when translation needs arise.

As we continue to see global business communications on the rise due to the ease with which we can communicate and do business with those in other countries, we will continue to see the need for expert human translators. It’s pretty clear that a machine-processed translation just won’t do in many cases, but in exactly what types of instances would you need to hire a human translator rather than using an AI-based machine translation? Let’s explore that answer below.

 

Specialized translation

Basic word for word translation, and even short phrases, can generally be done with translation apps and machines. However, these can sometimes fail even for the most basic of translations due to the different structures of various languages that don’t translate well on a word for word basis. These types of mistakes cannot be risked when it comes to more formal communication such as a legal or business translation for documents or official communications.

When working with legal translation, for example, documents, contracts, and other types of written communication can’t just be translated word for word. Because of the complicated nature of law and legal language even within just one language, translating complicated legal jargon filled documents with technical language and laws that are subject to their local interpretations requires expert knowledge for their translation.

In the same way, business and marketing translation needs must properly take into consideration the types of companies that are attempting to communicate. Several factors can go into business translation such as what field of business is involved and what knowledge, context, and field-specific terminology needs to be considered when making those translations. In addition to the field the business is involved in, there are other factors that only a human translator with specialized knowledge can apply when making their translations. Suppose the translations are for legal business documents. In that case, you have a situation where a translator not only needs to understand the businesses at hand, but also legal language and laws on both sides of the language barrier. For this reason, a human translator with specialized knowledge is necessary in order to accurately translate.

 

Cultural differences

When translating, it’s crucial to take into consideration the different cultures involved and not just singling out their language as the main concern. The terms and phrases directly translated from one language to another can often have a slightly different meaning or context behind it when you only look at the word to word translation. This can lead to misunderstandings which can sometimes lead to a negative outcome or confusion.

Focusing on localization is something that only a human translator can achieve with accuracy. They can narrow criteria and consider any significant non-textual concepts that represent a country’s culture in a way that an AI-based translation can never do. Because translators have the ability to be knowledgeable and sensitive to local cultures they can be aware of things like cultural sensitivities, ethics, traditions, and values. This is essential in ensuring that translations are made in a way that isn’t only accurate, but respectful and well received.

 

Notarized and certified translations

When translating official documents for business transactions or communication, or even a court of law, the need for certified accuracy is often present. In these cases, you simply cannot use a machine based translation and must rely on the expertise and a guarantee that can be placed on the translation by a professional.

Because inadequate translations may have serious legal or financial consequences, official documents that are associated with legal or business matters are some of the most critical materials produced and translated. Mistakes in translation such as misinterpretation or inappropriate application of language can put the entire document at risk.

Working with a company that offers notarized and certified translations can help ensure that those types of mistakes are not made. Only the most professional and high-quality translation services work with translators that are able to provide these types of certifications. In the case of a certified translation, for example, this certification comes from a professional organization attesting to the accuracy of the translation.

Although technology has brought us the means for quick translation through machines designed to translate with as much accuracy as possible, that doesn’t mean that the need for human translation is no longer needed. In fact, as globalization continues and we interact professionally with more people outside of our own language and culture, the need for professional translation by a human that can use their knowledge and expertise to properly translate will only grow. When choosing a translation service, consider the repercussions of allowing a machine to translate rather than a human with the knowledge and ability to think critically with context and culture in mind.

Be in touch today to see how one of our expert translators can help you with your needs.

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