Advances in technology have made software translation a reality. All you have to do is feed in your text, set the language in which the translation is required and hit the "Translate" button. That's it. You get your document translated.
Sounds too good to be true?
There's no machine, no software in this world that can ever translate like a human being can. Software translation can at best translate a few words or a couple of sentences, but for anything like a full document or a legal paper, you must work with a professional document translation service.
Here are some of the disadvantages of computer-aided translation:
- Machine translation may be faster than human translation but it can no way understand the lingo or the cultural nuances. That said, machine translation can work if the work does not exceed a paragraph or two.
- Machine translation is way too cheap to be professional. You cannot ever compare a professional translator's fees with what the per-page cost of machine translation. If you indulge in such comparisons and choose on that basis, you are doing the wrong thing.
- Many folks say that machine translation keeps it confidential. Such folks must know that a document translation service that employs accredited and certified translators is more secure than a computer, which can be hacked into.
- Computer software is neither a specialist nor a linguist. It can only convert words from one language into another. You cannot really trust such an unreliable source. When the machine translates words, the accuracy, lingo, the language nuances, and many other cultural aspects are lost. Sometimes meanings get twisted beyond recognition, and such unreliable translation can ruin your reputation and business.
- Machine translation is stiff. It cannot resolve language ambiguities. It cannot think like a human being. Software is based on formal rules, and it can in no way go beyond such rules. Translation is one service that must go beyond stiff and systemic rules.
Honestly, there are no real advantages of machine translation unless you want to translate a paragraph or two. Beyond that, it may prove useless.
If you are considering buying software for document translation - don't. You may end up ruining your brand and your business. If you need to translate a paragraph or two, or if you are in college, then you can go ahead with the software translation. But if you need a proper translation for business documents, then you must work with a professional service.
This article was published on behalf of Mae A. Doherty. She is a blogger from San Jose who enjoys writing about technology.