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The world is increasing becoming more reliant on technology, so how does this work when it comes to translation?

Why keeping the human interaction in the translation process rather than using tools such as Google Translate is still important.

The last time you needed a translation did you think to use, or go to Google?

You probably did, it’s an inevitable situation where for ease and cost you turn to what has become the world’s most commonly used resource, and in a world of unknowns, Google seemingly has most of the answers, or does it?

In 2001, Google launched it’s translation platform; Google Translate. What from the outset seemed a great resource at the touch of a keypad, however it quickly left users with many grammatical and spelling issues. This admittedly was in the early versions which has the ability to translate written documents.

Technological advancements over the years inevitably lead to changes and learning the lessons of any mistakes which were made, but how much can you trust the use of an online system with any human input? The never-ending debate about human translate versus Google, will no doubt continue to rage on, mainly because Google Translate still continues to go through a period of improvement, so whether the debate becomes more weighted in favour of Google in the future once updates make the service more accurate over time is yet to be seen.

Many studies have been conducted testing the accuracy of even the newest versions. When analysing the studies, it was confirmed that Google Translate is not yet able to capture the full meaning of the text. Google’s translation remains broken, disjointed, and difficult to understand at times.

So, why is Google Translate the most commonly used translation tool today?


Google Translate – The Positives

Google Translate’s ease of use and accessibility allows users to easily translate on-the-go. The program is web-accessible as well as mobile-accessible, providing translation from any platform. Google’s translation happens almost instantaneously, allowing users to quickly find the answers they are looking for. You can’t forget that Google Translate is also free to use. Google offers a large number of languages available for translation, right at your fingertips.

Google Translate – The Negatives

Google Translation provides translation for just over 100 different languages. In a world made up of over 6,000 different languages, Google has barely brushed the surface. If your language isn’t on the list, then you’re out of luck. Google advertises type, talk, snap, see, write, and offline translation services, but many don’t know that these services are limited by the type of language you need translated.

Because Google Translate is a machine, it doesn’t take into account the context of a sentence or the readability of the platform for which the translation is for. While Google Translate is beneficial for certain translation needs, it is important that you recognize that there is a time and place for Google Translate as well as human translation services. Understanding Google Translate’s limitations will help you decipher which service is best for your business.

When to use Google Translate

When the specifics of content don’t matter and the “general meaning” will suffice, you could use Google Translate for a quick-service translation.

Translation World – The Positives

While Google Translate gives you the overall gist of something, sometimes you need more than that.  With human translation, you have an actual person providing the translation, ensuring that your translations are completely accurate to what the content is being used for. A human translator is able to interpret the context of the content, and translate it to represent the exact context it was originally used in. Human translators pride themselves on grammatical correctness and understand ability for the reader. Unlike Google Translate, human translators understand the idiomatic differences between two different languages.

Translation World – The Negatives

Accuracy comes with a price, and it is important to decide how beneficial the accuracy of your translation is.

How much is accuracy worth to you? Depending on the type of translation, you can’t put a price on professional representation of your business and accuracy of the translation for your users. Although human translation is much more accurate than Google Translate, there could still be a limitation on the number of languages that an individual translator can translate. Working with a translation agency is the best way to find the largest variety of individuals specializing in a large selection of languages. Human translation also takes time. The turnaround is not instantaneous, like that of Google Translate. Accuracy takes time, and professional human translators take their time to ensure your documents are 100% accurate.

When to use human translators.

Always use human translation when accuracy is important. If your customers or audience is going to see the content, human translation will provide individuals with a better, more thorough understanding, while representing your business in a positive light. If you are translating the same content for different purposes, such as marketing materials, digital web content, brochures, etc., a human translator will be able to write and translate for these different platforms.

Human translations by Translation World.

Google Translate and human translation provide very different roles in the translation industry. It is important to balance the pros and cons of each before choosing which method is best for your purpose. For questions about human translation services, or if you’d like to request a quote, contact us today!