We constantly have clients who have come to us due to failures with machine translation. Law firms, financial firms, audio and video agencies, and ad firms often find that although the price of machine translation is appealing, the quality is far lower than what they need. We’re asking our 15,000+ translators about what they value and how human translation compares to machine translation. Here is what our translator think of the comparison between machine translation and human translation.
Question: Where do you think machine or automated translation like Google Translate is lacking most?
Answer: “For what concerns the languages I speak, I think Google Translate’s biggest hurdle is that it can’t translate a sentence’s full meaning, with all of its “nuances” and implications. Automated translations are getting grammatically better and better, but we as translators know very well that good grammar isn’t enough to translate the full meaning of a sentence.”
Answer: “Connotations are something that a machine cannot easily translate; also in the field of philosophy or humanities there are concepts that have not a straight translation. And of course the slight differences based upon dialects and context can not be apprehended by machines. Then syntax can be too tight in machine conversion, as in phrasal clusters or cultural references which need an adaptation to the source culture.”
Answer: “Context is definitely lacking. Sometimes it can take looking at more than just the context of the sentence being translated to see what the person was trying to say. This is still not possible for a computer to do. So many words can be translated into so many different words based on the context.”
We then asked our translators to let us know which of our core values—(I) Reliability, (II) Quality, and (III) Transparency—matters most to them when translating?
Not surprisingly, 100% said “Quality” was the most important VerbalizeIt Value. Learn more about our values and how we operate in the video below and sign up for VerbalizeIt today to get an alternative to Google Translate!