Welcome to the era of technology, where human civilization nowadays seems inseparable with the power of technology in almost every aspect of daily lives. Translation industry, for one, is not being overlooked by this grip of machinery too. To think of how personal technology gets easily in our hands now, what is not? This is the time when machine translators grow to be a precipitous alternative like fast food, and modern human who seek for convenience flocking there, disregarding the result that will make them dissatisfied.
Translating from one language to another is far from easy, and even when machine translators are becoming more advance, these tools get risky when they’re used in several cases where the texts are longer and more sophisticated. These tools are probably handy if you just want to take a big picture of the translation, for gisting purpose.
However, how much can you rely on these machine translators?
Certainly, a wise man would not suggest you to rely too much on them. For there are inevitable shortcomings in terms of complexity and precision.
Effective and precise translations need somebody who understands the context of the source language to identify and appreciate the nuances of each language they’re working on. While machine translators quickly processing target language from source language, the machine doesn’t acknowledge nor translate idioms, slang or terms that aren’t preprogrammed within the machine’s memory. Machine translations are typically very literal, hence the errors and strange language out of context that is often easily identifiable by a native reader.
If it’s some serious translation you’re dealing with, such as legal, technical, academic, or other important texts, you’re definitely going to need more than a machine. With professional human translators, the danger of imperfect translations that may confuse, mislead or offend the readers could be overcome. There have been many real-world instances of mistranslated texts and slogan everywhere, some could make funny stories. Take this restaurant called Translate Server Error or a drink’s “come alive” translated in Chinese ads as “we bring your ancestors back from the grave”. Funny as it may seem to be, consider this, which products or company will you use, the convincing one, or the one that sounds like a joke?
The choice is yours.