Machine Translation vs. Human Translation: Which is Better?

human translation

Is Machine Translation better than Human Translation?

The battle between man versus machine is as old as humanity itself. Throughout history, the machines that were originally made to better humanity and ease the workload began to replace the workers that they were made to serve. This trend began to really pick up the pace during the industrial revolution where machines made jobs in the manufacturing industries often obsolete. And we see machines today replacing workers in the automotive industry and others like it. While machines make work go faster and can output products at higher speed, the products are often of inferior quality to those of handmade ones. The translation industry is no exception—machine translation is available to billions of people on Google Translate, but is almost always inferior to professionally done human-made translations. Each method has its pros and cons. Consider the following ideas when choosing between machine and human translation:

 

Cost

When compared with professional translation services, free online translation software seems like a bargain. You can access some form of free translation software on nearly every internet platform, including Bing, Firefox, Chrome, etc. The most famous free online translation software is undoubtedly Google Translate. Google Translate is a multilingual machine translation service that translates text from one language into a large range of others using a neural learning network.

On the other hand, professional translation services are almost never free. When comparing machine translation versus professional translation, the only place where machine translation truly trumps professional services is when it comes to cost.

 

Accuracy

With the lower cost of machine translation, you sacrifice accuracy for savings. Online translation services, such as Google Translate, can effectively translate small phrases or single words. However, when you begin to need longer strings of text or entire documents translated, the accuracy of these online translation services decreases significantly.

If you’re a business owner, you’ve likely spent countless hours in a conference room refining and perfecting your branding and content. Machine translation cannot effectively carry those ideas you’ve worked so hard on over into another language, whereas a professional translation service can. If you’re in the medical, legal, or technical fields and need documents translated, trying to cut costs for translation services can yield inaccurate – and potentially dangerous – translated documents.

Authors of one study published in the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine Journal found that Google Translate can result in infrequent yet significant errors [1]. The authors took patient discharge instructions in English and translated them into Spanish and Chinese using Google Translate. They found that one of the inaccuracies in translation done by Google Translate could have resulted in fatalities.

 

Choose Acutrans

Acutrans is a professional translation service that takes advantage of the efficiency of machine translation, ultimately helping you to save on cost, while performing post-editing by highly qualified translators to return a quality-assured, accurately translated document. Acutrans employs computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and other cutting-edge technologies to help streamline the translation process, saving you money and time. Within a span of 24 hours, your document will be translated and returned to you.

 

With interpreters that specialize in over 200 different languages and translators that are experts in over 100, Acutrans is your authority on every type of language service. Get started with translation or interpretation services here.