Professional Translation Services vs. "The Babel Noise Machine" - or how not to get lost in translation...

By Slava
Sep 11, 2013 · 3 min

Most people wish they could, but one cannot trust machine (or automatic) translation services promising the translation of full passages, paragraphs, documents and even complete websites into other idioms. Simply because the attempt to engage in a language translation process is made by software which is unable to cope and solve all the tiny gritty perceptions of meaning that only a professional (and human!) translator is capable of interpreting.

What is machine translation? Machine translation, also referred to as automatic translation, consists in generating an equivalent text that communicates the same message in another language without the interference of human translators.

{t}Machine translation has had lofty goals since its first days, promising quick and cheap translation. Behind all the claims voiced by the enthusiasts in the 1950s was the need to have a computer program to translate Soviet documents into English. Skepticism grew when Russian words for “hydraulic ram” were translated as "water goat".

No matter what method of machine translation is being addressed, the main issue of machine translation is accuracy. One should reconsider his/her options if looking for a solution on the information highways… I could not find a better testimony discussing this than at an online-based operator, according to the Google Translator FAQ, "Even today's most sophisticated software, however, doesn't approach the fluency of a native speaker or possess the skill of a professional translator. Automatic translation is very difficult, as the meaning of words depends on the context in which they're used".
The risk of using online machine translation can be properly illustrated by the 2007 incident between Israeli journalists and the Dutch Foreign Minister. You can read it all at The Jerusalem Post. The tension caused a serious diplomatic incident, certainly because someone was careless enough not to consider translation as a vital expense while sending diplomatic messages across international borders.

Translation is a complex and delicate process of saving the linguistic and cultural aspects of the original text. Translation and its goal for accuracy cannot be gambled by a mechanical procedure with a word for word replacement - it takes years of professional training, experience and insight to become a full flagged professional translator. Differently from the approach taken by machine translation systems, the professional trained translator makes no compromise on quality, as he/she is aware that lame translation procedures are a source of risk and lead to inaccurate output on the final text.

Professional translators provide high-quality translation services with a careful approach to every detail. Only a professional translator is able to bring down the language barrier, and deliver the message to the target audience, therefore making communication and business easier and more efficient.

Nowadays, the market is full of promises of salvation for language translation, but… for those who know only a professional translator can complete the task. For those who don’t know machine translation will be their well of Babel, where they throw their words into.

Accuracy and reliability come with the human touch of the professional translator.

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