There was this story circulating a few years ago about the Google CEO receiving a letter in a language that he didn’t understand, and so he used Google Translate and was horrified at the bad quality of translation. Since then, he’s employed more people to work on the translation part of Google, and it has become better. However, machine translation is no substitute for translation by people. Here are a few reasons why it is so:
• Limited Vocabulary:
The machine translations are basically fed a lot of words at a time. However, it is not possible to feed all the words in a language into a machine. Therefore, if you try and translate something that is not commonly known, chances are that you might end up with untranslated words in your text, as the machine has no equivalents in its dictionary to translate them into.
• Improper Use of Words:
Each language has different words to refer to different things. Some languages have multiple words to refer to the same thing and some have only one. A problem arises when you want to translate latter into former by the use of machine. As a machine cannot establish context, it will probably end up making a mistake, rendering your translation inaccurate and undesirable. For example, the second person pronoun in English is ‘you’, and in Hindi, the second person pronouns are ‘tu’, ‘tum’ and ‘aap’. If the machine translates ‘you’ as ‘tu’ instead of ‘aap’, the text has the chance of turning offensive.
• Messy Sentence Structures:
Most languages that we know of have the structure of subject-verb-object. However, some languages do not have such a structure. Translations between former to latter can cause the machine to get confused and the output it gives is jumbled up and does not make a lot of sense. To illustrate, ‘I eat an apple’ is accurately translated into Hindi as ‘main seb kha rahi hun’. The former sentence has the structure of Subject-Verb-Object, while the latter has the sentence structure of Subject-Object-Verb. Additionally, the sentence in Hindi is gendered, while there is no possibility of gendering in the sentence in English.
Therefore, if you are translating from English to Hindi, the machine might translate it into Hindi with the wrong gender, which will change the meaning of the text completely.
While machine translations are immensely useful when it comes to translating large portions of texts very quickly, the dependability of such translations still remains questionable. Machines cannot think of the context and translate accordingly, so there are always some errors. Additionally, machines are programmed to translate as accurately as they can. Therefore, the machines forego embellishment and translate in a very flat manner. This makes translating poetry and high prose by the use of a machine impossible.
It is always better to use human translators than the machine ones as they can comprehend context and can translate according to how you want the text to be translated, so that it remains accurate and does not lose the flavor.
TransLang Ways: We offer quality human translation services in Bangalore, India. All our translation services in Bangalore are 100% human and we do not provide machine translations. We use translation technology but that is to make the translation accurate and not to disrupt its meaning.