Today, delivering content in multiple languages is crucial for businesses hoping to expand their reach abroad. When doing a translation project, companies have two main options: machine translation or professional human translation services.
But how do you determine which is the right approach for your specific needs? This comprehensive article will dig into the difference between human translation and machine translation, including the pros and cons of each.
Before diving into the upsides and downsides of machine translation, it’s important to first demystify what this technology actually is and how it works. Let’s have a closer look at this issue.
Machine translation (MT) refers to the automated translation of text from one language to another using advanced statistical algorithms instead of human translators. The technology works by analyzing large volumes of bilingual text data to identify patterns and correlations between the source and target languages. It then uses this data repository to automatically translate additional texts, constantly updating and improving its translation “memory” the more data it’s exposed to.
The machine translation process consists of three core components.
Armed with a basic understanding of what machine translation is and how it works, let’s explore key advantages and disadvantages.
Clearly, machine translation delivers major advantages for high volume, fast translation of simple text but lacks the nuance and customization needed for complex or sensitive materials.
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Unlike automated machines, professional human translators bring an intuitive understanding of language subtleties, cultural context, and adaptable communication styles. Here’s a closer look at why human translation is better than machine translation.
The Human Translation Process
While machines can handle simple text well, there are many cases where only human translation will suffice:
So, for important texts requiring true mastery of language, culture, and context, human expertise remains invaluable.
By now, the fundamental differences between human and machine translation are clear. But how do you decide which approach is right for your specific project?
Here are the key factors to consider:
By carefully weighing these factors, it becomes clearer when machines or humans, or a combination, are best suited for your goals.
In many cases, the ideal solution is a blended model – using machine translation for simple high-volume passages combined with professional human translators to finesse, adapt, and edit the translations for maximum accuracy and impact.
Here are a few scenarios for finding the right translation approach.
The most prudent option is partnering with a trusted translation agency that can guide you in choosing the optimal technologies and translators to match your budget, timeline, and content profile. The right experts will know when machine translation will suffice versus when only human craft can meet your global content goals.
Circle Translations is a leading translation agency with over 15 years of experience helping global organizations and businesses translate content to reach worldwide audiences.
We understand each translation project requires a unique solution. With Circle Translations, you get:
Contact our team today for a complimentary assessment of your unique requirements. Discover why global organizations rely on Circle Translations as their translation partner of choice to take their content worldwide.
The choice ultimately depends on project goals, timeline, budget constraints, volume needs, and content profile.
Often, a combined approach utilizing both technologies delivers optimal results. By working with a trusted translation agency to guide you in leveraging the strengths of machines and humans tailored to your needs, you can confidently scale your global content expansion and connect with audiences worldwide in their native languages.
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