Machine translation is not a new phenomenon, it has existed since the 1950s. Machine translation has greatly improved over all these years. Because of its efficacy, rapidness, as well as quality, it can be suggested that machine learning can replace human translators.
Can machine translation replace human translators completely?
A straightforward answer is no. Machine translation cannot replace human translators completely.
Before we delve into why human translators will always dominate machine translation let us understand how Machine translation works.
How do machine translations work?
Machine translation or MT engines are very complex systems. Linguists, as well as technicians, are required in the building of machine translations. They use algorithms, decoding, and coding. Originally RBMT or rule-based machine translation used a classical approach.
During the 1990s, statistical machine translation replaced machine translation. SMT or statistical Machine translation analyzes the body of bilingual data and texts. It was an important step because machines tend to learn the rules of language rules themselves, without any help from linguists’. SMT is considered a traditional translation model, however, it is still widely used.
5 Reasons Why Machine Translation Can’t Replace Human Translators
Many expert translators believe that machine translation can’t replace human translators. The reason behind this is simple- machines still err while translating for multiple reasons. Here are 5 reasons
1. Content Quality
It is obvious that Human translation is more natural, fluid, and the translations are based on artistic interpretation. Human translators understand the meaning as well as the essence of the content, but machine translation does not. Human translators are aware of the culture of the language, nuances that the speakers use, phrases and tone. Machine translation engines don’t get the context and therefore they cannot translate perfectly.
2. Language Skills
Human translators are well experienced in both languages thus they can translate any content easily. Machine translation on the other hand is faster and cheaper as compared to human translation, but it can’t get the connotation of the script. Human translators possess natural language skills which make them better translators.
3. Cultural Sensitivity
One of the most crucial aspects when it comes to translating content is cultural sensitivity. Every culture is mixed with the language. When content is translated from one language to the other human translators take culture into account. As human translators can easily understand the cultural values and norms, thus they will translate with perfection. machines, on the other hand, will probably miss the cultural touch that humans can give.
4. Language Evolution
Machines cannot learn the vocabulary and history of the language. Besides, more and more new words are added to every language as time progresses. Human translators can adapt to these changes but machines fail to do so. Machines cannot keep track of new vocabulary as humans can. Therefore human translators gain an extra point in such cases.
5. Human Touch
Machine translators cannot match human intelligence ever. Machine translators are very efficient, but human translators give the script a special significance. The process of translation will be grammatically correct and understandable if there are copy editors and proofreaders. Only humans can understand the complexity of translation and languages.
Why do people prefer Machine Translation?
Some people prefer Machine translation although human translation are much better. Here are some of the reasons why some companies and organizations prefer Machine translations:
1. Translation Speed
We all know that computers are much faster than humans when it comes to speed. Most organizations have switched to machine translation because they have to meet strict deadlines. But there is a huge drawback of machine translation which is the loss of translation accuracy.
In some cases, machine translation generates superior quality content as compared to human translators. It is because of the consistency in its style and wording. However, machines generally don’t choose accurate words based on cultural nuances. Therefore, although machine translators are consistent when it comes to phrases and wording, they can’t be trusted in the context of the exact meaning of the content translated.
3. More for Less
Machine translation is very helpful when it comes to bulk projects with strict deadlines. Machine translations allow businesses to save more money in such cases because human translations are generally more expensive. Therefore machine translation is a more budget-friendly option. Besides, in the case of machine translation, there is generally no additional cost involved for revision.
Final words: Human or Machine Translation?
There is no argument when it comes to saving time that Machine translation is much better. However, machine translators cannot match the flow, quality, and structure of the content that human translators give. In case you wish to use machine translations along with reviewers – this is generally called neural machine translation and post-editing or NMTP – you will be able to get the best of both worlds. Know more about Vinsys, having 16+ years of expertise in translation along with more than 150 languages and 100% human translation services across the globe.
You must be aware of the importance of the machine translator by now, however, if speed is not an important factor for you, nothing can beat human translators in terms of quality. But the final decision is completely up to you depending on your needs and requirements.