Google Translate is fast food compared to a professional translator. So why do companies use translation software with substandard results?
Although Google Translate has become slightly more effective in recent times, we’d still call it a “getting an idea” tool. It works well if you need a quick gist of a topic. But if you’re looking to use it for Business Communications, you might be in for a bit of disappointment.
If your translation or interpretation involves any level of sophistication – say, convincing the lead to try your services or explaining the particulars of a product – you will need more than a machine. You will need the translation services of a human. Their ability to understand your requirements combined with the translation tools they use to achieve higher-language goals will get the job done for you.
So what ARE the advantages of using a professional interpreter or translator over machine translation? We list down the five most important ones:
Google Translate gets confused with words or phrases that have multiple meanings.
Clients/customers might withdraw from the deal/transaction if they feel that your organization isn’t making adjustments for the nuances of a word’s intended use, and your brand image could suffer. In case of sensitive information, you could even face legal problems – for instance, the caution section of a manual of medical or electrical equipment.
Polysemous words are commonly mistranslated. These are the words with more than one meaning. For instance, “vino en botella,” means “wine in a bottle” but gets translated to “she came in a bottle.” Similarly, “Prohibido, no pasar,” means “Forbidden, no trespassing,” but is usually translated as “I am in danger, not to happen.”
The literal translation of sentences is another area of mistranslation as it fails to take the context into account. For instance, “Please turn off the shower when you’re done” is translated to “Por favor, vuelta lejos chaparrones cuando usted es hecho.” This implies, “Please, come back, faraway downpours when you are made.” Without context, it’s easy to misunderstand the actual meaning.
Political & Social Correctness
Machine translation isn’t accountable for connotation in local languages or cultures. It doesn’t handle the tone very well, either. For instance, it can’t distinguish between the nuances of speaking with strangers and people you know.
While communicating in English, we tend to be casual. We like to communicate on a first-name basis right from the beginning. But there are other languages with more formal communication levels than English. However, the tone of communication isn’t universal and depends on the type (written or verbal) and how well you know the person.
This is where the role of professional human translators or interpreters becomes critical. They are experts in making decisions and giving solutions depending on the particular situation on your behalf.
Humans can get better with time. They become “experts” in Translation because they have been doing it for years and talking to many people with diverse languages. Translation software can’t do that. Moreover, working with an experienced Translator is bound to give good results.
Humans Inspire Creativity
Human Translators have the ability to learn from the environment and the people they communicate with. They can use their learnings to create more comprehensive translations. Machine Translation can’t do the same. Moreover, the Company that offers Translation and Interpretation services concentrates on picking translators conversant with all cultural nuances of the target audience.
A Professional Translation & Interpretation Company will always offer a confidentiality agreement, which machine translation software like Google Translate do not. In fact, you must agree to their terms and conditions if you’re using Google Translate as they have the right “to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute content.”
From general to legal translations in Businesses, this is certainly not acceptable.
The shortcomings of machine translation can affect your Company’s growth. The unnecessary errors made by machine translations can misconstrue meanings and confuse your clients. Though Professional translation and Interpretation Services come with a cost, they are certainly worth it.