Human Language Translation Service
LANGUAGE TRANSLATION SERVICES
Problems with Machine Translation
Other Machine Language Translation Problems
Lack of cultural sensitivity
It is essential to understand the values and norms of the culture a document is being translated for. Lack of understanding can result in inadvertently sending the wrong message, which can cause irreparable damage to business and social relations.
Causing more human work
Some translation companies use AI software to begin projects because they believe this saves time. However, it actually causes more time to be spent correcting contextual errors. Plus, if a translator misses those errors, the result can be culturally catastrophic.
It sounds like a computer
Language is a creative expression. It is impossible for machine translations to be ingenuitive or creative. This results in target documents that sound, feel and read as impersonal and inhuman as the artificial intelligence software program that translated them.
Case Study: Google Translation Services and Wikipedia
A perfect example of machine language translation problems comes by way of a major issue facing Wikipedia as a result of Google Translation Services. Although Wikipedia is globally accessible, it is still heavily English-based. Specifically, of the 5.5 million articles sitewide, only 15 of the 301 other (foreign) language editions have more than one million articles available to non-English speakers.
In early 2019, Wikipedia turned to Google Translation Services for help. Google is the most widely used machine translation tool in the world currently. However, things quickly went awry. For example, in an article discussing water delivery systems to villages, Google translated the English phrase “village pump” to the Portuguese phrase “bomb the village.”
This is only one of thousands of issues that have resulted in Wikipedia creating special admin rules to either block or undo recent machine translations entirely from the platform. In fact, these issues have become so normal and incredibly troublesome that the Indonesian Wikipedia community has formally requested Wikipedia permanently remove the Google Translation Services feature from its platform.
Although 70 years have passed since researchers successfully translated words from one language to another with machine software, even the “smartest” machines are not anywhere close to doing the job one proficient human language translator can…. and they might not get any closer in our lifetimes. Or, in the words of one Wiki Administrator who goes by the name Vermont, “Machine translation will NEVER be a viable way to make articles on Wikipedia.”
Translingua Human Language Translator Services
Since 1976, Translingua has provided our clients with accurate, reliable and ethical human language translation services in over 6500 languages and dialects in-use worldwide. In this time, we have learned a few things:
First, linguistic context is just too important to trust to a machine. Second, proper translation is just too difficult to trust to anyone other than certified translators and industry experts. And third, a highly qualified human language translator can do a much better job, and do it much faster, than a mediocre translator aided by faulty machine software programs.
These first-hand understandings translate to increased satisfaction and cost savings for our clients in both the short and long-term. Contact us to obtain a free quote, or to learn more about how Translingua’s human language translator services can benefit you.