The debate Google Translate vs. professional human translation has become popular. All this is because of the improvements in the quality of output Google Translate generates in the recent past. However, it’s important to note that both have their advantages and disadvantages.
One of the primary considerations to have in mind is the level of accuracy you require for your translation. The others include whether you need translation for professional or personal purposes. For instance, if you need professional translation services, it’s appropriate to hire human translation services.
Some will argue that professional translation services are costly, but it’s essential to consider that you get what you pay for, quality translation. Today, you will find human translation services from reputable organizations like Etcetera Language Group that are helping industries all over the country get accurate transcripts.
This article will cover how Google Translate works, its comparison to human translation, and the pros and cons of each.
- How Google Translate Work?
- Advantages of Using Google Translator
- Why a Human Translator is The Best Choice for Official Translation?
- The Pros and Constraints of Google Translator Vs. Human Translation
How Google Translate Work?
The working of Google Translate has improved over time, so is its quality of output. Initially, the translator would scan the entire internet database to find common human-translation versions of the language pair in question.
This is not the case anymore after the introduction of the Neural Network Language in 2016. The new machine learning language is complex, and its algorithms compare texts from various sources and translate them in full context. Moreover, the process doesn’t involve an intermediary language, as was the case in the past.
The translator gets better every other day due to millions of translations that take place. The contextual translations play a significant role in quality improvement, unlike when isolation was the case.
Advantages of Using Google Translator
There are quite many advantages you get from using Machine Translation (MT). For this reason, it’s difficult to resist the urge to use it. Below are some of them.
- It’s exceptionally fast hence reducing the time required to have a translation ready.
- The algorithms MT use evokes new resources and better ideas, thus bringing about an element of creativity.
- When used with professional human translators, the levels of accuracy are high.
- It’s straightforward to use since it requires little to no technical knowledge.
- It’s cost-effective or relatively free to use.
- It’s effective in the translation of websites due to the many improvements in its algorithms.
Why a Human Translator is The Best Choice for Official Translation?
For official translation, where accuracy is paramount human translators should be your best choice to avoid errors, changes of meaning, and unreadable passages. Professional language translators understand idioms, slang, and grammar structures that vary from one language to another.
Better Word Choices
A human translator will have a better understanding of a particular native language. This gives them an added advantage in using synonyms in their choice of words, avoiding repetition of words in a sentence or paragraph. However, in as much as Google Translate will suggest synonyms, it may not perfectly put them to use.
Grammar structures differ from one language to another. For this reason, Google Translate’s literal translation mechanism may create a totally different meaning. The translation may also miss out on moods in different dialects. However, with a human translator, there is a full understanding of the grammar structure from one language to another. They also wouldn’t miss the tone and mood, hence giving accurate translations. Tenses are also a challenge to Google translators. For example, Google Translate will change the present perfect tense to the past tense.
Understanding of Slang and Idioms
Due to the non-literal phrases in idioms and slang in different languages, the Google translator will miss out on the intended meaning of phrases. However, in the case of professional translators, they understand the actual meaning of idioms, and they will translate the slang from one language to another perfectly without changing the speaker’s words and mood.
Maintaining of Formality and Correct Tone
Unlike English, other languages have formal and informal ways of address. However, because Google Translate’s translation algorithms are based on English rules, the translator is likely to miss out on the formality aspect. On the other hand, human translators are well versed with the formalities, and they can discern the tone in contexts. Therefore, this gives them an upper hand in effectively translating to specific target audiences.
A Variety of Language Choice
Presently Google translator can translate only 103 languages, and this is only 1.5 percent of the total distinct languages whose number is slightly above 6900. With such statistics, human translators are still better placed to offer translation services.
Although Google translator strives to add more languages, it will take some time to cover all the remaining languages. Nevertheless, the translator may not incorporate culture and other regional variations that are different in every language.
The level of accuracy provided by humans cannot be compared to what you get from Google translation. Besides, you need a human eye to correct the errors that are unavoidable in Google Translate outputs. There are numerous difficult-to-read sentences due to fractured syntax. This is because of the word-by-word translation, which most likely misses context in phrases and sentences.
The translator may also miss correct word usage, for instance, single words that can be used as nouns or adjectives. Such are the errors that professional human translators eliminate in their translations.
The Pros and Constraints of Google Translator Vs. Human Translation
There are a number of pros and constraints when you compare Google Translate vs. professional translation. This applies to both personal and professional use of the two options. It’s, however, important to note that there are numerous errors associated with Google translation that a professional translator will have to correct.
- The Google translator can translate a huge number of words in just a few seconds. This is considerably superfast. A professional human translator would only translate 2000 words a day. The word count could be even less if the translation in question is difficult.
- Google Translate is a free online tool that is readily accessible by any user who wants to translate any document. However, it will be very costly to hire a translator, but you will always get value for your money.
- Google Translate uses statistics, online databases, and pairs of language frequencies online, unlike professional translators who employ knowledge of culture and regional differences learned from different languages.
- There are high chances of translations losing context and meaning because the translator lacks true knowledge of languages. This happens in complex translations in most cases. With professional translators, the meaning, context, and accuracy of texts are maintained.
- The accuracy of output from Google translators is dependent on the language pairs to be translated. Accuracy on the side of professional translators depends on the level of experience and understanding of the languages they are translating.
- Google Translate doesn’t proofread to remove errors, neither does it have mechanisms for the same. Grammatical errors, unreadable sentences, and syntax are rare because of thorough proofreading, making them reliable.
From the discussion above, it’s apparent that human translations carry the day, especially when you need quality translation for professional use in medical, legal, education, and other similar fields. However, you can go for the free online Google translator for single-word or phrase translations for individual use.