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Human translation VS Machine Translation: All You Need To Know

Human translation VS Machine Translation

Translation is an essential tool for communication. It is used in businesses, companies and their customers, different organizations, and in different countries too. These days, translation is easily accessible and available because of various technological tools that serve as machine translators. It is one of the advanced developments in the language industry. But, what about the age-old and prominent human translators? Human translation or machine translation is a dilemma in the language industry since the beginning of the machine translators. The difference between human translation and machine translation needs to be understood to pick the right one.

This article deals with some valid arguments on human translation vs machine translation.

Machine translation - Origin, evolution, and types

Machine translation began around 1949 and has evolved from a tool to keep tabs on pesky Russian operations. Machine translation has originated before 70 years approximately. It is an easily accessible tool for the public. Many businesses, language specialists, translation agencies make use of machine translation to reduce cost and increase productivity.

There are several machine translators available such as Google Translate, Microsoft Translator, DeepL Translator, and Yandex Translate. Many of these translators are free for public use.

Pros of Machine translation:

  • Machine translations are speedy and instantaneous. You can translate large-scale documents in a few minutes. They are very handy and user-friendly as well.
  • There are huge scopes for improvements in Machine translation. The new NMT (Neural Machine Translation) learns how humans speak and use their own logic to decide the correct translation of a word or phrase.

Cons of Machine translation:

  • Machines cannot understand the linguistic culture and intricacies of a language. In some languages, there are similar words that mean differently in different contexts. Similarly, there are different dialects of the same language. Machines cannot grasp such minute nuances in a language.
  • The possibility of errors in the machinery and the input data makes machine translation less effective. Machine translators cannot individually operate without the assistance of a human.

Human Translation

Human translation has a long history. The need for migration amongst human beings must be the start of translation requirements and learning different languages. There are a lot of advantages of human translation even in the era of machine translation and artificial intelligence.

Pros of Human translation:

  • Human translators are skilled at the language and the possibility of errors is very minimal as compared to machine translators. Professional human translators are very effective that the project requires fewer revisions and editing as compared to machine translation.
  • Humans can pick up the intricacies of linguistics and can implement their own experiences and intuitions to do the job close to perfect.

Cons of Human translation:

  • Human translations are resource-oriented. Finding an experienced and professional translator is very difficult.
  • Human translations consume a lot of time and can be costlier than machines. They are not easily accessible and available as well.
  • Human translations can be a gamble without proper research. While machine translation produces more or less similar results, the results produced by human translation can vary largely.

What’s best for you?

The debate on machine translation vs human translation goes on endlessly. There are so many advantages and disadvantages as well. While there are massive improvements in machine translation like NMT, machine translation can curb its’ disadvantages in the future. But, it is up to an individual to choose what works best for him/her. If you are still confused about human translation or machine translation, then human-aided machine translation might be the right choice.

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