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Global Business 02.23.14 BLOG 

Ghost in the machine: Why human translation is still needed

By TransPerfect Technology Team

Why Human translation is still needed

Ghost in the machine: Why human translation is still needed

Machine translation was once—and sometimes still is—heavily relied upon by enterprises and organizations alike. This function is a computer-generated software application that translates text or speech from one natural language to another. Quite often businesses require translation of large amounts of text on an accelerated timeline; in order to accomplish this efficiently and within deadline, machine translation has played an important role in global businesses.

But how accurate is a site that’s been translated 100 percent using computer-generated translation? This question is especially relevant in respect to cultural jargon and phrases. Organizations that rely on “quick fix” solutions like machine translation can put themselves at a greater disadvantage than those that don’t translate at all. Since machine translation is not adept at catching the regional dialects and cultural nuances that can make or break a campaign, it could end up driving away the very customers you’d hoped to capture by translating your content in the first place.

The question is—what are companies doing to prevent these translation barriers; and furthermore, how can businesses maintain content accuracy in a growing, global marketplace?

Much weight is placed on quality content in today’s evolving marketplace; businesses are shifting their focus to online communication strategies in order to increase global presence. In order to create and maintain customer relationships through online communication, businesses must be aware of the cultural translation of content even more than the direct translation of the words. Consumers are quickly turned off by content with careless translation mistakes. Even with adequate time for review and planning, machines can make small errors in localization that have significant consequences. Brands need human experts who can quickly identify faults in automated translations and repair them before damage occurs in important markets. 


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