Today’s world relies on Google. In a world of unknowns, Google has most of the answers.
In 2001, Google launched their translation program, Google Translate. The early 2000’s version of Google Translate had the ability to translate written documents, but left users with many grammar and spelling errors. Technological advancements over the years have led to an increase in Google Translate’s functionality. The never-ending debate about human translate versus Google Translate will continue to go on because the Google Translate continues to improve and become more accurate over time.
Many studies have been conducted testing the accuracy of even the newest and most advanced Google Translate program. When analyzing the studies, it was confirmed that Google Translate is not yet able to capture the full meaning of the text. Google’s translation remains broken, disjointed, and difficult to understand at times. So, why is Google Translate the most commonly used translation tool today?
Google Translate’s ease of use and accessibility allows users to easily translate on-the-go. The program is web-accessible as well as mobile-accessible, providing translation from any platform. Google’s translation happens almost instantaneously, allowing users to quickly find the answers they are looking for. You can’t forget that Google Translate is also free to use. Google offers a large number of languages available for translation, right at your fingertips.
Google Translation provides translation for just over 100 different languages. In a world made up of over 6,000 different languages, Google has barely brushed the surface. If your language isn’t on the list, then you’re out of luck. Google advertises type, talk, snap, see, write, and offline translation services, but many don’t know that these services are limited by the type of language you need translated.
Because Google Translate is a machine, it doesn’t take into account the context of a sentence or the readability of the platform for which the translation is for. While Google Translate is beneficial for certain translation needs, it is important that you recognize that there is a time and place for Google Translate as well as human translation services. Understanding Google Translate’s limitations will help you decipher which service is best for your business.
When the specifics of content don’t matter and the “general meaning” will suffice, you could use Google Translate for quick-service translation. If the content does not represent your company externally or is used by your customers, you should take the quick route and use Google Translate because grammar and accuracy won’t matter as much in these situations.
While Google Translate gives you the overall gist of something, sometimes you need more than that.
With human translation, you have an actual person providing the translation, ensuring that your translations are completely accurate to what the content is being used for. A human translator is able to interpret the context of the content, and translate it to represent the exact context it was originally used in. Human translators pride themselves on grammatical correctness and understandability for the reader. Unlike Google Translate, human translators understand the idiomatic differences between two different languages.
Accuracy comes with a price, and it is important to decide how beneficial the accuracy of your translation is for the success of your business.
Depending on the translation company, these services range in price. How much is accuracy worth to you? Depending on the type of translation, you can’t put a price on professional representation of your business and accuracy of the translation for your users. Although human translation is much more accurate than Google Translate, there could still be a limitation on the number of languages that an individual translator can translate. Working with a translation agency is the best way to find the largest variety of individuals specializing in a large selection of languages. Human translation also takes time. The turnaround is not instantaneous, like that of Google Translate. Accuracy takes time, and professional human translators take their time to ensure your documents are 100% accurate.
Always use human translation when accuracy is important. If your customers or audience is going to see the content, human translation will provide individuals with a better, more thorough understanding, while representing your business in a positive light. If you are translating the same content for different purposes, such as marketing materials, digital web content, brochures, etc., a human translator will be able to write and translate for these different platforms.
Google Translate and human translation provide very different roles in the translation industry. It is important to balance the pros and cons of each before choosing which method is best for your business.
To view an example of our work, take a look at one of our success stories, where we translated the material for Insta-Pro International. If you have questions about human translation services, or if you’d like a to request a quote, contact us today!
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