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Human Translator vs. Artificial Intelligence: Who’s the Best?

You often have a stack of documents to translate, messages to pass on to your international colleagues or simply you need to translate content for your website. It is clear that today we can translate everything with a simple translator online by making some small corrections. And here is the mission accomplished.

We often hear in the news that Artificial Intelligence keeps growing. Companies invest in research for a better future. Machines interact with people, and create content, music, translation. Nevertheless, professional translators are always asked because they can do a job better than a machine.

But why are big companies calling on a professional translator and not necessarily the small ones? It’s simply a matter of means. If you are a young company, here are probably two scenarios that I will describe and that will seem familiar to you.

Case # 1 – Use a Free Online Translator

First of all we must distinguish two types of online translators – those that translate word for word, and those who use Artificial Intelligence. In this article I will exclude the first type, because they are not able to perform a translation of a more or less correct text. This kind of program translates a text word by word, often misinterpreting their meaning, so the translation may lose its main message, especially if the text is large enough. It often happens that automatic translators do not translate grammatical times correctly. This is just a short list of faults that can ruin your translation.

On the other hand, those with Artificial Intelligence develop very quickly, and they can translate some texts quite well. The best known example is DeepL . Then we can talk about Google translation which now also uses Artificial Intelligence.

Back on topic, you think it’s perfectly normal to translate your content with a simple online translator. According to you, it does a good job and moreover it’s free. Even though year-to-year online translators are improving, we still cannot give them important documents, articles, etc.

Each company has its own unique style with which it addresses its customers (a friendly, relaxed style, or an official style). Translators are not able to adapt a text for your company at the moment.

Scientists always have difficulties to make a machine understand a reference to an event or an irony, to understand an idiom. Nevertheless, Big Data and deep learning specialists have already done a lot of work. The online translation as it was 10 years ago is not the same as today.

Case # 2 – Making a bilingual colleague work

Can someone speak two languages ​​in your company? So, you are half saved. I say half because this person probably does not have any notions to translate a text like a professional. There is a big difference between speaking a language fluently and translating that language. To translate a text it is necessary to have knowledge necessary for a translated text to be fluid by choosing words, synonyms, equivalents, etc. Moreover, doing the translation is not his job, because he has his own responsibilities.

Why not make a call to a professional translator?

Engaging a translator remains a perfect option for a company. There are several possibilities. You cannot go to a translation agency or hire a freelance translator. A professional translator has learned all the nuances of the language: grammar, style, syntax, phraseology, etc. It has all the necessary tools for the translation to be fluid and correct.

For a company that works internationally wrong translation can lose credibility. Often the content for the web has to be adapted. It is not enough to translate a written text correctly from a grammatical and lexical point of view. A translator is able to translate cultural references, word games and expressions used in his or her target language.

In conclusion, let’s admit that even at the time of all the free online tools (or not), you will need to have a human. A professional translator can help you a lot if your company’s goal is to grow internationally. The respect and the reputation of your activity are important. With a good translator your business will be more likely to be understood and accepted around the world.

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