What is the Korean translation perfect for?

Advantages and disadvantages of machine translation

In the world of translation, one often speaks of “machine translation”. But many of us have also used it once or several times in everyday life. This can mean free translators on the Internet, such as the Google Translate ’platform, so-called‘ Translation Engines ’or paid software. But what are machine translations actually suitable for and what advantages and disadvantages do they offer you?

Translation at the push of a button

The desire to speak and understand foreign languages ​​is very old. Nowadays, however, it is possible for anyone with Internet access to receive a translation at the push of a button. This is useful if, for example, you want to quickly translate an email from an international business partner into a foreign language in order to be able to understand the content of the email at least to some extent. In addition, machine translation is usually sufficient for translating instant messages or the like.

Why should I choose an online tool?

The benefits of machine translation are easy to see, especially when you consider the most common form of it: online tools. Machine translation is much cheaper than the services of a human translator and often free of charge. It is also possible to get the translation with a click and this is known not to work with human translators. Machine translations keep getting better as scientists keep working on the technology behind the scenes.

One of the disadvantages of machine translation systems is literal translation. Content cannot be viewed in context and adapted to its original meaning. Online translation tools, for example, cannot work with stylistic means such as humor and imagery and translate them appropriately. Specialized translations require special knowledge of the relevant technical terminology, which an online tool cannot adequately offer. A machine-generated translation often seems unnecessary and offers sentences that are difficult to understand and contain unwanted puns.

Here are some fun examples of questionable online translations:

The original word as well as the German translation of the translated text are reproduced.

  • “Curd soap” is translated as “nuclear soap” in English.
  • “I stole two cars” is translated as “I won two cars” in Polish.
  • “Cream of Tartar”, which means tartar, a raising agent, is translated from English as “cream of tartar”.

When should I choose human translators?

As you can see, machine translation is often very entertaining. But when it comes to serious issues, such as financial or legal translations, an incorrect translation can have serious consequences. It is therefore important that you turn to an experienced and qualified human translator for subject-specific texts. This can do justice to the intentions of the original text and prepare the text for you in a stylistically appropriate manner and in accordance with the specialist terminology. Only a professional translator can localize texts. Read more about localization here.

The professional translation agency can help

Not sure whether to have your translation done online or by a “real” translator? Then get in contact with us. We are happy to help. Our project managers are there for you every day and are happy to help. Give us a call or send us an email.

Different types of machine translation systems

There are also technical terms on the subject of “machine translations” that initially sound incomprehensible to most people. We will briefly discuss some of these terms here to shed some light on the dark for you. There are three types of machine translation systems, namely rule-based, statistical, and neural systems.

  • Rule-based systems are based on a combination of language algorithms and grammar, as well as dictionaries and general vocabulary. They deliver consistent translations with exact terminology when configured with specialist dictionaries.
  • Statistical systems are not based on language algorithms, but “learn” to translate by analyzing large amounts of data. They deliver smoother, but less consistent translations. This also includes Google Translate.
  • Neural systems are based on a large neural network modeled on the human brain. They usually deliver better translation results than statistical translations.