3 Pitfalls of Machine Translation

Have you been using Google Translate to translate your business content? Find out about the three pitfalls of using machine translation and why professional translation services is an absolute must if you want to reach out to your customers.

You know that professional translation services can give you superior results, but you still go ahead with the convenience of Google Translate. Although Google has taken giant strides in the quality of its translation, it most certainly comes with flaws.

If you only require a general idea of what something is about, Google Translate is fine, but if your translation requires any level of sophistication, like convincing someone to buy your services or describing the specifics of a product, you will definitely require more than a machine to do the job well. What you will need is a professional human translator along with top-notch translation tools to achieve your business goals.

Here are three drawbacks that come with machine translation that you must be aware about:

  1. Frequent mistranslations

    When it comes to words and expressions with more than one meaning (polysemous words), Google Translate gets confused. Prospective customers can lose confidence in your products/services if they see that your company is not making accommodations for a words’ intended usage. Your corporate image could also suffer. If there are mistranslations of legal or technical texts, you could put the end user in danger. For example. A mistranslation of the caution section of a manual for an electrical/medical device can put the user in danger. To avoid mistranslations, what you need are professional translation services.

  2. Lack of social and political correctness

    Machine translation cannot account for connotation in a local language, For instance, a sentence like “The old and wise man”, when directly translated into Spanish can be disrespectful. The language of Spanish has appropriate terms when referring to old people. Machine translation can also not handle tone in the right manner. There is no way to differentiate between speaking with someone you are familiar with versus someone you have never met. In English, we tend to be causal, however in other languages, there are levels of communication and formality depending on how well you know the person you are speaking to. These are things that machine translation cannot handle very well. A professional translator on the other hand can make the right decisions, depending on a particular situation.

  3. Confidentiality issues

    Google Translate does not provide a nondisclosure agreement. The terms of Google state that Google has the right to “use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works, communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content”. If you want to safeguard your intellectual property, you will need to choose a professional translation service.

  4. Make the right choice for your business

    There is a mountain of difference between Google Translate and professional translation services. Though Google translate is free, the translations are literal and can sometimes confuse the reader. The intended meaning of the translation can be lost. Although professional translations performed by a trained translator can be expensive, it sure has its benefits. You can be assured that your clients will be appreciative of the fact that you took the time to translate your content in a professional manner. Find out more about outsourcing translation services.

    Did you like reading this post? Would you like to see more posts on outsourcing translation? Or maybe you have a question about how outsourcing works? Drop us a line or two in the comments box below and we will be happy to get in touch with you.

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