machine translation vs human translation

As the world is becoming digital every day, there have been a lot of developments and new technologies have been introduced which have made life more convenient and simple. Machine translation is one such tool designed to speed up the rate of website or professional document translation services, as well as to bring down the overall costs. While machine translations can be handy for translating a quick phrase for a piece of content, they’re just not ideal for handling a complex, full-scale translation. Here are 5 biggest challenges faced by machine translation, illustrating the dire need of human translators:

1.Lack of contextual translations

As machine translations lack all human capacities in terms of communication, the only result that is obtained from them is ‘literal translation’. Machines cannot always understand the right intention of the author. In fact, literal interpretation of the message can lead us to mistakes when facing homograph words that have different definitions that only a professional translation company can differentiate. Machine translation cannot always deliver the exact meaning of the parent language as a mere word to word translation cannot grasp the exact meaning of the sentence and human translators are required to provide contextual meaning and understanding.

2.Inferior translation quality of inexplicit texts

Machine translation sometimes cannot solve ambiguity of the sentence just like human translators who have the right experience, cognitive skills and mental outlook to do so. Texts translated by auto translations might be offensive for the readers due the presence of ambiguity of meanings. On the other hand, a human translator understands the complexities of grammar and the culture of the audience and will translate the text keeping all factors in mind.

3.Distorted Expressions and Idioms

Idioms and phrases are the idiosyncrasies found in languages that can present translation difficulties to machine translation. Languages involve expressions and in translation, the meaningful context and sense of the phrases have to be considered when writing them in another language. Machine translation tools are unable to cope with idioms as it’s not possible to use a word by word translation. The number of different and deeper meanings behind each phrase or word – sometimes several at the same time – can only be translated by experienced and skilled human translators as machine translations might distort the meaning that can be inappropriate for some people.

4.Off-brand messaging

Machines won’t recognize how you’ve chosen certain words for your brand identity. You might have spent hours, weeks, or even months crafting the content and a machine might not fully understand the context of how a certain word or phrase is being used.  Human translators will help you maintain consistency in your brand which will allow you to establish your brand identity in a new market.

5.Cultural Insensitivity

When using machine translation, you are effectively translating your content word for word. However, with human translation you gain added insight into the audience you are translating for and the marketplace in that country or region. Word for word translations can often lead to some mortifying situations and a professional translator will always stay updated with the latest trends and cultural nuances of different languages and will carry out culture appropriate translations to avoid errors that may arise due to differences in culture and ethnicity.

The biggest reason machine translation will never replace human translation is that for most translation jobs, much more goes into the art of translation than simply the knowledge of two languages. Translators do not merely do direct, literal translations. (Machine Learning Role) Translators craft entirely new ways to say things whereupon they draw on years and years of experience, not only from their linguistic backgrounds, but also from their cultural, historic, and personal knowledge as well. If you are trying to find professional human translations for your documents, website or software, LanguageNoBar can offer you certified and accurate language translation services through native and domain expert translators.

The key to a good translation is to supplement machine translation with the right human expertise to get the advantages of both. By combining the efficiency of technologies and the brilliance of human translators, your translation projects can be completed within incredibly tight deadlines, while ensuring world class, brand-perfect translations.

By Anurag Rathod

Anurag Rathod is an Editor of, who is passionate for app-based startup solutions and on-demand business ideas. He believes in spreading tech trends. He is an avid reader and loves thinking out of the box to promote new technologies.