Machine Translation and Its Disadvantages

(Last Updated On: November 30, 2017)

Machine translation can be defined as a process of translating a text, using software completely without any human interference.

Automated translation can be of two types – rules based type and statistical type. Rules-based type of automated translation woks on a framework of rules in terms of semantic patterns, grammar rule and reference dictionaries used by language experts and programmers. Such library is built manually over time. Statistical type of automated translation uses computer algorithms with references and analyzes text that was previously translated.

Advantages and disadvantages of using machine translation

automated translation advantagesAdvantages

  • More productivity and capability in delivering translations with speed
  • Faster translation of documents results in much reduced time for further actions
  • More options in terms of a variety of engines for machine translation
  • Automated translation is much faster when compared to human translation
  • Automated translation doesn’t need any extra time for finding, vetting, and managing a team of translators to complete the job
  • It is an affordable solution

Disadvantagesdisadvantages machine translation

  • It cannot deal with certain words and phrases
  • The situation becomes really challenging when it produces results due to the lack of full understanding of context
  • It is extremely difficult to use automated translation for accurate results that may result in nuances and slangs
  • Complicated terms which may become difficult to handle
  • Specific terms related to a particular industry are difficult to be translated by machine translation
  • Specific errors are difficult to anticipate and even more difficult to rectify
  • Sometimes, the resulted content tend to give a choppy feel; thus needing a lot of re-work.

Can Machine Translation Replace Human Translation?

In the world of digitization and artificial intelligence, there is always a race to eliminate human role in as many areas as possible. Translation is one area where the prospects do look promising. Automated translation may take the place of professional translation sooner or later. In fact, there are some situations where machines could work even better. A lot of companies spread worldwide use machine translation for providing customer services via instant chats or quick email responses.

But if you need to translate a more intensive content, automated translation has limited scope. If you use machines to translate your website and mobile app, the result might not be appropriately adequate. There is an additional risk of offending the locals if the translation turns out to be improper in the context of local language. The cost of losses due to poor translation will be too much with the possibility to damage your positive impact among the users and customers in your target market. In such situations, it will be a prudent strategy to incur more expenses to hire a qualified translator, preferably a local one from the given place to ensure better results.

So, it is preferred to go for inexpensive, free, easy and faster ways to attend to your translation work. But beware of the limitations of these options before making the final decision.