- Posted by Stephen Whiteley
- On 24/11/2017
Relying on online translation has a number of pitfalls that you should be aware of. Recently, a town in Germany that used online translation services to translate from German to English had to trash its entire brochure because the online translation end product was so poor.
Not reliable nor worth using
In trying to save money on the cost of translation, this town found out the hard way that online translation tools are seldom reliable or worth using. The best that you can expect from online translation tools is translation of a few words and short phrases. If you have a book or brochure that needs to be translated from one language to another, then you will need to hire a human translator.
Use for translating individual words
Although online translation may seem an interesting option, the fact is it´s only suitable for individual words and short phrases. The Internet does provide instant access to foreign media. When you try to use an online translation tool, you would not be able to translate foreign content because such tools are not designed to perform that kind of work. In fact, using online tools to translate content from one language to another has many risks. The meaning is lost and instead of providing an accurate translation, online tools will provide an incorrect translation.
Online tools will only become useful after thinking computers are developed. If you need to use these tools, then limit their use to translation of single words and brief phrases. If you have an important document that needs to be translated into another language, then you should rely on the old-fashioned human translators.
Human translation is the better option
The fact is that when you need to translate content from one language to another and the content is very important, there is no better option than a human translator to do the job. It is best to think of translation as a process that requires completing a number of steps. The content needs to be first translated from source language to target language and then the translated content needs to go through multiple review cycles. Along the way, a number of quality check steps need to be completed.
Several steps need to be completed
The translated content also needs to be proofread. Then there is the small matter of checking for details like page numbering and spacing as well as formatting. The quality control process must deal with a number of severity levels that each ensures the content will meet and even exceed the expectations of the client.
If anything in the translated text changes the original meaning in the source language, then this will have to be corrected. Another common problem faced when translating text, is paragraphs may be missing. Also, headers and/or footers may have been omitted, and graphics may not be positioned properly. All these things require human intervention, and this is one more reason why one should not and cannot rely on online translation tools.