Machine translations over the past couple of years have become increasingly accurate as programs learn more about words as well as their content. The reason for that is the major changes in technology will all of the various industries thinking about machine learning and artificial intelligence. It has made automatic translation and machine translations among the driving forces behind this technology’s development. It is clear that companies such as Microsoft and Google are very serious when it comes to automatic translations services.
Machines are replacing humans at various workplaces and over time it is going to continue to get tougher. However, it isn’t a sure thing that machine translators will fully replace human translators. The question is will machine translators ever be able to replace human translators and how efficient are they really? Which is the best? It is a simple answer. Human translators will never be able to be replaced by machine translators. This is true in terms of speed, let alone efficiency and accuracy. Let’s examine some of the most obvious reasons why machine translators can never replace human translators.
Machine Translators Vs. Human Translators
1. Machines are unable to understand culture.
There isn’t any way that a machine can be programmed so that it understands culture. Various cultures all over the world have their own lexical items that are completely unique to a specific culture. However, machines are not sophisticated enough to recognize or understand idioms, slang, or names in some cases. It is a challenge that machines won’t ever be able to completely overcome and this is a very difficult problem for them. Although for machines it is a significant challenge, in-country native speakers who are very well versed in a language and who have a thorough understanding of all of the slang and idioms offered by a culture have enough skill to find equivalents that are suitable within the target languages.
Keep in mind that in some culture, there are some words that mean one them while in another culture the same works could mean something entirely different. Also, different people can have various accents which means they have different pronunciation even when words might mean exactly the same thing. The only one who can tell the difference is a human translator since a machine translator just does direct word to word translations.
Human translators are very knowledgeable about the culture and can pick up nuances and slang within texts that cannot be detected by machines. For machines that is a hindrance since they haven’t advanced to the point where they can accurately render these nuances. They only can do word to word translations. Compared with machine translators, that places human translators in very high levels.
2. Machines are unable to relate words to their context.
Different languages have words with more than one meaning and for machine translators that can be a big problem. The words need to relate to the context in order to help determine what their true meanings are, and the only one who can do this is a human translator. For example, in the English language, the word “tears can refer to to tearing somethings or a holes in a bag. For a machine translator that an be tricky since it is unable to relate a word to its context and also, the machine is unable to provide both meanings in one text. For the human translator, on the other hand, it is easy for them to identify the right meaning by matching the word instantly to its content. If you take a document with this type of words and run through a machine translator, that will result in inaccurate translations which may disrupt the text’s flow. The document can end up being confusing and most sentences will be lacking in logical meaning.
3. Localizing machines for various languages is difficult
New phrases develop for any language depending on what the dialect is. Machine translators are unable to pick up on new developments within languages as quickly as human translators can who are experts in different dialects and localizations of whatever their specialist language is. Machines must be updated on a regularly basis to constantly “learn” new phrases on the basis of how often words are used i new contexts or how often new words are used in conversations before they are able to find a translation that is suitable.
That means that a machine translator has to be programmed continuously and with sophisticated algorithms that make up the programs, and to achieve this takes a lot of effort and time. A human translator, on the other hand, can pick up much more quickly on recent developments in a language compared to a machine. If new words are fed into a machine translator, it could result in the machine going “speechless” attempting to come with the way that is most appropriate to translate strange word combinations. Then the million dollar question becomes, what if not suitable translate exists for a specific phrase?
4. Machines are unable to replicate tone and style.
Each written document has different tone and style compared to other ones. A document may have a persuasive, funny, or poetic tone and style, but that is is missed by machines in the translation. A document is intended to have a specific tone and style for readers to understand it and when it is lacking in that, then the meaning of it can go out the window. A human translator is the only one who can recreate something similar and match the document’s tone and style. A machine translator tends to lose the original document’s intricate nuances and intended tone to produce something that is soulless and flat.
Specific kinds of texts such as argumentative essays and poetry, in particular, can be very challenging for machine translators. Machine are unable to capture a text’s mood accurately and that can result in a translation that is quite flat. The original text becomes inefficient since the individual who is trying to read the machine translations ends up with something unappealing.
5. Without human touch a translation is not complete.
Artificial intelligence is used by machine translators and although it continues to develop on a daily basis, it will never be able to match human intelligence. It is true that machine translators continue to become more efficient and the translations they produce are more understandable and the quality is improving. However, there is always a need for humans to be involved in the machine translations equation. After a machine churns out a translation, there needs to be proofreaders and copy editors to ensure that the translation is comprehensible and grammatically correct. The human translator puts the finishing touches on the translation by localizing it and enhance it for its target audience. If there are local references in the text, and it needs to be translated for a Chinese audience, then references will need to be change in order to fit its new context. That is an ability that machines will never be able to be on par with or beat.
Only humans are able to fully understand the complexity of a language. It is a fact and not even the geniuses that are behind machine or automatic translation tools concede to it. That means these devices are being developed to assist human translators rather than forcing them out of the translation field. The bottom line is that human translators can never be beat by machine translators since there is no such thing as a perfect machine translator.
Within a short period of time machine translators have progressed quite a bit. However, in certain aspects they are still lacking. Those aspects are what make translations effective for business and daily uses and where machines can be beaten by human translators.
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