We Translate On Time

How effective are artificial translators?

February 21st, 2020

Google Translate. A criminal in the translation industry, a basic aid for tourists in foreign countries. However, we can promise you that there is technology that really helps a lot of translators. These CAT tools are more sophisticated and can allow speedier translations of extensive repetitive documents. Modern Languages students at university often use them for projects to reach the higher grades. Therefore, CAT tools can be incredible useful for a certain type of translation.

One of the newer and more interesting tools in the translation world includes earpieces that translate conversations directly to the language desired.  Thus, two people who speak different languages can communicate if they both have these headsets. Likewise, Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had achieved "human parity" in the quality of its translations. A set of Chinese news articles were machine translated into English and a team of independent experts found that they were on a par with translations provided by two professional translators. 

However, to make most translations read well, sound natural and fully depict the essence of its original, we will always need humans. Antonio Navarro Gosálvez believes that “CAT tools hinder creativity” and this is generally agreed upon throughout the translating world. 

Matteo Ippoliti believes that translators require a deep knowledge of the culture and the history of the people who speak a certain language. They should be able to perceive nuances, references and other important elements of human communication that machines still cannot understand. A human brain’s understanding and perception of the world is so much better than that of a machine in this industry. An artificial translator still cannot reach this level. For example, machine translated poetry doesn't read very well. 

Therefore, even though technology is constantly advancing, we doubt that it will ever fully be able to encapsulate the human touch required for a high-quality translation. For now, we look forward to seeing what the future of translation technology holds.





by Thomas Deighton