Humans and machines don’t always get along: the former are often envious of the latter’s ability to perform tasks with greater efficiency, consistency, and more precise results. The antagonistic sentiments which many people have harbored for machines stretch back many years, and in particular any time machines or technology in general have displaced human workers, the uproar has generally been quite vociferous–anybody recall the Luddites?!
In the translation community, many people were beginning to get the jitters due to the recent release of Google’s various automated translation tools: first the Translators toolkit and more recently the automatic translation of entire websites with the click of a button. Rumors spread and fears were aroused; however, with a little investigation, many translators have discovered that there is not so much cause for concern, at least not yet. It looks like for now, human translators simply cannot be replaced!
That’s because the quality of machine translations is simply dismal–there’s no prettier way of putting it. Businesses need to ask themselves the following question then: is it preferable to pay a modest fee to have a trained professional translate a text (a sales pitch, a website, a brochure, etc.), or is it best to rely on the “experimental” automatic translation services being offered by companies such as Google? Here at Trusted Translations, we share the widely held belief that if you’re not going to bother having something translated well, then don’t bother having it translated at all–in the end, its worse to advertise yourself in a foreign language market with sloppy language than to simply abstain from that market altogether (at least till you’re ready to affront the issue in a serious manner).
Want proof? Then do what I did: take a look at some of the automatic translations of websites and compare the target and source texts…you’ll be amazed! There is simply no business sense in “playing it easy” in this regard.