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Why People Choose Machine Translation Over Professional Translation?

Should I choose machine translator?Machine translation has some superior advantages which appeal to people. The more people translate with machine translators the better the automatic translation gets. This can be scary to those professional translators who are afraid over their businesses. As a backlash, professional translators have gotten into the auto-repeated mantra about the poor translation quality. The most stringent opposition argues that the quality of automatic translation is so poor that no one should ever use it for anything.

The quality or lack of it is not a secret. We use machine translation for other reasons that outdo the shortage in quality. Here are three most common arguments for using machine translation:

Machine translation is easy
The best thing about machine translation is that it is simple to use. In its easiest form, one just puts the original text in and the machine gives the translation. Professional translation is not available as easily. First of all, finding the right person to do the translation requires some effort. Then one should negotiate about the prices and schedule and other relevant things. For someone who has never bought a translation before this task may feel overwhelming. It’s in the human nature to avoid stepping out of the comfort zone. When machine translation is just few clicks away, it becomes easily the most tempting option.

Machine translation is fast
Everything in our world seems to move faster and faster all the time. Today, we have information more than we can ever adopt as well as more efficient communication tools. We are used to get everything quickly. There are situation when “now and here” beats “later and better”. If a customer sends you a message by email or through social media and you don’t understand his language, there is no time to send it to a professional translator. Even the biggest language service providers cannot be faster than a machine. Communication between humans takes always time, and it would cost A LOT to have a translator ready for unexpected situations all the time.

Machine translation is cheap
Yes, it’s true that money is also one reason, but I think its weight is often overemphasized. More often machine translation offers the price-quality ratio. It is good that professional translators are proud of their profession and want to produce the best translation quality. However, the best quality is not always needed. Sometimes good enough translation quality is the goal or even mediocre quality can be enough to be able to understand the message. It’s just not wise to pay for a higher quality than you need, right?

 

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2 thoughts on “Why People Choose Machine Translation Over Professional Translation?”

  1. Admittedly, machine translation is easy, fast and cheap. But it’s not always reliable. In the field of technical translation, many people tend to turn to machine translation. It does work in some cases, but the fluency and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
    Sometimes when the machine translation does not work, you have to turn to a professional technical translation agency. There are various technical translation companies and agencies in the market. A good professional translation can ensure the best quality, and hence, has obvious advantages over machine translation.

  2. Thank you for your comment Cathy.
    Yes, you have a point. The most biggest challenge with machine translation is uncertainty. MT is able to translate correctly but it can also make mistakes. Professional translators will produce more consistent quality while machine translation desperately needs more reliability. But because the MT quality is improving all the time, some people already find ease, speed and cost’s role more important than the possible risk related to its reliability.

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