High-Quality, Accurate Translations - Humans or Machines?

Published on Aug 1, 2019

by Marcos Dinnerstein

Summary: High-quality, accurate translations are still the domain of humans. Machine translations have to wait.

“Close enough for horseshoes or hand grenades.” For professional translations, you will never hear that sentence spoken. 

Until such time as Machine Translation (ML) can produce accurate, high-quality translations you still need a human doing professional quality translation work as an integral part of the translation workflow. That doesn’t mean translations should not have assistance from Artificial Intelligence (AI) or ML. MotaWord has taken this approach by using technology to significantly enhance human translations. And it shows in the consistently high-quality translation we deliver to our clients, day in and day out.

For an in-depth examination of Machine Translation, you’ll like: The Limits of Machine Translation (note: advances in this field were achieved roughly five years later, with the advent of Neural Machine Translation)

Whether fair or not, people use how you speak, how you use language, as a proxy for judging your intelligence. Don’t let this common bias make you less effective in business or your social life.

An accurate translation requires not only the correct translation of individual words and phrases but also an understanding of the context of what is being translated. That could conceivably determine how a word or phrase is translated. In an earlier blog post, Machine Translation Ready to Take Over the World? Not Yet Pinky! we featured an example of translating a text about a music concert. In this context, a ‘metal fan’ is someone who likes that genre of rock music and is not a machine that blows cooling air. A human translator will have no problem understanding the context and will be able to produce an accurate translation. The machine translation might go with the cooling machine. Mistakes like this can make you look sloppy, foolish or worse.

In this case, you might say the machine translation blows - I’m sure you get my meaning of the word ‘blows’. 

The MotaWord platform is supported by AI and algorithmic tools that improve the quality and accuracy of our worldwide network of human translators. MotaWord provides our teams of translators with the best available tools for quality translations, including style guides, translation memory, or translation history. And of course, the platform itself is a collaborative work environment where translators can communicate with the client mid-project, help each other, learn from each other and grow professionally by honing the work on a translation project.

Additionally, clients can use MotaWords’s Language Translation API, our MotaWord Grabber (Chrome extension), and the recently released MotaWord’s Translation App.  (Our translation app not only helps our clients but also helps our translators do their jobs more effectively) Reducing the time it takes to complete routine tasks streamlines the translation process, reduces errors and that means a more accurate translation.

It is the human component that MotaWord is constantly optimizing, to support translating nuance, discerning context, and to match the tone of the target language with that of the source language.

For more on comparing machine versus human translation watch, Human Translation vs Machine Translation: Competition or Collaboration 

Give MotaWord a try. We’re confident you’ll be happy with the result.


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