Machine Translators – How Well Do They Work?
  • 3-minute read
  • 21st July 2022

Machine Translators – How Well Do They Work?

Machine translators automatically convert text from one language to another using artificial intelligence. But how well do they work? We’ve put together a guide to cover the pros and cons of using machine translators, highlighting the types of content they’re great for translating and when you should avoid using them. Read on below to learn more.

Common Issues

In many ways, technology allows us to work quickly and easily, making machine-based tools an incredibly convenient and appealing option. However, when it comes to language, there are some things that machines can’t do better than humans.

Here are some common issues presented by using machine translators:

●  Machine translators can’t understand the tone and context of a work, meaning that things like idioms, which are metaphorical and open to interpretation, and homonyms, which are context-dependent, will typically be translated incorrectly.

●  When using artificial intelligence over a professional expert, introduced errors can easily be missed when you’re translating to or from a language that isn’t native to you. This can be especially problematic when dealing with technical text.

●  When you use web- or app-based translators, your data—including the text you’re translating—is collected, which is important to consider when you’re translating private and confidential documents.

Because of the issues that may arise, you should consider finding other translation resources when working with legal, medical, and other private or technical documents, and in scenarios where misunderstandings among your target audience or regarding cultural context could arise (e.g., marketing content or professional presentations).

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Even though the translations may not be perfect or ideal in all contexts, machine translators are undeniably beneficial.

Depending on the complexity and length of the work, professional translators come with a cost and can take several days to return your work. Meanwhile, several machine translators are free to use and provide instantaneous results. This makes them great resources for improving your foreign language vocabulary and communicating better while traveling abroad.

When you don’t need to present your work in a formal or professional setting, just need to understand the gist of content, want to communicate with others on a basic level, or are looking for translations of single words or simple phrases, machine translators are wonderful resources.

Proofreading and Editing Services

When it comes down to it, the key question to ask yourself when considering whether to use a machine translator is, “What are the risks of a miscommunication resulting from a translation error?” When the answer is little to none, machine translators are a great option.

Translated documents often still need additional refinement to ensure they’re clear, concise, and free of spelling and punctuation errors. If English isn’t your native language, we have expert editors who can help make your work the best it can be.

It can be particularly difficult to understand all the nuances of the English language while also trying to clearly express your ideas. So, whether you’re writing an essay, blog post, or resume, we can help ensure it reads like a native English speaker wrote it. Try it out by submitting a free trial document today!

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