Do Machines Have a High Success Rate in Translation?

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The rapid advancements in AI and machine translation have removed language barriers and connected individuals and businesses around the globe. Computer-Aided Translations or Machine Translations have proved to be remarkably proficient over time. Previously, human translators were considered the go-to solutions for bridging linguistic gaps, but now machine translations have slowly improved their translation capabilities. However, many people still are of the view that human translators or computer-aided translation are far better than machines because of their ability to actively use their minds. They can smartly convert the source text into the target language while considering the cultural context in mind which will not be possible in any form of machine translation. 

 

Has any of your friends got confused about whether to avail human translation or machine translation? Or have you ever wondered what’s the difference between Computer-Aided Translation (CAT) and Machine Translation (MT)? You and your friends are not the only ones wondering, many others share the same thought. 

 

In this blog, we will provide you with details regarding Computer-Aided Translation and Machine Translation so we can together make a certain prediction about whether or, not these types of translation can replace traditional human-made translation and interpretation. 

 

Difference Between Machine Translation And Computer-Aided Translation

 

These two terms sound very identical, but there’s a very clear difference. It comes down to who’s finally responsible for a translation. 

 

Computer-aided translation gives you the best of both worlds. Unlike Machine Translation (MT) where the computer does all of the work, CAT allows the human translator to use software tools to assist and enhance the translation process. CAT puts the human translator definitely in control. Whereas, machine translation depends completely on automated systems to generate translation using algorithms and pre-existing databases of linguistic knowledge, without direct human oversight. 

 

The main difference between them is that with MT you can rely on the machine to do the translation job for you. With CAT the machine is simply taking care of the easily programmed parts of translation so you, the expert, can put the brain and experience to work on the more difficult and tricky aspects of any translation.   

 

Purpose of using CAT tools

 

Computer-assisted translation tools or CAT tools were developed to make the translation process easier for its users by building and updating translation memory banks during the translation process. The main benefit of using CAT Tools is the extreme gain in time and efficiency. These tools reduce the need for manual data input, thanks to the pre-translated grammatical and orthographic suggestions. For example, such software ensures consistency when recurring sentences or terms appear later in the text for translation.   

Possible Reasons for High Success Rate in Machine Translation

 

Machine translation has evolved a lot since its inception. Initially, professionals found various inaccuracies and random phrases in automated translation which made its reliability quite skeptical. However, with the advancement in technology, machine translation has reshaped the landscape. Various factors might contribute to the high success rate of machine translation. Some of them have been mentioned below:

 

  • Machine translation systems can store huge amounts of data. This ability to store and utilize multilingual texts allows machines to learn patterns and nuances of different languages thus making them better at translation.

  • Such systems also support a huge range of languages, allowing them to extend their reach and effectiveness across the globe.

  • Machines do not let their users wait for hours and days just to get a single response. For instance, in Google Translate, you need to enter only the text type the source, and the target language, and the translation process begins immediately. Like other machine translation tools, Google has over 100 languages at your fingertips. 

  • Machines excel in speed and efficiency. They can translate thousands of words in less amount of time as compared to human translators. This ability can prove beneficial in time-sensitive situations. 

  • Machines translate at a lower rate or even free of charge.

Challenges Associated with Automated and Machine Translations

 

While machines have achieved great strides in translation, they are still not perfect and have their limitations. Not all words or phrases can be translated accurately using automated systems or machines. Contextual understanding, cultural differences, and idiomatic expressions remain the areas that give the margin to human translators. 

 

Furthermore, it gets a bit difficult to use automated translation for accurate results that may result in slang. Complicated terms regarding specific industries might become difficult to handle. Also, sentences translated can lose their meaning in machine/automated translations. Automated translations are usually literal translations (word for word) and can miss out on words, word structure, and lack of grammar, which can lead to problems.

 

 Moreover, even with these advanced online translation platforms, it is proven that these platforms can produce incoherent, nonsensical translations. For instance, if you are a business owner or individual looking for an accurate translation of your documents, handbooks, websites, etc. an automated/machine translation will not be a good option. Automated translations do not understand the contexts and will not be able to translate correctly. 

 

Do you think automated/machine translations would be accurate enough to be presented in front of potential and existing clients, legal settings, government agencies, schools, etc.? Of course not! 

 

Can Machine Translation Replace the Human Translator? 

 

MT tries to fully replace the need for a human translator. Whereas CAT tools rely on translation memories planned to help and support human translator in their work. 

 

Documents translated using MT are run through software that automatically translates it in its entirety. Due to the limitations of MT at this current time, a document will surely not be usable after this step. There will be several grammar and syntax errors throughout, though the general idea of the document can surely be discovered at this time. To correct these errors, machine-translated documents need to go through a process called “Post-Editing”. This phase will require human translators to proofread the document for possible errors. Only professional translators can identify minor errors in legal translations or certified translations that are supposed to be used in professional settings. 

 

Human Translation

Unlike automated/machine translation, there are far more benefits to having a person translate your documents. Human translation is proven to be irreplaceable and vital. Only a human can understand and capture the context, translate according to the cultural differences in language, and find suitable alternatives, as well as review their work. 

 

You may choose post-editing – which is machine translation with a human touch. Even though the machine translation may contain mistakes, a person can proofread and edit making all necessary corrections. 

Why Are CAT Tools Better?

Machine translations do not need guidance from a human and they operate on their own. In contrast, CAT tools need a genuine, well-informed person to operate them. This type of translation is a complete translation. The final product can be used whenever critically accurate translations are needed. CAT Tools help the translator by offering translations for those idioms, terms, and sentences that the linguist has previously translated. This method helps you do efficient work at a faster pace while still maintaining extreme accuracy throughout the document. 

 

Choosing a professional translator or agency

When you are trying to attract new clients internationally, having an accurate translation into the targeted language is very important. Customers want to feel valued and want to be sure they are dealing with a reliable and professional company. After all, the business’s reputation is on the line – having inaccurate translations is not an option.

 

Conclusion 

In the current globalized world, machines have achieved a high success rate in translation. Their ability to store large volumes of data and rapidly convert text from one language to another, has made them an essential asset in our increasingly connected world. There are various benefits associated with automated/machine translation, but still they hold various limitations. The major disadvantage is the lack of accuracy. Language is extremely multifarious and dynamic, and while machine translation technology has enhanced greatly over the years, it will never be able to accurately identify some sentences of the language and transfer them into the target language. Especially in legal translation or certified language translation, companies will need professional translators to perform the role. After all the discussion we can predict that automated/machine translation cannot replace human translators, however everyday technological progress is gradually improving. Machine translations can provide the initial base that human translators can refine. CAT tools and computer-assisted translations can save the day and allow translation companies to carry out document translation at a faster rate without any hustle. 



Also, read How Much Art Is There in Translation