Human Translation versus Google Translation

With society’s everyday access to the Internet, anyone can go online to find just about anything at any time. The same can even be said for finding translation services. Google Translate is one of the most commonly known translation websites and it services over hundreds of millions of people on a daily basis. However, there are often some concerns about the quality of the translations that are being made through Google Translate. This can be particularly nerve-wracking to think about if your translation is for an important document or purpose. Because of this, human translation services are a great alternative to Google Translate.

Human translation services tend to be more accurate.

Google Translate is a machine translation that “translates whole sentences at a time, rather than just piece by piece. It uses this broader context to help it figure out the most relevant translation, which it then rearranges and adjusts to be more like a human speaking with proper grammar.” While this helps to avoid issues of word by word translation, Google Translate still lacks the linguistic context to deliver perfectly accurate translations. This can be a particular problem when Google Translate is translating words that have more than one translation in some languages versus others. Using a human translation service allows for a translator to personally evaluate what the original phrase is attempting to convey. This can result in a more accurate translation overall.

Human translators provide better grammar checks.

In concert with the accuracy issues, Google Translate frequently does a poor job of using correct grammar. For instance, Google Translate often translates phrases in a literal way. This can be a major problem if you are working with two languages that have different grammatical structures. A human translator is more familiar with the nuances of varying languages, especially when verb conjugations are being used. Additionally, if you are using Google Translation for more obscure languages, the possibility of incorrect grammar further increases.

Human translators help choose the most appropriate words.

As mentioned above, Google Translate is known to translate phrases too literally. This causes certain translations to lose their true meaning. By using a human translation service, you can avoid this problem with literal translations because a human has the ability to infer the true meaning behind a phrase. A human translation service also has the ability to choose better words than Google Translate’s literal translation. While Google Translate may provide a fair baseline translation of a statement, a human translator can use his or her own experience to decide whether there is more suitable language.

Google Translate does not have a sense of tone or formality.

One area in which Google Translate tends to fall short is in translating for tone or formality. In many languages, there are both formal and informal words for addressing nouns. Google Translate does not have the ability to determine whether the proper translation should be the formal version or the informal version. When you are dealing with important documents or speeches, using a human translator is a better choice. The experience that a human has with context can help translations truly convey the appropriate tone and formality.

Human translation services provide a wider breadth of language options.

Lastly, Google Translate simply has a limited amount of languages that it can work with. There are almost 7,000 languages in the world, but Google Translate only works with around 100. As such, it is very clear that there are many gaps in Google Translate’s abilities. This is one area in which human translators particularly excel. There are many dialects for various root languages and a human translation service likely has a more equipped team to deal with those types of language distinctions. While Google Translate might be an appropriate translation in a pinch, it is not the best fit for many situations. If you are looking for a very thorough translation with appropriate context, grammar, and accuracy, you may be better suited to a human translation service.

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