Write a sentence, click on the button of an internet translator and read the result in another language. Elementary, my dear Watson! In the world of quality translation, however, such simple solutions don’t work and we certainly will not be able to do without live translators for a long time to come. Although internet translators may try to tell you otherwise. So how do we solve this translation conundrum?
When the computer is translating
Although commercial web translators – such as Google Translate or DeepL – have undergone a lot of development and transformation over the last decade, they still have a lot of catching up to do.
If you want to have a shorter article or report translated from a language you don’t speak for your own reference, a publicly available on-line translator may come as quite useful. Even if the result is rather shaky, such a translation can often be useful for a rough understanding of the content of the message. In any case, however, it will not be a translation that can withstand more demanding benchmarks or publication. If you are concerned about quality and meaning, you will have to look elsewhere.
Advancements in technology
Computers can easily beat humans at chess, but they repeatedly lose compared to translations made by “human” translators and native speakers.
The most modern specialised translators developed in top scientific centres may be able to outperform humans in some cases in terms of translation accuracy (and the meanings of individual words), but they fall short in terms of fluency, where the human factor plays an irreplaceable role. Without editing by an experienced translation editor, the best quality computer translation is still not possible.
Digital translators find it particularly problematic to place translated passages in the wider context of meaning and style of the text as a whole. And while high-end translators can sometimes successfully handle shorter passages of technical texts, automatic translations of entire documents or even books are still in their infancy.
Don’t risk data misuse!
Machine translation via public Internet tools also carries the risk of unwanted storage or misuse of data, which can pose a high risk for such types of text as, for instance, internal client documents. Professional translation agencies guarantee safe handling of the submitted data.
Quality comes first
The translation agency guarantees the customer the professionalism of the services offered. It employs a wide range of translators with different specialisations and language skills, which leads to very efficient and flexible work for the customer. No human translator can comprehend everything; he or she always focuses on a particular field – whether it’s medical, finance, IT, law or electrical engineering. They are often graduated experts, native speakers or people with many years of experience in the field, thanks to which they have acquired a great depth of understanding of the given area. Thanks to a diverse range of employees, our specialised company has the opportunity to meet all the client’s requirements and satisfy them to the highest possible degree of quality.
Since quality always comes first, it is essential that a language agency can vouch for its employees. That is why individual translators are tested before they start working for us. “At Skřivánek, we choose our translators carefully. Before translators begin working for us, they must undergo translation tests in their selected field(s), which are then assessed by an experienced and proven expert. We only cooperate with those who receive an excellent evaluation,” adds Petra Sendlerová, Translation and Interpreting Methodologist. Agencies can then provide a much more comprehensive solution for specific jobs that require technical, professional and staffing resources – something that a computer program simply cannot provide.
Man vs. machine
Generally available web-based translators will undoubtedly not be able to do quality translation work on their own for a long time to come. Not to mention interpreting, which computers also continue to fail at at the appropriate level, especially when it comes to less widely spoken languages or informal speech. The services of professional translators and interpreters will therefore be an indispensable part of the translation world for many a year to come. Elementary, my dear Watson!