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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using machine translation

Translation has been a part of human lives for a long time. There are literary works by great authors such as Jane Austen and Shakespeare that over the years have been translated into thousands of languages for people all across the globe to enjoy. Even our holy books such as the Geeta and the holy Bible have been translated thousands of times over the years.

However, the phenomenon of machine translation is new. Like relatively new. But it indeed has quickly, just like any other technology, become a mass hit and one of the widely used tools these days. But if you had to choose between machine translation and traditional means of translation, which one would you go for? Tough question, isn’t it?

Well, to ease such a dilemma, we have brought you this post, explaining both the advantages and disadvantages of machine translation and hopefully making it easier for you to make a wise choice. However, before we move to that, let us understand what machine translation is all about.

What is machine translation?

In its simplest form, machine translation simply means translating content from one language to another without any human input involved in the process.

Wikipedia explains machine translation as, “A sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another. On a basic level, MT performs mechanical substitution of words in one language for words in another, but that alone rarely produces a good translation because recognition of whole phrases and their closest counterparts in the target language is needed. Not all words in one language have equivalent words in another language, and many words have more than one meaning.

Solving this problem with corpus statistical and neural techniques is a rapidly-growing field that is leading to better translations, handling differences in linguistic typology, translation of idioms, and the isolation of anomalies,”

Translation was deemed as one of the first computer applications of computer power, starting somewhere around 1950 (as per phrase.com) but the complexity of the entire process made it a challenge that took much longer to be met with than was expected. Machine translation, often abbreviated as MT, can be of three main types as well. These include:

1. Rules-Based Machine Translation

2. Statistical Machine Translation

3. Neutral Machine Translation

Factors determining the usage of machine translation:

If you choose to opt for machine translation, what are the factors you should consider before doing that? Wondering if there are even things to consider in this aspect? Well, yes, there are. Here are those:

a) Budget available to you

b) The industry involved for which the translation is to be used (for instance, technical industries require better precision)

c) Your data quantity

d) The language pairs you require.

Let’s all agree that translation is a complex process, be it mechanical or traditional/human. So, it is important to keep all the above points in mind before making a choice. And when making a choice, it is integral to understand the advantages and disadvantages of that as well. So, without further adieu, let us see a few advantages and disadvantages of machine translation:

Advantages:

a. Quick/ Speed:

Computer works at the speed of lightning when compared to humans. Hence, it is needless to say that machine translation is as quick as it can get, allowing you to translate a million words in a mere second.

b. Suitable for large-scale work:

The idea of a person translating an entire set of encyclopedia seems somewhat daunting, isn’t it? But it’s simply a piece of cake when we consider it from the AI point of view. Hence, for the bulk load of work, machine translation is the best option to choose.

c. Cost-effective:

Machine translation is comparatively cost-effective when compared to human translation. Even though there are several high-scale translation services available in India, the cost of it might prompt you to rethink your budget. Especially if it’s a large-scale assignment. On the other hand, even though you might not be able to translate large quantities of content using Google Translate, it allows a fair amount of translation at practically zero cost.

d. Efficient:

It is needless to say that machines are more efficient than humans even if they are created by humans. MT is relatively more efficient compared to human translation, given there is no comparison between the two when it comes to criterion such as speed or real-time workspace communication.

Disadvantages:

a. Accuracy:

Accuracy is one of the integral factors to keep in mind while working with translation tools and translating content into different languages, especially when it comes to technical content, important company proposals, etc. Even though computers and AI-aided products are known for accuracy, when it comes to accuracy in translation, it is a drawback that cannot be undermined. Many times, it is seen that the translation is not accurately identical with the input that we provide.

b. Conciseness:

document/text/ content, if concise and to the point, makes more sense to the readers than a lengthy one. When using MT, this is another drawback that has been seen where additional words are changed and added to the text during the translation process, making the content much lengthier and even in some instances difficult to understand.

Read also: Benefits of Using Personal Brand to Grow Business 

c. Poor Quality:

The above two points clearly make us question whether the quality of output is even agreeable enough. Due to the lack of accuracy and conciseness, it makes for a poor-quality output.

d. Lack of Precision:

The computer is a very straightforward guy. We add input, it does some calculations and gives us a straightforward output. However, when it comes to translation, things can’t be so candid. Certain context needs to be evaluated and understood and then translated, which is something MT fairly lacks.

Translation is a time-consuming and complex process. Hence, the decision to use a certain translation tool or method should also be undertaken after thorough consideration. Both MT and human translation have their own pros and cons. There are several translation services as well as voice over artists in India and other such experts who can also help you with your translation needs. In the end, however it all comes down to one thing and that is, making the right choice.

Jaxson henry
Jaxson henry
Hi, I'm admin of techfily.com if you need any post and any information then kindly contact us! Mail: techfily.com@gmail.com WhatsApp: +923233319956 Best Regards,

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