BITS and Pieces

Get global. Get ahead.

4 reasons why you still need a Professional Translator in the era of Google Translate

What the world knows as Google Translate is basically Machine Translation Technology that originated way back in the 1950s.

From the first public demonstration of a Machine Translation System by IBM in 1954 to Google Translate switching to a Neural Engine more recently in 2016, Machine Translation Technology has come a long way, and may I add, is getting better by the day.

So does that mean you no longer need to hire a Professional Translator? I have been at the receiving end of this question for the longest time, and especially now, when Machine Translation Technology had made its way into the common man’s realm.

Here are four reasons why you still need a Professional Translator in the era of Google Translate:

  1. Machine Translation quality leaves a lot to be desired

Although the output of Google Translate or any other Machine Translation Engine might look fairly acceptable at first glance, a closer comparison with the source text will reveal that Machine Translations are rarely accurate, and this can easily become a problem when translated content is used in a business environment.

An official blog written by Barak Turovsky, Product Lead at Google Translate, clearly states that the objective of Google Translate was “to break language barriers and to make the world more accessible.” The unsaid part was that it was never intended to help businesses translate domain-specific documents. For accurate and high quality translations, you would still need to use a Professional Translator.

  1. Your data might not be that safe

Much on the lines of the terms of use of most free Machine Translation Engines, the terms of use of Google clearly suggest that “you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through the Services+*.”

This means your sensitive, classified and proprietary data might not be as safe as you would like it to be when you use Google Translate or a similar Translation Engine. On the contrary, a professional Language Service Company, bound by a strict Non Disclosure and Data Protection Agreements, will ensure that your data remains safe and secure.

  1. There are better options available on the market

There are some serious Machine Translation Engines available on the market. They perform way better than extremely generic Machine Translation Engines such as Google Translate. However, these Engines need to be trained with tons of language pair-specific and domain-specific data.

This is a task best left to process-mature and experienced professionals. You would therefore be in safer hands if you ask a qualified Language Service Company to help you use Machine Translation rather than using it yourself. The temptation to save some money could cost you a lot of it.

  1. Even the best Machine Translation Engines need Post Editing

Dion Wiggins, Co-Founder and CTO of Omniscien Technologies, a leading Machine Translation Technology Company, nailed it when he said, “Machine Translations can only be as good as humans and humans can never be perfect!”

That is why all Machine Translation output needs Post Editing. Industry bodies such as TAUS offer certified Post Editing courses for Professional Translators. A qualified Post Editor not only understands how to edit translated content but also knows editing techniques that help optimise Translation Engine training.

The way ahead…

Machine Translation is no longer a taboo topic. Globally, millions of people are using Machine Translations everyday. An increasing number of our customers are asking us to use it too.

Write to us at projects@bitsindia.co.in or call us on 83800 31438 to know more about how you could benefit from our Machine Translation + TAUS-certified Post Editing service.

+ Source: Google’s Terms of Use

* Google’s products, software, services and websites are collectively referred to as the “Services”

Back to the Main Page of this month’s issue >>

Sandeep Nulkar - Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to bring credibility and recognition to the Indian translator within and outside India.