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4 Reasons You'll Always Need a Translator

It’s common knowledge that foreign language proficiency has been improving rapidly over the past few years. However, there are still plenty of reasons why translators are here to stay.

If you’re tempted to use Google Translate for your translation tasks, stick around!

In this article, we’ll give you 4 reasons businesses will always need translators.

Translation Tools are Not Good Enough

Although there are plenty of translation tools available, they’re still a long way from being applicable for demanding translation tasks. 

For starters, the quality of translation tools is nowhere near as high as a human translator. Even though Google’s translation algorithm is improving, it fails to fully capture things like language culture and context. Because of that, the translation you’ll get can be inaccurate.

Take the French phrase Se taper le cul par terre, which means to laugh loudly. According to Google translate, the phrase means Banging your ass on the floor.

It’s safe to assume that relying solely on tools like Google Translate can spell disaster.

You Need Translators to Maintain Consistency

Whether you’re working with a document or a text spanning across several, dozens, or even hundreds of pages, your translation must be consistent.

The more pages you have to translate, the harder it is to deliver an equally accurate translation. When you don’t have a professional translator doing the work, mistakes are more likely to happen.

Think about this example.

Imagine you have multiple people working on the same project that are not professional translators. It’s not a stretch to say that the translation won’t be equally consistent across the entire text.

A successfully translated piece of text must be consistently accurate.

Covered for Specialized Terminology

One of the hardest things to do is to successfully translate a text that has a lot of specialized terms.

Unlike typical phrases and words, specialized and technical terminology requires more understanding and effort. This is because the phrases used in the text relate only to a specific industry or field. If the person translating a text doesn’t have training in that particular field, they can’t translate the phrase accurately and make it fit with the rest of the document.

The problem mostly happens when teams use free translation tools to translate specialized terminology. Unfortunately, the translation ends up being inaccurate.

Take medical terminology as an example.

A 2020 study about translating medical instructions for people who don’t speak English found that when using Google Translate, users retain 82.5% of meaning from the original text. This means that almost 20% of the text’s meaning becomes lost or misinterpreted during the translation process.

The best way to keep this from happening is to hire a professional translator who is trained to work with specialized terminology.

What about the cultural background of the language you’re translating?

Cultural Sensitivity

Language is not just about syntax.

Sure, you can learn how to arrange words to form sentences correctly, but you can’t deny that a certain language has a cultural spirit that a translation must capture to be fully accurate. Phrases are particularly tricky because their translation depends on the cultural context; if you translate them literally, you’re doing a poor job.

For instance, the English language is ripe with phrases like the second bite of the apple, which means a second chance. Here, the literal translation of the phrase is inaccurate.

There are countless examples like this one.

To deliver a culturally sensitive and accurate translation, you need cultural background training and plenty of practice. That’s why businesses rely on professional translators.

Back at you

For businesses, inaccurate translations are often a deal-breaker.

Reflect on the points you just read; no matter how sharp your language skills are, you can always have a few blind spots that get in the way of a perfect translation.

If you want to deliver flawlessly translated texts or documents, you’ll hire a professional translator.

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