What’s the difference between a human translator and a machine translator?

24 Mar 2021

Do you need to translate a document, and are you unsure whether to use a human translator or a machine translator?

You may be wondering what sets these two types of translators apart.

Using an online translator might seem like a good idea. Google Translate, for instance, has every appearance of being the perfect solution when you need to translate an email or a document: it’s fast, convenient, easy to use, and offers many different languages.

Yet the harder and more complex the document gets, the less likely it is that software of this kind will provide an accurate translation. In some cases, the result may be completely garbled. Difficult texts need a painstaking translation of the kind that simply cannot be provided by software.

Here are some of the reasons why it is better to use the services of a real translator.


Gaining a rough idea

Machine translation software is mainly useful for gaining a rough idea of a document’s content. You might use it to get the gist of an email, a post on social media or the title of an article. But when it comes to translating a text, especially if it’s work-related, it’s best to turn to a real translator.

Some people think that machine translation software is up to the task of turning a text into another language. In fact, such translations are riddled with errors, including missing or mistranslated words, punctuation errors and incorrect word order.


Corporate image

An online translator is just a computer program. As such, it lacks many of the advantages of a human translator.

If you want quality results, it’s best to stick to translation done by real people.

Poor translations will damage your image or the image of your company, because they will suggest a lack of quality to your readers, undermining your credibility. Clearly this isn’t a desirable outcome.


Target audience culture

A real translator who is a native speaker will have a complete understanding of the local culture. He or she will be familiar with the everyday world of your target audience and grasp the nuances and subtleties of the language. A native translator will pay close attention to the linguistic and cultural minutiae of the language, and will therefore be able to make the translation compelling and engaging for your target audience.


A more comprehensive service

Translation agencies offer a more comprehensive service, covering a whole range of fields – culture, business, education and so on – and always using the right terminology.

Strict quality controls are carried out before the final translation is delivered, in line with the style guide established with the client.

A real translator will also ensure that the original layout is preserved. In short, he or she provides a bespoke professional translation.


Deadlines and prices

You can be more confident that the deadline and price will be adhered to when you use a real translator. Machine translators won’t always explain in detail what the quote includes, giving rise to confusion over what is being paid for. Using a real translator avoids this type of problem.

As should be clear by now, it makes sense to contact a real translator if you want meticulous, carefully crafted translations, so why not use the service provided by Azimut Translations?