We have already seen numerous ways in which technology has significantly changed the translation industry. We have seen instant communication, translation memories, and extensive glossaries just one click away online in the last two decades. All of which has made translation processes far easier for your average translation agency.
The continued importance of human translation and the role of AI
There are multiple methods of translation today. Artificial intelligence has introduced automated and computer-assisted translation. Human translation has been the traditional way of translating and continues to be the most reliable, even with the other methods AI has created.
Human translation is the most reliable because humans understand the three Cs of content translation better than robots and automated methods. These are context, colloquialism, and creative writing. This means that human translation is the best option for translating innovative writing material such as marketing copy or novels. Human translation is also favored for a text that is expertise-focused, such as medical, legal, and engineering documents.
Computer-assisted translation is a mixture of human translation and professional translation software. The main benefit of this translation method is speed. However, accuracy can isn’t always 100%. That’s because computer-assisted translation gets confused with vague phrases and some colloquialisms and slang words. Therefore, human translation is needed to ensure the final translation is free of mistakes.
The other translation method, automated translation (AT), is fully machine-operated but is also criticized for not being the most accurate. Humans are only needed to input text into the computer, and then the machine completes the translation. Google Translate is a prime example of AT and is a popular option for its convenience and low cost. This is a popular option when the priority is to save money, but it’s best used for translating short source texts.
There are pros and cons of each method of translation. Depending on the text and your priorities, the best method will vary. However, with advancements in technology, translation methods will continue to evolve and improve.
The future of the translation industry
While the digital world continues to expand and evolve, there is an increasing need for businesses to do everything fast to stay ahead of the competition. The translation industry is growing, and costs are another factor for staying competitive. Though the human translation is the most accurate, it takes a lot of time. Therefore, engineers will focus on creating high-quality translation services that are both quick and accurate to satisfy business operations and clients.
Automation is already a reality in the industry, but the future will see a rise in intelligent tools. Automation will allow room for the translation industry to become more efficient. It will help service providers to optimize workflows and save time and money with projects. The future will see more automation tools bought to the table. Importantly, these will be engineered with accuracy, cost, and speed in mind. Specialists predict there will still be a need for human translation, with intelligent tools and topic experts working together to deliver accurate translations.