Can You Trust Machine Translation for Business Documents?

January 7, 2020


Effective business translation for documents, contracts, notices, etc. need be contextually accurate, if not perfect. This includes localization for dialectal differences in meaning and scope. Since numerous parameters, both static and dynamic, must be taken into account for international or multi-language business translations, search engines like Google, Baidu and Bing should not be blindly trusted. Fact is no machine or computerized translator can deliver the absolute accuracy that you likely need. The risk of inaccurate translations that might offend a foreign reader probably outweighs the convenience and cost savings of using web-based translation tools, at least at this point in the evolution of machine translation technology.

Types of Documents Needing Professional Translators

Languages are very complex and often ambiguous with many words having multiple meanings. Therefore, the accuracy of any search engine-based machine translation depends a lot on how technical or specialized the topic. Listed below are document types that command accuracy in translation with clear, concise meanings, such as:

  • Legal Translations
  • Medical and Healthcare Translations
  • Financial Translations
  • Marketing Translations
  • Human Resource Translation
  • Contract Agreement Translations

Although Google, Baidu, Bing and other machine translation service providers may provide a valuable tool for you to get the gist of a document's content, these resources should be looked at as a fast first translator for most communications. If the content contains jargon, slang and colloquial wording, it is unlikely that computerized translations can understand linguistic irregularities.

Professional Accuracy Only Comes from Professional Translators

Advances in technology may change the world's approach to translation. For now, the traditional approach to business translations using human translators still reins supreme. Machine translation does not have a sense of humor or understand emotional connotations and it is impossible for these tools to appreciate cultural values. Businesses needing multi-lingual interpretations must realize that a strong translation is best accomplished through human intelligence combined with the latest machine technologies to ensure a balance of speed and accuracy of meaning. Although companies may continue to test the cost-effectiveness of web-based translations, they must understand the difference when their clients, customers or partners need important confidential or creative documents translated. Only with a thorough knowledge of the source and target languages, can a translation account for all of the subtle nuances of most business documents. That's why if you need professional accuracy, it is crucial to use a professional translator to interpret your message.

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