No matter where you are or who you talk to, the general idea that technology will someday do away with the need for translators is widespread. This idea is anything but new. Humanity has long dreamed of the day when technological advances can create a tool to break the language barrier.

In this article, Global Languages will present arguments showing whether technology will replace translation companies.

Google, Microsoft and other companies have invested millions in online machine translation. From the outside, it seems inevitable that, like dozens of other professions, translators will soon become obsolete thanks to technology.

In our increasingly intertwined and interconnected world, language has become an increasingly common obstacle. We are exposed to more foreign languages in our daily lives than at any time in history. It’s not uncommon for videos from China or India to go viral in the West and vice versa, nor is it unusual to take classes or lessons by videoconference with someone from a different continent.

Most of the consumer-level translation technology being worked on today is being done to address such needs, to help facilitate daily interactions between millions of people and facilitate general understanding. However, this is where the confusion between this technology and what trained translators can do comes into play.

Expert translation: more than just replacing words

You don’t need sophisticated language skills to compliment someone, but what if you need to ask about the aspects of a legal case, for example? There are different levels of complexity required in language for different tasks.

While machine learning translation applications like Google Translate have proven useful for fundamental language interactions, they may fall short for sophisticated business, such as the healthcare, legal, and commercial area. Most of the translation work currently required is for civil or legal purposes, where it is legally necessary to have a translation manager.

Literal translation often fails to convey the correct meaning. In 2019, this idea was tested in an academic medical setting. Google Translate got 92% of the sentences right, while 2% of the translation errors could have caused serious harm to the patient.

In other words, online translation has undoubtedly assumed an important role in our society. But there are certain areas that it will never be able to replace a professional translation due to the level of complexity, subjectivity and interpretation that such translations demand.

If you need quality technical translation, performed by an experienced company with excellent translators, then contact Global Languages and request a quote.