The corporate outlook on the world is all about productivity. That means doing more in less time at a lower cost. But language is not something that can be rushed without losing depth and creativity. Expecting translators to adopt productivity values and tools thoughtlessly, kills their value as live translators.
For corporations, pushing translators to use machines to cut costs might seem like a good thing, but when you risk the quality of the work, itself, that’s not such a good thing. Here are several ways in which corporatism negatively affects translations:
· Loss of personality – Translation is a process we go through all the time. We translate vision into sight, sound into hearing, words into thoughts, which then becomes personality. When a machine translates, there’s no personality. When a human does, personality shows in the work and makes it more interesting.
· Loss of sensitivity– All words have multiple meanings and thoughts have multiple ways in which they can be expressed. A translator’s own sensitivity to the nuances of language is infused into the finished product, which machines can’t do.
· Sterile translation – An experienced translator carries memories of former translations and lessons learned from them. Those lessons are applied with each new translation. Even instructions for how to use a product have greater clarity when translated by humans.
· Lack of depth – When a translator is given the time necessary to become really absorbed in work, it pulls up a depth of understanding and flow of thought that goes directly into the translation. Machines don’t have the depth to give.
· Loss of the efficiency aimed for – Machines are supposed to make translation more efficient. But they can actually slow things down, as the translator is constantly distracted by a solution that is not theirs, that doesn’t make quite the right kind of sense.
· Quality goes down – When translators feel like they are interchangeable with machines, their pride in the work they do goes down. Eventually, because the machine can’t produce high quality work and translators are not paid to, they start to settle for “good enough.”
The corporate push for efficiency and low cost benefits corporate pockets, but hurts anything that requires the human touch. Translation is no exception. Machines can help with efficiency, but cannot dominate the translation process, without losing more than is gained. When you require a good, experienced translator contact us at Dialog One.