As with most software, there are simple and complex versions of language translation capabilities. Simple versions can be used by the average reader, whereas more complicated versions are made for the specific use of professional translators. There are benefits and downfalls to each.

My brother met a woman from Russia over the Internet. He didn’t speak Russian. She didn’t speak English. Yet they communicated well enough to later marry. How? By using online translation software, which also helped them learn each other’s language.

Not everyone will want to use machine translators (MT), but they are great for translations that can handle a bit of inaccuracy. You simply load your text into the software, pick a language, and click start. The result will require some going over to perfect it, which you can do yourself, if you know the destination language well enough (usually your own).

If, however, your text is sensitive in any way, you’ll want a human language expert to finish the job. Here are the types of documents for which it would be smart to use a human translator:

  • Diplomatic communications where every nuance is carefully read and assessed for power or conflict potential.
  • Legal documents where using the wrong word or phrase can provoke a lawsuit.
  • Marketing productions where words can carry unintended implications that can ruin a campaign.
  • Medical documents where the wrong translation can cost someone a life.
  • Scientific communications where new discoveries need to be described accurately in specialized language.

When a human translator is hired to handle situations such as these, they most likely will use a software translation process to start out. They’ll follow that by identifying and correcting problem phrases and words (and adding them into their software memory for next time), then by reading the complete piece and correcting sensitive nuances. Then they’ll do a final edit or two or three.  Use of software allows human translators to work quickly, so you are paying for their expertise more than you are for the time it takes.

If you do need human expertise, be sure to check with us at Dialog One. We can provide the language and subject expertise you are looking for.