Translation of documents from one language into another language should be considered thoughtfully. Communication from one culture to another culture is key in the disciplines of manual and machine translation activities.
Machine or Online Translation
Machine or online translation can be defined as the activity or process of entering a text or document into a translation software interface – without the benefit of human interlocutors – which then delivers a translated document in another language. However, the software program has its own set of rules for delivering the translation. Analysis of the text and grammatical structure are completed entirely by this artificial process.
Machine Translation Pros
Machine translation is fast – almost instantaneous (try the software offered on iGoogle). It is sometimes thought to be a rough though reliable guide to translation. It is also thought to work best when translating interfamily languages – for instance, Romance languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. This process or service may (or may not!) provide a “quick and dirty” translation from one Romance language to another and vice versa.
Machine Translation Cons
Uncertainties in translation may be the rule and not the exception when using machine translation. It is suggested that the service be used in translations that are not “mission critical” and where only a rough translation and understanding are required. An important observation is that if one creates a feedback loop translation and inputs the output back into the software, the whole thing will come out with a completely “goofy” meaning if any!
Manual or Brute-Force Translation
Manual translation is the application of translation by humans through manual or “brute-force” means to the document/s to be translated. The job is done by experienced professional and native-speakers who convert the original documents into meaningful and accurate texts in the desired language.
Manual Translation Pros
The dimensions of confidentiality and privacy can be maintained in manual translation whereas this is more problematic in machine translation. This is vitally important in legal translations or electronic or other correspondence. The possibility always exists that electronic data in the translations can be compromised or even permanently lost. Ethically speaking, brute-force is the better choice in this case. Grammatical and structural errors can also (and should be) kept to a low minimum or zero state. Repetitious phrases can become easy tasks for brute-force translation.
Manual Translation Cons
Some may view the native-speaking brute-force translation with a narrow view. This narrow view arises from the fact that this one professional is – by definition – a specialist. The customer basically pays for the word and page or pays by the hour. Some see the machine translation as having a special setting or preference that one may simply switch “on” to this purpose. However, in the case of legal, medical, pharmacological, science and engineering translations the brute-force translation with that one special and knowledgeable human being may be invaluable.