Professional Translator vs Automatic Translator: The Ultimate Battle

How do these translation processes compare?


GearTranslations Internationalization Content marketing Translation SMBs


When we were kids and we saw futuristic films where machines took over everything. They turned their human creators into sort of slaves and took over the world. Our parents told us that these machines were only fiction. But who doesn’t think of these robots when we use automatic translators? Automatic translators resemble these robotic machines that are becoming ever more power in today’s globalised world. Many companies today that want to internationalise and launch their products into new foreign markets don’t allow for a large translation budget. Therefore, instead of investing in professional translations, they use automatic translators as a cheaper option when beginning to communicate with their target market destinations. The translations produced by automatic translators are by no means reliable or accurate. Find out why!

An automatic translator receives information, processes it in a programmed language, and completes the circuit with a result. There are no interpretations, no sensations, no thoughts in this process. Only inputs and outputs that can turn our texts into impersonal lines. The syntactic, grammatical and semantic errors that automatic translators produce can completely change the meaning and intention of what we are trying to say through translation.

On the contrary, the professional translation involves translation by humans, who think, feel and perceive, all the characteristics that an automatic translator does not possess.

Always remember that translation is not a replica of a text in two languages, but rather a faithful interpretation of content in two different cultures. Multilingual content is created in the style of language used in the foreign market which you want to communicate with. In order to ensure effective communication, professional translators not only translate words and phrases but they translate ideas, intentions and tone of communication.

What are the main disadvantages of choosing automatic translators over professional translators?

  1. Automatic translators analyse and translate words as independent segments and not as parts of a total text. The result: words are repeated within the translations and can be replaced by synonyms.

  2. Automatic translators don’t recognise idiomatic expressions or colloqualisms so your brand’s message may not be understood in foreign markets if the translation is of poor quality.

  3. These translators lack specific terminologies such as those dealing, for example, with the legal or financial sphere. Professional translators specialise in technical translations, creating multilingual content relevant for the vocabulary of specific sectors.

  4. Using automatic translator correctors runs the risk of making communication difficult and making errors of congruence and tone.

We don’t want the machines to take over our texts. Multilingual content has to be professional and accurate if it is to represent the message of a company’s brand at a global level. International consumers will choose not to relate to a brand if its translations into their native language sound robotic.That is why today, despite advances in technology, professional translators continue to be the best option for translations to be true to the original text. Automatic translators sure may be cheaper, but companies that opt for these translations are jeopardising the success of their international expansion into new foreign markets.