5 reasons why machine translation will never replace translators

The world is constantly changing, and technology evolves along with it. As time goes on, machines are replacing people more and more in all different kinds of professions. Same in the translation field, machines have made a dynamic entrance with the goal of replacing translators. However, there’s no proof that this replacement will ultimately be successful. Can machine translation have the same successful result as a specialized and experienced translator?

Let’s go through five obvious reasons why machine translation will never replace its human counterpart.

 1. Machines cannot convey the tone or emotions of a text. Every text has its own specific tone and style that have to properly get across in a translation in order to fulfill their purpose. Especially in the case of poems, or texts with humorous or ironic content, it’s imperative that those emotions reach the reader, or the text will end up flat and colourless.

2. Language changes constantly. New scientific terms or everyday phrases enter our vocabulary every day, which leads to its rapid evolution. In this case, therefore, a machine would stagnate and not be able to process these new additions without
human intervention.

3. Translation machines can’t know the history of a language. Every word has its own root, which is something translators understand very well. It’s important during the process of translation for the person doing it to know the etymology of each word, in order to convey it correctly without misinterpretation and alteration of the meaning.

4. Machines can’t make connections between words and the rest of the text based on context. Especially in Greek, many words have double meanings, which is likely to confuse a machine and lead to a nonsensical result. A translator, on the other hand, thanks to critical thought and perception, will make the correct choice.

5. In the end, there is always human intervention and evaluation. Even if there are translator robots, the last stage of the process will always be a check by a human so that the necessary corrections and adjustments can be made in order for the text to reach its final form. So, we can see that man plays a defining role in the process of translation.

To sum up, while machines have truly entered our lives our good, they’re still far from being worthy replacements for translators. The reasons stated above are why, in the field of translation, human presence is always deemed necessary.

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