Why machine translation is no good

Can machine translation replace linguists and can the app-made artificial translation outsmart the works performed with a human touch?

Machine Translation versus Human Translation

Transformation of Translation Industry in 10 Years
Over the last 10 years the translation industry has changed and adapted to new realities dominated by artificial intelligence. Most of translation processes have become automated with the use of translation software such as SDLX Trados and the like.

It has certainly facilitated the translator's work and made the life easier by replicating the similar or same words and phrases across the entire text and substituting the source text with the previously translated version.

Unlike the Translator's Computer Aided Software, the cloud based online automated translation applications like Google translate or Deepl can translate your document or text from scratch without any human intervention or assistance. It will certainly help you convert the document from English to Russian and come up with a rather decent translation which will allow you to learn what the text is all about.

Such Apps can help you to instantly get the translation of any kind of source text in whatever language. It is an ideal option if you need it really fast and not professionally.

Free or Cheap Translation Seekers

We received many times requests for English Russian translation with a question: "Is it for FREE?". Well, no, because we are not the cloud based automated software or application. We re English Russian translation agency providing human and paid translation services.

One time we got a request from one client based in USA. He sent the big file with some scientific text in PDF format. The text had very specific terminology which no Google would be able to decipher and translate. It obviously required human translation. The estimated cost of translation of the book was above $2000 USD. The client was very much surprised and bewildered. His reply to our email with the price quote was awesome: "I thought it would cost 20 bucks! 2K is just the cost of my car! Sorry…".

Well, I agree that the price of two thousand US dollars is pretty high for an average person or for a student. But we never give anybody any ground to think that we can do the technical or engineering translation for free. Any translation that is purely technical and requires accuracy should be performed by a human, and not by machine.

We also had another visit of a person with an intent to get a FREE translation of business document. The would-be customer sent us a 20 pages document with an official statement on business transactions and trades. We estimated the cost of over £500 GBP and determined the lead time for 3 days. Within a short while (no more than within half an hour) the sender came back with a reply: "Thank you very much! I have already translated it!".

Another example of a quick translation was when a person came to us with a huge document describing the industrial facilities of some factory. He submitted his request via our online form with an attached document in question. Again, the price was decent for human translation but still exceeded the threshold of €2000 Euros. And the deadline was for 5 days as it included a lot of industry specific terminology.

What do you think that person replied? Yes, he replied in the same way as the previous customer did. He said that he had already translated the entire document and did not need our services. He also said that he used a Translator App on his mobile phone.

In both cases we told them that we do not translate for FREE and we provide ONLY HUMAN translation services.

App or Machine Translation as a Quick Fix
I am sure that using an APP for translation is very convenient for anyone who wants to know superficially what is in the document or text. That's what we heard from people who came to our website for free or cheap translation. In most cases people did not need professional and high-quality English to Russian translation services. They just needed a quick fix or fast solution to their immediate needs – just to learn what was in the text – nothing more!

Another reason why people may wonder why it costs "so much" and "takes so long" is that they do not acknowledge the value of human work and labor and never came up with real human translation before.

Some people say that machine or AI translation is rather good and may substitute the human translation at present and in future. I agree that automation and robotization is gaining pace on a global scale and soon many workers will be replaced by robots or automated cloud based systems. A lot of professions that previously were done by humans will be carried out by robots and software/hardware. The translation industry is not an exception. It has already been experiencing the considerable shift to all kinds of machine made products like apps and online software.

Samples of What the Machine and Human Translations look like
But can the machine or app-made artificial translations replace the works done with a human touch? Can machines or robots outsmart humans? I gave a few samples below of machine translations and a human translation from Russian to English language. They look nearly the same but still there is some difference.

Machine Translation vs Human Translation
A few reasons why human translation is still better than automated and online translation
Уважаемый г-н Смит!

Выражаем Вам признательность за активное участие представителей КОМПАНИИ в обучающем курсе «Системы управления целостностью трубопроводов» (далее СУЦТ), организованном компанией РОЗЕН Европа Б.В. в 2019 г. Искренне считаем, что постоянное совершенствование компетенций персонала, задействованного в поддержании надлежащего технического состояния трубопроводов, является одним из наиболее важных элементов СУЦТ, создающих предпосылки для эффективного внедрения информационных систем на предприятии.

Вместе с тем, принимая во внимание стратегические цели КОМПАНИИ по внедрению информационно-аналитической системы управления целостностью линейной части нефтепроводной системы, предлагаем рассмотреть возможность в рамках профессионально-технического развития руководителей и технических специалистов КОМПАНИИ принять участие в предстоящих в 2020 г. обучающих курсах РОЗЕН в г. Линген (Германия), включающих следующие модули:

Original Russian text

Dear Mr. Smith!

We express our gratitude to you for the active participation of the representatives of the COMPANY in the training course "Pipeline Integrity Management Systems" (hereinafter CTC), organized by ROSEN Europe BV in 2019, we sincerely believe that the continuous improvement of the competencies of the personnel involved in maintaining the proper technical condition of pipelines is one of the most important elements of the system for creating the prerequisites for the effective implementation of information systems at the enterprise.

At the same time, taking into account the strategic goals of the COMPANY to implement an information-analytical system for managing the integrity of the linear part of the oil pipeline system, we propose to consider the possibility of taking part in the upcoming 2020 ROSEN training courses as part of the professional and technical development of COMPANY managers and technical specialists. in Lingen (Germany), including the following modules:

Translated by Google Translate

Dear Mr. Smith!

We thank you for active participation of the representatives of the COMPANY in the training course "Pipeline Integrity Management Systems". (hereinafter referred to as "SOCT"), organized by ROSEN Europe B.V. in 2019. We sincerely believe that continuous improvement of the competence of personnel involved in maintaining the proper technical condition of pipelines is one of the most important elements of the SOCT, which creates prerequisites for the effective implementation of information systems in the enterprise.

At the same time, taking into account the strategic goals of the COMPANY for the implementation of the information and analytical system for managing the integrity of the linear part of the oil pipeline system, we propose to consider the possibility, within the framework of professional and technical development of managers and technical specialists of the COMPANY, to take part in the upcoming ROSEN training courses in Lingen (Germany) in 2020, which include the following modules:

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
Dear Mr Smith

We would like to express our deep appreciation to you for the participation of the COMPANY'S representatives in the training course 'Pipeline Integrity Management Systems' (PIMS), which was run by ROSEN Europe B.V. in 2019. We understand that continual improvement of the competencies of the COMPANY's personnel involved in maintaining pipelines is extremely important, and believe that PIMS made a major contribution in this respect, specifically with regard to effective implementation of information systems at the company.

It is our understanding that the strategic objectives of the COMPANY will call for the implementation of additional information and analysis systems involved in managing the integrity of oil pipeline sections. To ensure that the professional development of the COMPANY'S managers and technical specialists keeps pace with requirements, we suggest that you consider taking advantage of the following training modules being offered by ROSEN in 2020 at Lingen (Germany):

Translated by Human Translator
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