With the proliferation of automated, online translation tools, there is an increasing temptation to eliminate the human element from the translation process. In cases where stakes are relatively low, namely personal matters that have no legal or commercial implications (writing a casual letter to a pen pal in a foreign country, for example) — these online translation tools can be an invaluable resource toward bridging the communication gap and eliminating the language barrier. These automated tools, however, are far from perfect, and very often result in translation errors that can alter the meaning of the intended message in a way that’s either incorrect or plain unintelligible. Here are just a few of the potential problems that may occur when using an automated translation tool:
- Polysemous words are frequently mistranslated. ‘Polysemous’ describes a word or expression with multiple meanings. While determining which meaning is intended is a relatively easy task for a human translator (they simply rely on context) — the same task is not as easy for automated translation tools. As a result, polysemous words and phrases are often mistranslated, or translated in such a way that makes no sense given the context.
- Irony and sarcasm are often misconveyed. While the nuances or irony and sarcasm are easily picked up by a human translation team, these concepts are often incompatible with the programming of an automated translation tool. This incompatibility often results in the nuances of irony and sarcasm being lost entirely when translated, thus drastically altering the intended meaning of a message.
- Most organizations and agencies that receive translated documents in an official capacity require that the translations be accompanied by a certification document attesting to the translation’s accuracy and outlining the credentials of the translator. Language Innovations provides a signed, stamped, and notarized translation certification for each document we translate at no additional charge.
In situations where miscommunication can have serious consequences, the importance of a multi-tiered translation, editing, and proofreading process with professional, (human!) linguists cannot be stressed enough. Have materials for translation and would like to receive a quote? Click here to contact us with your request. We’re ready to answer any questions you may have!