Machine translation represents a major step forward; it is the solution chosen by most of us when trying to understand a foreign language text. Why not? It’s so easy!
However, for professional translations and all others that require a high level of technical accuracy, the automatic translator is not satisfactory.
The machine translator is just enough for me!
Well, try it and see! You will easily be able to see the errors, gaps or inaccuracies in your target text. In technological fields or cutting-edge sectors, it will be unsatisfactory.
Indeed, The MT does not know the specific technical terms of the field you are dealing with and may mislead you.
It will not take into account the specifications you received for this job or the intricacies of this particular document (target audience, document format, intended use, etc.) all which shape its phraseology. Then you run the risk of getting your client into trouble or, even worse, spoil her/his reputation.
How does the human translator work?
The human translator begins by accurately mapping out the terminology domain, making sure it is on the appropriate topic/sector, the proper context, the right company, the correct date, etc., before even beginning the translation.
Once this is done, he will perform a whole series of checks in addition to spelling and typography. The translator will validate his terminology within the field and with the experts themselves. He checks whether all the elements/markers in the target context/region will match and be in the right place; Is there any hidden coding, language specifications of the target region/country or standards to be transferred to the relevant target area, etc.?
Finally, he will be responsive to the client’s instructions in order to ensure an optimal translation.
That’s all what the machine doesn’t do and why a human translator will always be required!