Find out why automatic translation tools simply cannot cut it when it comes to accurate and impactful translations.
When you are serious about your translation needs, there is no better alternative to a professional translation service.
Automatic Translation Tools vs. Professional Translation Agencies: Main Differences
Advancements in internet and modern technologies have brought a host of usable features right to our fingertips. One such element is the prevalence of modern automatic translation tools. Numerous free online translation tools, such as Google Translate, have sprung up recently, begging the question, “Do we still need professional human translators in the modern age?”
Let us cut to the chase and answer this question outright: absolutely! While tools like Google Translate can be incredibly useful when it comes to the urgent needs of quick and dirty translations, they are still no match for certified translators or professional translation service agencies. Allow us to explain.
Automatic Translation Tools
Online tools are an excellent choice for when you need instantaneous translations. They are always online and always available for you to use, provided that you have access to the internet. The elegance of these tools lies in your ability to use them anywhere and at any time to translate any bit of text that you encounter.
The advantages of automatic translation tools are threefold:
- They are fast
- They are free (or at least some of them)
- They are always available for use
However, the weakness of such tools lies in their ability only to translate bits of text at a time. As you feed lengthier documents with more words into these tools, their accuracy plummets drastically. With enough words in your document, you can produce a document that is utter gibberish and completely beyond human comprehension after translation.
Professional Translation Services
Human certified translators, on the other hand, offer a far more sophisticated and easily comprehensible translation than automatic translation tools. There is a multitude of benefits when you go for a professional translation service rather than an automated tool:
The feather in the cap for human translators is no doubt the accuracy of the translations they provide. They may not be as fast, as readily available, or free to use like automated tools, but they can provide a 100% accurate translation. With a streamlined translation process that includes proper editing and proofreading, human translators can deliver documents that are completely accurate all of the time. The same cannot be said of automated tools.
Contrary to popular belief, translation is not simply a process of substituting words for others in a different language. Language is closely tied in with the culture, and when you have to translate text from one language to the other, you have to make sure that the translation is culturally appropriate as well for the target audience.
For example, something that is culturally acceptable in the US might gravely offend a resident of Sweden. This is the reason why translators have to take extra care to convey the intended message without unintentionally offending the other party in the process. Translators must be culturally aware and use their knowledge to bridge the gap between two people, rather than aggravate it.
Attention to Detail
Human translators are also indispensable when it comes to translating marketing content. Business owners and their marketing teams often spend countless hours drafting up the perfect marketing content that adequately portrays their brand and vision to the masses. All of this hard work goes to waste when you feed this content into an automated tool.
With a human translator that takes the time to understand your brand and vision, you can have the same brand voice across multiple languages for your company, increasing its credibility in distinct markets. You can even use a trained translator to keep your translations SEO friendly and increase your potential reach on the internet.
When you have to submit official documents to government bodies and certain private institutions, you often have to get them translated if the original ones are not in the primary official language of those institutions. For the reasons discussed above, these organizations do not accept self-translated documents or those that you translate through an automated tool. For such applications, you absolutely have to use a certified translator to provide the translations.
For example, if you plan to migrate to the US, the USCIS (the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) requires you to submit translated vital records that originate from a professional translator, along with their certification. Without this, your application would be invalid. 
Why you are better off with a human translator rather than online translation tools. Conclusion
If you only want a quick, free, and always available translation, it is perfectly fine to use an online tool like Google Translate. However, if your needs for accuracy, legitimacy, social acceptance, and attention to detail trump these other needs, you should always go for a certified translator instead.