When machine translation falters

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When a business decides to expand its services into new countries, there are many factors that must be considered. One area that should not be left to the devices of computer systems is ensuring that a website is properly translated into a new language. Business translation is key to guarantee that customers will understand what a company has to offer them and what its overall goals are.

Machine Translation Useful in Some Cases

An article in The Economist explores how machine translation is growing in popularity throughout the business world. Different companies are even beginning to create their own systems that can translate between languages. Microsoft is one such company, and Rick Rashid, the firm’s chief research officer, demonstrated the translation capability at a conference in Tianjin, China  in October.

Rashid’s words were translated live into Mandarin, appearing first as subtitles on overhead video screens, and then as a computer-generated voice.

“Recognizing speech is, however, only the first part of translation,” the article said. “Just as important is converting what has been learned not only into foreign words (hard enough, given the ambiguities of meaning which all languages display, and the fact that some concepts are simply untranslatable), but into foreign sentences. These often have different grammatical rules, and thus different conventional word orders.”

The Accuracy Challenge

Even when English words are known for certain, computerized language services have the possibility of producing stilted or inaccurate translations.

This is one of the main reasons why translation services for websites are more accurately completed when a human is handling the translation. Machines do not understand the intricacies of language or culture, idioms or colloquialisms that are able to underline the importance of a business’ operations.

When a business is looking to expand its services and requires comprehensive software translation, a localization company is a more beneficial option.


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