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EPIC Translations: Always Uses Human Translators—Here’s Why

Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier than ever to use machine translation tools. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your brand’s global perception to free machine translation tools.

Advances in artificial intelligence have made it easier than ever to use machine translation tools. Many people are familiar with services like Google Translate, Bing Translator, and IBM Watson Language Translator. Many of these free tools allow you to use in-browser commands to translate websites for visitors’ native language(s). And in many ways, these are beneficial resources. However, that doesn’t mean that you should leave your brand’s global perception to free machine translation tools. Nor should these free tools replace the accuracy and precision of human translators. In fact, in some ways, having a translation service that uses human—and only human—translators is more important than ever.

While services like Google Translate are helpful for finding a certain phrase when you need to communicate with someone in a different language or for automatically and informally translating your website, they’re lacking several important aspects that set human translation apart from machine translation. This is especially true if you are a global brand releasing your product manuals, instruction guides, engineering specs, or multilingual website to communicate with your target audience.

Linguistic experts like our global team of human translators will do much more than scan dictionaries with an algorithm. They can bring your brand’s message to life in a way that captures not only the barebones meaning of your documents, but the heart of them, when it comes to marketing and staying ahead of your competitors. With technical documents, it can be even more critical to use a human translator—a small mistake can mean a huge loss of profit, or even permanently losing your clientele.

French technical document translation

The Pros and Cons of Machine Translation

If human translation is so much better, why do some companies find themselves tempted to resort to machine translation? The reasons are quite simple, and obvious: cost and speed. Machine translation is extremely fast, and it’s also very cost effective. This is undeniable.

However, it lacks nuance that is almost always important if you need anything translated at a professional level. Machine translation may be able to match dictionary meanings, but it doesn’t understand context. On top of that, it isn’t an expert in the terms and situations common to your particular industry or company. At EPIC, our experts aren’t just linguists—they’re also experienced in a wide variety of different areas of expertise, so you know that your documents are being translated by someone who is as familiar with manufacturing, law, or marketing as you are.

The initial cost of human translation may be more than machine translation, but over time it will cost you a great deal less—and in fact, can even result in higher profits. You don’t want your target audience to completely discount your product because of clumsy machine translation, after all.

English to Spanish translation

Choose a Translation Service That Uses Human Translators

Unfortunately, the widespread availability of machine translation has led to some translation providers essentially billing themselves as a translation services company when they’re doing little more than running your documents through Google Translate or a similar machine translation followed by a manual review of the machine translation.

This isn’t just a shortcut; it’s a predatory business practice, as these companies often misrepresent the type of translation services they offer their customers. Sadly, it’s much more common than you might think. Even some companies which have done respectable work in the past have resorted to cutting costs via machine translation, often without disclosing this to their clients. While there’s benefit in machine translation tools for certain use cases, the clients must be informed that machine translation post edit workflow is being used for their projects instead of keeping them in the dark.

EPIC Translations has never used machine translation for our clients’ work, and we remain fully committed to using our hand-picked team of linguistic and industry experts to provide our clients with the very best, precise, and contextually accurate translations.

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