Machine or Human translation

25 Oct

Let’s go to the Belgrade Book Fair and buy some Dictionaries before machine translation leaves us devastated.

Do you think options like Google translate or such will win and overtake the role of translators?

Well, according to my opinion not in a thousand years. No matter how perfectly created, developed and adjusted a program can be, will it master the human translators. As much as we, the translators, improve our knowledge and skills, no computer program can replace us.

However, there are some translation softwares that can be of an assistance, such as SDL TRADOS or a Wordfast But still, they are too expensive for Serbian translators in general. If you work on a project for an international translation agency, in case they request using Trados/Wordfast, they would most certainly ask for match discounts. So a Serbian translator may often ask him/herself what’s the point in buying such an  expensive software, when you cannot compensate the expense by accepting match discount. So the questions is, is it better not to have it at all or just object to providing match discounts?

When it comes to working on a project for a Serbian translation agency, you are required to use some of translation softwares very rarely or never, in my case only working for the EU Integration Office in Serbia.

The point is, the market is full of growing new technology solutions.

It is our role not to fear them, but grab them overjoyed, and learn to use them as our own advantage.




Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


4 responses to “Machine or Human translation

  1. Ana

    October 25, 2011 at 08:54

    Man vs machine?! I will just say one thing: cases. Who knows will understand.

  2. Justin

    October 26, 2011 at 13:03

    Machine translation has indeed come a long way but it will never replace us mere mortals. Admittedly far from au fait with any of the software mentioned above, I have on many an occassion heard the merits of such, in terms of time-saving; however, even the most ardent advocates stress the need for a more than thorough review before sending to the client. A welcome assistant? Yes. A human replacement or instant finished product? Never!

  3. Ivana

    November 7, 2011 at 11:39

    You have brought up an interesting topic, i.e. the problem which dedicated translators have to resolve themselves. That is to say, it depends on one’s point of view whether or not they will take the advantage of translation softwares in order to make translating faster, but not necessarily more qualitative.

  4. Haddock

    November 20, 2011 at 18:41

    Take the middle path: loads of resources in internet (and I am not talking about Google translation) to rely upon.


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