Human Translation or Machine Translation? Which Option is Better?

The general conception (or misconception) among the patent applicants is that the machine translation is better than human translation. Patent translation is the basic instrument for understanding patents, applications and other relevant prior art in different languages from different regions. You need to be certain about the translation when you are researching and distinguishing your invention from previous works. This is not all. When you file a patent application in a different region, you might need to translate your application to that region’s official language.

Recently, a new type of translator has come up in the market: Machine translator. Now, the general thought of humans is that a machine translation might work for their translation purpose since it might be error-free. But the question here is, does it really account each tiny detail present in the patent document?

We’ll help you in making a prudent decision while selecting an option for translating your own application or translating prior art.

Human Translation or Machine Translation

Introduction to Patent Translation

Patent translation is changing of a patent document from the source text into the target text. It is a complex process and involves several careful considerations since the top priority is precision. It is a mind-boggling process which requires interpreters to take a lot of things into thought, like firstly the translation quality.

While translating a patent document you must take care of three essential points. They are the preservation of the meaning, nature, and fluency of the patent document in the target language. If the translation quality is perfect, the reader may not be able to tell that the document is a translation from another language.

In order to achieve this finest quality in the document, the translator must consider numerous components. These include social or logical references, the tone of the content, slang, particular expressions, familiar language and such. You will find more information on Why & How a technical translation matters here.

Machine Translation

The bright and shining aspect of the machine translation may show up as a decent approach to save cash and time. However, you have to be careful. The process of machine translation begins with studying each term or expression inside the source content. Thereafter, the machine fragments the structure into components. Then, it can interpret and recompose the components into terms with a similar structure in the target language.

This strategy may appear to be right, however, the quality of the translation is much lower than a human translation. The structure of every dialect is unique, and it is the main aspect that the machine does not consider.

Another instance is that the machine may even essentially give an exacting, word-for-word patent translation, which results terribly.  Even if the translation is understandable, it might not sound normal by any stretch of the imagination. It may also lack sentence structure, or may include a specific number of linguistic mix-ups. This may lead to lack of preservation of the meaning of the original content resulting in a wrong translation.

The main reason behind this language mix up is usually due to the multiple meaning of a single word and incorrect utilization of those words in the translation process.  This is all why human involvement is fundamental. Now, you can understand the importance of human translation.

Human Translation

You must always note to choose a translator that shares the target language as a native language and is also aware of the patent translation techniques.

The reason is that they understand the greater part of its specificities, tone, subtleties articulations, slang, language structure, etc. This enables them to keep the significance of the patent document and give a precise patent translation. Also, you can find translators with degrees in translation and a particular area of expertise. This will provide better insight into the field of the task and enhance the understanding of the content and quality translation.

Meanwhile, a machine interpreter will most likely be unable to give an exact translation for those particular technical terms. In case the machine translator cannot determine an appropriate term for those specific terms, the translated document will contain the exact terms as the original content.

In a brief summary, you can understand that a great difference comes in the area of application and reliability. So, machine translation can be handy for small, non-essential tasks. This includes tasks which don’t require a precise translation and desire only an understanding of the content. However, for the critical ventures that are for the worldwide audience, you require a human translation. A human translation is significantly more dependable and offers a better quality product. This ensures that you deliver the message correctly and the audience understands it.

Why should you prefer Human Translation over Machine Translation?

Let’s now look at a crisp summary of why you should prefer human translation over machine translation.

The advantages of human translation are:

  • It’s a translator’s job to ensure the highest accuracy.
  • Humans can interpret context and capture the same meaning, rather than simply translating words.
  • Human translators can review their work and provide a quality process.
  • Humans can interpret the creative use of language, e.g. puns, metaphors, slogans, etc.
  • Professional translators understand the idiomatic differences between their languages.
  • Humans can spot pieces of content where literal translation isn’t possible and find the most suitable alternative.

The disadvantages of machine translation are:

  • Level of accuracy can be very low
  • Accuracy is also very inconsistent across different languages
  • Machines can’t translate context
  • Mistakes are sometimes costly

Need assistance with Patent Translation? – Patent Translations Express

After going through this article, you should be able to understand the need for high-quality patent translations. These include translations of applications/prior art, etc. If you wish to see a professional’s help, consider Patent Translations Express. do contact us today.

We at the Patent Translations Express, have an exclusive network of native patent translators who are subject matter experts (SME’s) apart from having native language expertise. You can also have a look at our free translation samples available in multiple language pairs on our website.

To get an idea about the price quote please check out our Patent Translation Services.

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