Human Translation or Machine Translation? Which Option is Better?

The general conception or let’s say misconception among the patent filers is that the machine translation is better than human translation. It is understood that translation is the basic instrument for correspondence between organizations, business and their clients residing amongst different organizations located worldwide. Therefore, the most well-known approach to complete a translation is to hire a professional firm with reputed recognition in the market or a freelance translator. Whichever choice you opt for is entirely up to you, but recently, a new type of translator has emerged in the market: Machine translator.

Human Translation

Now, the general thought of a human is that a machine processed translation is good and might work for their translation purpose since it might be error free, but the question here is that, does it really account each tiny detail present in the document. Of course, the machine might give you fast results and might involve less expense. But can you truly hold that the document is correct and the essence of the original content is maintained?

While you must be keen on understanding the importance of machine translator, here in this article, we shall discuss each topic like the contrasts between human translation and machine translation, the areas of application and its reliability,  so that you can make a wise decision.

It is easy to understand about translation which is changing of a document or paper from the source text into the target text but on the other hand, it is a complex process and involves several careful considerations before progress. It is a mind-boggling process which requires interpreters to take a lot of things into thought, like firstly the translation quality. While reading a translated document, three essential points are must, the preservation of the meaning, nature, and fluency of the targeted language. On the off chance that the quality of translation is perfect, the reader may not by any means presume that the source content was composed in another dialect and was deciphered.

In order to achieve this finest quality in the document, the translator must consider numerous components such as 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.

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. Are you still wondering why you have to be careful? Since the process of machine translation begins with studying each term or expression inside the source content. Thereafter, fragment the structure into components that can be effectively interpreted and recomposed into a term of a similar structure in the desired language. This strategy may appear to be right, however, the quality of the translation is much lower than a human translation, since the structure of every dialect is unique and it is the main aspect that the machine interpreters do not consider.

Another instance is that the machine interpreter may even essentially give an exacting, word-for-word translation, which results terribly.  Even if the translation is understandable, it would not sound normal by any stretch of the imagination, or lack sentence structure, or may include a specific number of linguistic mix-ups, and may not preserve the meaning of the original content resulting into 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 a human involvement is fundamental. Now that you have understood the importance of human involvement in 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.

That is the reason, they are acquainted with the greater part of its specificities, tone, subtleties articulations, slang, language structure and so on, which enables them to keep the significance of the first content and give the precise translation. Also, you can find translators with degrees in translation and particular specialized topic (i.e. area of expertise) which will provide better insight in the field of the task and enhance the understanding of the content and quality translation, while a machine interpreter will most likely be unable to give an exact translation for those particular specialized 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 utilized for little, non-essential tasks, for which you don’t require a precise translation and desire an only understanding of the content. However for the critical ventures presented to a worldwide audience, requires a human translation for significantly more dependable and best quality product, to ensure that the message is delivered correctly and understood by the audience.

The advantages of manual/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

PTE Assistance

If you have been going through this article and feel the need for high-quality patent translations of applications/ patent filings, do contact us today. You can also have a look at our free translation samples available in multiple language pairs on our website. Alternatively, you can also drop a mail at for service related query or a price quote.

One thought on “Human Translation or Machine Translation? Which Option is Better?

Leave a Reply