How Human Translation Wins Over Machine Translation


Businesses and their customers, in addition to other organizations, sometimes require translation services to ensure accurate and clear communication between parties who speak different languages. A common method of translation is through professional, human translators, either performed by a freelance translator or a translation company. Minnesota businesses can benefit significantly from experienced human translators and the skills they provide.

However, machine translation has recently become popular, and in some cases, has begun to replace human translators. Nevertheless, human translation is still far superior in so many respects, including the ability of human translators to understand culture, context, style, and tone, along with the non-replicable human touch they can provide. At Latitude Prime, we are your trusted source for exceptional quality human translation services.

Below are some of the reasons why human translation provides better results than machine translation.

Cultural Understanding

Despite significant advances in language technology over the past two decades, particularly when it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), understanding a culture and cultural nuances are still best done by a human and not a machine programmed by humans. Machines lack the complexity and mental acuity to recognize and understand idioms, slang, and certain names as do humans. An individual who has been immersed in a culture for years will instinctively know and understand the nuances of language in the culture and the context in which they are being used. Machines inevitably fall short in this respect.

Relating Words to Context

Most languages have different or dual meanings. Machine translators can easily fail to interpret these words correctly based on context. The true meanings of the words are determined by context and that is something that a Minnesota translation company, with professional, certified human translators are able to do much better than a computer.

Style and Tone

Documents often vary in style and tone. Some documents may contain persuasive or a funny tone and style. When it comes time to translate from one language into another, a machine translation may miss much of the intended style and tone. If this happens, the meaning of the original document may be idiomatically conveyed in the translation. A human translator, however, will be able to recognize the tone and style and render it in the translation as originally intended. This is crucial so that the target audience reacts to the translation in the same way as the audience of the original language piece.

Inability to Localize Machines Fast Enough for Word Additions

Words and phrases are added to languages on a continual basis. This includes “regular” words (e.g., technical terminology), and especially local and regional slang and jargon. Humans who are fluent in a particular language and familiar with all of the words and idiomatic expressions being used in that language can pick up on new words and phrases being used. Machines often lack the ability to recognize these types of words if they have not yet been programmed.. While the development of AI is meant to address this issue, it remains one of the trickiest issues for programmers. However, you can count on an experienced translation company that uses human translators to find the right words in the target language that reflect the original.

The Human Touch Cannot be Replaced

Although machine translations are beginning to rely more on artificial intelligence, and this technology has been improving, it is still no match for human intelligence and likely will not be in many years. Machines may be able to retrieve and process information faster, but they cannot provide the human touch that is so important when it comes to language and interpretation. After all, language is an “art” as much as it is a “science.” Even after a machine translation is complete, humans are still required to proofread and edit as needed to guarantee that the translation is grammatically correct, idiomatically appropriate, and includes many of the features mentioned above. This includes proper context, adherence to cultural considerations, and more.

For information about our human translation capabilities, call us today at 888.341.9080 or send us an email at

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