by Catherine Deschamps-Potter, ICD Translation Vice President of Sales and Marketing
The most important thing when translating is to maintain the content’s meaning. In order to do this, translators must take into account many different aspects of translation: tone and style, cultural and contextual references, slang, nuances, metaphors, and specific local expressions — among many others. If the translation was done well, the reader may not even know that the translated text was originally written in another language. That’s the goal, especially when you are trying to reach a new, foreign audience.
In many cases, machine translation provides a literal, word-for-word translation of the text, without taking into account any of the aforementioned elements that are essential to translation. Big mistake. This is why utilizing the services of a professional human translator is critical, especially for highly complex technical content or extremely specific marketing material. Our translators are native speakers, which means that they are aware of their language’s unique nuances, expressions, and grammar. This helps to ensure that the original meaning and style of the text is maintained in the translation.
So, the answer to the question above is, yes, we still need human translators. They make all of the difference when it comes to translation and localization and are heavily relied upon by successful language service providers. When your organization is trying to break into a new market and spread your important message, make sure you partner with a reputable translation agency that uses professional translators.