Is Human Translations on the Verge of Extinction?

Looking at the rise of Translation technology today really worries the human Translations. The long running debate between machines and human Translations still remains due to the fast-growing technology in the world.

Machine Translations

Also abbreviated as MT is a sub-field of computational linguistics that investigates the use of software to translate text or speech from one language to another. The idea of machine translation may be traced back to the 17th century. In 1629. MT performs simple substitution of words in one language for words in another, but that alone usually cannot produce a good translation of a text because recognition of whole phrases and their closest counterparts in the target language is needed. This has been tackled through the use of corpus statistical and neural techniques to handle differences in linguistic typology, translation of idioms and the isolation of anomalies. (Wikipedia)

There are number of free translation tools readily available like Google translate, Skype translator among others. With such an advanced technology, Does this spell doom for human translators?

Human Translations

However much there’s a fast-growing rate of technology and it is highly affecting the way we communicate; the answer would be No, it does not spell doom to human translations. Here are some of the reasons as to why human translations cannot be substituted,

  • Accuracy

It’s always the translator’s job to ensure the highest level of accuracy with work. This is done through a number of proof reading sessions and constant reviews to ensure a good quality process whereas machine translations the level of accuracy can be low.

  • Context

Translators/humans can interpret context and capture the same meaning, rather than simply translating each word. In this case machines cannot translate context.

  • Idiom use

Qualified translators can understand the idiomatic differences between their languages which is not the case with Machine translations. They can also interpret the creative use of language, e.g. puns, metaphors, slogans, etc.

Both translation means play a different vital role in the translation industry and it is up to the client to choose the right service for a particular product.

What Are The Basic Types of Interpretation

Interpretation Interpretation is under the many translation services offered and is vital during the communication process. This unlike translation that transfers meaning among written languages, Interpretation does the same but with spoken languages. Here an interpreter relays the message from the source speaker to the intended audience in a language they understand best and different from the one of the speaker.

Some of the various types of interpretation include;

Simultaneous interpreting; this type requires special equipment like head phones and microphones requires that the interpreter is placed in a sound proof room where he speaks in to devices that enable the audience targeted to understand. The audience is usually fitted with hearing aids that they alone and maybe other only get to hear the voice of the interpreter. Here the interpreter interprets the moment the speaker finishes a sentence. This is very useful for world summits and large conferences that involve people of the same goal and initiative but who speak and understand different languages. An example here is the UN summits and conferences where there are over 139 countries with different official or native languages.

Whispered interpretation: Is also on the market and is usually for very small unofficial events like tour guides to tourist destinations. Here an interpreter interprets to only one or two people as the main speaker does his thing, the interpreter does his thing at the same time as the main speaker making it prone to misinterpretations and miscommunication.

Consecutive interpreting: Is where the interpreter is close to the speaker and interprets every after a few words or sentences. This is very suitable for smaller gatherings or meetings like birthdays or small conferences. Sometimes this is because there are not so may languages involved here. In fact it is possible that the entire audience understand one of the two languages used. This kind of translation is very common at religious gatherings. The problem here is that the main speaker has to always wait and give time to the interpreter to get done with interpreting what the former said before thus consuming almost double the time.

Liaison interpretation: Involves interpreting directly as the conversation or dialogue goes on. It is meant to create and maintain a certain level of mutual understanding and is usually used for very small gatherings that involve a conversation like aspect. Problem here is that it is very easy for the interpreter to overshadow the main speaker. At the end of the day, an interpreter is a very important link in the communication process and should therefore be a professional one. This is to ensure accuracy when delivering the message to the audience in the form intended by the source of that very message.

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Importance of Professional Translation Services

Professional Translation Services

All in all translation is meant to bridge the gap between two or more languages and what better way than to have professional Translation Services to ease the communication process. If still wondering why the big deal with translation, then read on.

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Diversity in Africa; Culture and Languages

By Angela Kyolaba


Africa comes second to the Asian continent when it comes to the biggest number of languages! Apparently while Asia has more than 2000, Africa on the other hand is estimated to have over 1000 languages.

Even with all the indigenous languages Africa is blessed with, there are those specific ones that though are currently incorporated within the system, they actually have foreign origins due to various factors that took place in the past.

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Professional Translation services

The world is warming up to the translation notion because it is involved in almost everything as professional translation services are required in the global world today for purposes of effective communication.

translate 4 Africa

There are various aspects that fall under translation services and we are going to look at some here;

Translation services which involves getting the meaning of a text or document from one language to others. This might be a book, journal, Newsletter, text books or novels. For example the novel Poor Dad Rich Dad, the Bible has been translated into several languages.

There is what we call interpreting services which involve the word of mouth. Here an interpreter listens to what the source says and relays it to the intended audience in the language they understand best. This maybe consecutive, simultaneous, whisper and many more.

Subtitling is also among the forms of professional translation services and here words are seen on the screen sometimes different from the ones heard on the audio or the words on audio may be the same as those on the screen. In other words it is the printed version of a dialogue on film or television. These words are called sub titles. This means that a deaf person can understand what is being said in the visual even though they cannot hear. In the same way those who do not understand the language spoken are able to because of the sub titles in their own language. I am sure the move Titanic has several versions with subtitles.

There is what we call Transcription which refers to the written form of something spoken.

It should be noted that translations maybe required in differing fields there is and therefore all forms under translations need to use the terminologies involved in the different fields.

Fields in which translation services are carried out include;

  • Medical
  • Education
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Health
  • Food
  • Biology
  • Legal
  • Industrial etc.

For the audience to get the message the way the source intended, professional translation services are the best to be hired for purposes of accuracy, confidentiality and satisfaction. It should be remembered that not every other linguist is capable of carrying out professional translation work.

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