Why Manual Translation Should be Preferred Over Translation Software


Translation of text, videos, and audio has allowed a better understanding of cultures around the world. Long before the internet was widely available and prior to translation services being available, sharing information in a second language was tedious at best. Now there are tools, machines, and multiple translators available to translate materials of all types. When you are in need of some form of translation, whether it be a brochure, video, or Christian website translation, then there are options available. The options tend to fall into three categories: completely machine based, a combination of translation tools and human translation, and pure human translation. Each of these will be described below.

Machine Translation
                Machine translation is exactly what it sounds like. Using a computer, text is entered in and a direct translation is made. This has pros and cons. Machine translation is cheap, often free, but translating sizable documents can be tedious. Machine translation is also word for word without consideration for grammatical issues. In many languages, words translated directly do not make sense in the new language. While a person may be able to gain a minor understanding of a topic from a direct translation, a deep understanding would not be possible. In fact, a direct translation may cause people to stop reading because the text is confusing. For key phrases, machine translation may be an option, but entire texts should probably be avoided with this method.


Dual Form Translation
                A mix of machine and human translation is a good option if budget restrictions are in place, but there can still be issues. Many times, this is a machine translation that is then edited by a human fluent in the new language to make the text make sense. While this sounds good, if the machine translation was not accurate, the final editing will not be accurate either. This means the underlying meaning of a text can be literally lost in translation.

Human Translation
                Human translation can be done for any type of text, video, audio, or mixed media. This type of translation is completed by humans only without the help of a computer. This assures that the message intended is the one that is translated in the proper grammatical form. Human translation is the most highly recommended type of translation. However, this is also the most time consuming and costly form of translation.

Things to Consider
                When trying to find the perfect translation service for your text, even if it is something like a website, then do your homework. Look for reviews of the service and talk with representatives ahead of time for an estimate on time and price. If looking for Christian website translation then search for top Christian translation services. Choose an organization or ministry that uses human translation alone so that you know those translating will understand the message being given and translate appropriately. You have spent a large amount of time working on the text to be translated so it deserves the best treatment.

                Beyond choosing the right translation organization, make sure your text is prepared by removing cultural references when possible, keeping sentences short, and removing passive voice as much as possible. This allows for a better and often faster translation to be provided. Make sure when you are seeking translation, especially if it is the first time translating a text, that you choose only one or two common languages just to get used to the process, cost, and can then check to see if the text is popular enough to cover those costs. For some this may not matter. Perhaps you need a Christian website translation that will be freely shared for free, but your goal is to reach a certain population. Start with that language and then translate further if needed.

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