Computers Can Translate Languages, but First They Have to Learn

We almost always have some form of technology at our fingertips. This has become the norm and to keep up there are always new apps that can help us with nearly any task that we may encounter. One task that is gaining momentum is that of translation. If you are traveling outside the country or out of your normal area and into one that a different language is prominent, then translation services are important. Google translate is helping people navigate new areas with a translator that will quickly translate words and phrases so you can at least navigate the most basic of tasks. Think about an emergency situation in which you need to contact the fire department, find a hospital, or simply make a necessary pit stop, you will need to know some key phrases. After all, finding a bathroom in an emergency is as important as finding your hotel.

                Google translate is making asking for help, directions, or a restroom easy from Smartphones, tablets, or nearly any internet connected device. With over 100 different languages available, Google translate can offer options when a simple phrasal translation is necessary. This is possible because programmers have been working hard to teach computers to interpret languages. While the computer is not really thinking, it is deciding based on two rules, the rule based or behavior based choices. The computers learn, just like a baby would, in context and by repetition. This allows the computer to translate into multiple languages. Some computers were taught to translate using whole books so they could learn grammatical structure and when grammar broke the rules. One programmer used the Bible as a book to teach the computer. Unfortunately, not all languages are taught in the same amounts as some do not have as many texts or programmers available.

So What?
This may all sound really cool and be interesting to the techie side of each of us, but how does it affect Christian literature translation ministries? There are several answers to that question. The first is when choosing a Christian literature translator, you may want to make sure that the translation is not fully machine or computer based because even the best computers will make errors. A combination of human and machine translation is best. The second answer is that if traveling and sharing the Gospel with others, even if only for a few minutes, a computer translation can give the plan of salvation in a person’s native language. The final answer is a bit of a stretch, but one worth mentioning. Suing machine based translation can be the beginning of your own best Christian literature translation ministry by allowing you to roughly translate a verse, short devotional, or prayer into the language you may need.

Seeking Out Translation
If you find yourself in need of Christian literature translation ministries to help you share your learning materials, book, video, audio, or any form of written text then look for a translation service that specializes in Christian materials so that your message will come across clearly as it is translated into the language or languages of your choice. Choose a translation service that understands the importance of sharing your words, devotions, and much more in other languages to allow God to reach parts of the world that do not yet know Him.

                Computers are amazing and technology has advanced many areas in life. Language translation abilities are growing rapidly, but programs like Google translate are not foolproof, for now human translation by professionals is still the best option. Machine translation is perfect for an emergency or to ask a simple question, but when sharing something as important as God, stick with a translator that can really get the message across.

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