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Will Digital Translation Services Replace People?

Example of translation software on mobile phone

Are Digital Translation Services Making Human Translators Redundant?

In a previous blog, the Akorbi team took a look at some of the biggest leaps in technology and how they improved interpretation and translation services. What we didn’t look at was some of the perceived downsides of technological advancement. More and more these days, you’ll hear people talk about the fear of machines or AI taking over roles usually filled by people. Perhaps you’ve even worried about this yourself.

When it comes to translation services, you’d be forgiven for wondering whether the ever-improving translation technology available on most smartphones risks putting people out of a job. Does it? In this blog, we’re going to look at whether there is any real basis in the fear of translation services professionals losing out to computer counterparts.

Computers and AI Don’t Get Context

Once again, we’re compelled to come back to the Akorbi blog standby of “context”. You’ve read it many times by now, but it’s always vital. Understanding the context in speech can make a big difference in properly translating it, and this is still something that AI and machine translation services struggle with. The major stumbling block is the ability to understand the meaning behind certain words — something which can be imitated better and better, but is unlikely to ever be truly grasped.

Human Translation Can Handle Subtle Differences and Complexity

Everyone is different. As a result, everyone has subtle differences in how they speak and express themselves. This is something that’s extremely hard for a digital-only translation service, whether text or voice-based, to recreate. This also what creates a real engagement from one person to another.

This engagement is an essential part of being able to translate and interpret language on a deeper level. While machine-based translation has a long list of benefits, that human element of an emotional connection helps to give a clearer understanding.

There Might Just Be Too Many Languages

With the current available storage on digital devices getting bigger all the time, you might assume that there’s no limit on the number of languages that machine translation software could translate. While this is technically true, the sheer number of languages and the way they interact with each other makes this virtually impossible for the foreseeable future.

How many languages pick and choose words from other languages to create new terms, phrases, idioms or unique colloquialisms? How many local variations of what’s considered a single homogenous language is a piece of software able to learn? Again, a human-to-human situation allows the opportunity for giving context and explanation, meaning the real people behind translation services are still an essential part of the overall process.

Contact Us for Professional, Personal Translation Services

It would seem that, even with ever-improving technology in the palms of our hands, there will also be a place for personal translation services. If you’re looking for a translator or interpreter with experience and a human touch, contact Akorbi today. We have served countless clients all over the world and helped them communicate better with the customer and each other.

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