Communication is a key part of our lives, our community, and the way we evolve as humans. But with seven thousand different languages around the world, there can be communication barriers. That is why translation plays a vital role in making sure we can connect, communicate, and relate with people from different countries and cultures. Translation used to be a job for bilingual or multilingual people who understand culture and context, but along with the evolution of technology, machines can now also do the same. In this article, we talk about human vs. machine translators and list seven reasons that prove humans are better translators than machines.

Human vs machine translator | Ziada Legal Translation

Human vs. machine: why humans are the better translators 

  1. Humans, unlike machines, understand culture. In translation, cultural knowledge plays an important role. Language stems from culture, so to understand and translate a language, you must have a cultural background, or at least, understand the cultural context. This will avoid misinterpretation, literal translation, as well as cultural insensitivity.
  2. Humans can contextualize. Translation is not merely converting word-for-word. More than that, the job is to convey documents in different languages in a way that the translated text still makes sense. To contextualize, literal translation is a big no. For example, in many languages, some words are spelled the same but with different meanings. When human translators work, they contextualize so the choice of words is woven perfectly and accurately, just like what we do at Ziada Legal Translation. 
  3. Humans pick up language evolution faster. Languages are never static. Like our culture and our technology, language continues to evolve. Human vs machine translators — humans are far more superior when it comes to adapting to linguistic shifts. Plus, because of how we are connected to the internet, we pick up and adapt languages from other cultures, while machines may have to be reprogrammed to grasp the changes.
  4. Humans ensure quality. Machine translators normally provide basic word-for-word and literal translation. Humans, on the other hand, make sure the grammar, structure, and format are all correct. They don’t only translate but also proofread and review. So, in a human vs machine translator quality contest, the point goes to the former.  
  5. Human translators are certified. When providing legal translation services, translators must have certifications that prove they are professionals who have legal knowledge. This is especially because legal translation is crucial, and any mistakes in translation may have consequences for the parties involved. Ziada Legal Translation, for example, is certified by the UAE Ministry of Justice and the Dubai Courts to provide legal translation services. Needless to say, machine translators do not have the same certifications.
  6. Human translators are knowledgeable of the field they work in. Translators must not only be bilingual, multilingual, or certified but also knowledgeable of the area they work in. For instance, a translator specializing in marketing and advertising translation must also know about marketing techniques to make sure the translated copy is as effective as the original text and the branding tone sounds similar even in different languages. In the same way, legal translators must be knowledgeable of the law to avoid any costly or potentially dangerous translation mistakes.
  7. Human translation services are more affordable. On the surface level, machine translators may seem cheaper than the services of a translation agency. It may even be free online! But keep in mind, because machine translators are not 100% accurate, you might still avail of the services of a proofreader and a grammarian to ensure quality. With human translation, you get these services for one fee. In Ziada Legal Translation, our translators translate, proofread, and review. As a result, the process is much faster and simpler, and more cost-effective.

It cannot be denied that over the years, machine translation has significantly improved and continues to get better and more accurate. Machine translators are helpful in daily and basic translation needs. However, when it comes to translating official or legal documents, the answer to the question “human vs machine translators?” is an easy one. We have listed above the reasons you should hire human translators for your legal translation needs in Dubai; and if you need more reasons, feel free to reach out to Ziada Legal Translation.

Our team of translators here at Ziada is knowledgeable, experienced, certified, and quality-conscious. We don’t translate literally but we translate the thought and meaning. Know more about our complete services here or get a free quotation for your legal translation needs in Dubai by filling out this form: