You need a document translated for an important professional project you’re working on. Do you just plug it into Google Translate? What about the editing, re-formatting, proofing, and desktop publishing that will finish the job?
If it’s truly a “professional” document, one that has to be on point and accurate, then your business, and maybe your career, could may be riding on its veracity.
Google’s own website says its research focuses on “developing statistical translation techniques that improve with more data and generalize well to new languages.”
For professional translators, a few red-flag phrases pop up concerning such machine translation:
- “Statistical translation techniques”–Math is an integral part of the business world, used in everything from data analysis for performance management to business metrics for lead generation to website traffic analytics. These computations provide tangible reasons for pursuing various business strategies and tactics. But statistics don’t allow for the intuitive speculation or the nuanced communication the human “gut” can provide. In machine translation, such subtleties may be lost.
- “Improve”—We all want to improve our business’ functions, to improve our professional development, and, as a result, to improve our bottom line. Trusting the translation of vital documents to an “improving” technology could result in errors that will harm long-nurtured client relationships and the reputation of your organization.
- “Generalize”—You choose specific wording for all your communications in order to target the appropriate audience and draw them into a successful partnership. Using terms that are “generally” the same from language to language could result in mistakes, miscommunication, and missed opportunities.
Research scientist Franz Och wrote on the Google Research Blog, “We feed the computer with billions of words of text, both monolingual text in the target language, and aligned text consisting of examples of human translations between the languages. We then apply statistical learning techniques to build a translation model. We have achieved very good results in research evaluations.” (4/28/2006)
The “very good results” of machine translation may be all you’re looking for. But a professional translation company can offer greater expertise, more authenticity, and a human approach in its total-concept workflow.
At Argo Translation, all projects begin with the linguist working in our own Translation Management System, first translating and then editing. If clients choose to review their documents, those changes are then implemented by the linguist and updated in the translation memory. Then the projects go through page formatting, proofing by the linguist, and desktop publishing before the final files are created. You can learn about our workflow here.
These steps work to ensure the desired outcome of each project. Argo Translation believes a proper workflow sets up a strong translation. Your company’s integrity deserves just that.
Peter founded Argo Translation, originally based in Milwaukee, WI, in 1995. Prior to transferring his love of all things international and his savvy business expertise into Chicago’s premier translation agency, he attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he graduated with a major in finance and human resource management. After graduation he went on to become an Italian translator and project manager for an international medical equipment manufacturer and major airline.