As you already know, data privacy and security are two major concerns nowadays. Considering that technology has come to dominate almost all areas, our privacy is exposed. Evidently, hackers are more than willing to obtain as much of our private data as possible, for the obvious reasons.
Still, what does this have to do with online machine translations, which have become more and more popular? In simplest terms, online machine translations aren’t safe to use.
Apparently, in the event of privacy breaches, the information submitted by people for translation could become available for the world to see. In fact, only recently, there has been a similar situation with one of the most popular online machine translations.
Nevertheless, considering that small companies are looking for ways to minimize their costs, it can be tempting to choose such free translating services. In fact, according to Google, more than 200 million people used Google Translate in 2013. What is more, by 2016, this sum escalated; hence, more than 600 million people – the equivalent of Europe’s population, used Google Translate on a daily basis.
Even so, one shouldn’t overlook the obvious cons associated with machine translations.
The Hazards of Machine Translations
Irrespective of the growing popularity of machine translations, the pitfalls of utilizing this flawed technology are well-documented. To that end, individuals risk to receive translations of mediocre quality that could jeopardize their reputation. Secondly, one is likely to waste time and resource in an attempt to correct the mistakes made by online machine translations.
Therefore, when you choose a machine, you cannot be 100 percent accurate that your translation will be a good one. In fact, the odds are you’ll get a mediocre one, filled with a wide range of mistakes. Correcting those mistakes also requires knowledge and expertise; if you don’t have that, then you’re stuck with a poorly written document.
Machines like translate.com don’t have the capability of comprehending a piece of text in the same way in which a human would. Therefore, getting an accurate translation is next to impossible. Perhaps you’d get something that’s barely readable. The transition between the phrases might be awkward and unnatural.
Another considerable pitfall associated with online machine translation tools is that such a machine doesn’t have the knowledge and expertise of a proficient translator. Therefore, if you require a translation in a complex field such as medicine, marketing, law, e-commerce, engineering, so on and so forth, that could be problematic. These sectors involve the use of very specific terminology. Evidently, machines aren’t acquainted with the required terminology for these sectors. Therefore, literal translations may be unusable, at the very best.
On the other hand, though, an expert translator will aim at making the translation as accurate as possible, as he/she has the knowledge and preparation to do that.
On top of that, data privacy is also an evident risk associated with online machine translations. This aspect, in fact, has been ignored till this day. Not anymore, though, considering former incidents that had outlined the vulnerability of private data.
All Things Considered
To sum up, even though translation tools could provide an approximate insight into the meaning of a text, one shouldn’t rely on these tools too much, for the motives explained before. Online tools can be helpful, but they cannot and will not replace the input of a professional translator.