It is no secret that technology speeds up the pace, sets the bar higher each year and artificial intelligence remains as our bread and butter. In the case of languages, we find different online translation tools, which offer instant translation of words, phrases, and even full Spanish texts into more than 100 languages and vice versa; but are they reliable?
Through this article, we will let you know why the free translation tools you find online are not as accurate or reliable as a human translation.
Let’s start by talking about what is language? A language or language is the language code used by a people or nation to communicate, reflecting its culture and world outlook. Its very definition shows us that even though online tools have high-speed algorithmic processes, free translators like Google Translator are prepared to translate word by word automatically, but not to interpret. The latter is because each language has millions of words, billions of combinations, and different grammar rules, you know? These translators cannot identify contexts and interpret, so they will never be able to make a 100% accurate translation since languages are not mathematical and cannot be computerised.
Let’s talk a little about interpretation, based on transmitting a message from the author to different recipients, and misinterpretation can have serious consequences. Misconceptions can arise for various reasons, one of them is the homonymous words: they are words that share the same signifier but differ in their meaning, for example: "wine", the verb to come, or "wine" of the drink (noun), or quotation of encounter (noun) and quotation (verb). For this reason, it is essential to understand and identify the context of the sentence, so that the ambiguity of the word is eliminated.
Bottom line, we can conclude that translation is a very complex process in which one must have knowledge of two different languages and cultures. Because of the above, the online translation tools do not have an awareness about what is being translated, and they will not be able to have the precision that a human translator would have; however, these are still useful, and sometimes they get us out of trouble.
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Nataly Hernández | Entrelingo
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