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Google Translate vs Human Translator – When should you use which? [Infographic]

google translate vs human translator

It’s the age of technology and it’s no surprise that computers are trying to step up when it comes to translation. Google Translator has been around since 2001. For over a decade, designers have been tweaking the program and it has certainly come a long way over the years. For those who wonder if it’s time to toss out human translation, the answer is no. Technology is great and can offer many solutions, helping people in a pinch when they need to understand a foreign language. However, the human touch is essential when opening the door to communication.

Humans and Applications Go Head to Head

When Google rolled out its latest improvements to Google Translate, Verbalink, a language services company decided to see if the application could stand up to the test. While both Google and human translators can perform a variety of translation services, including document  and audio translation, it was questionable as to what method is best. As an experiment, audio selections and documents were presented to Google Translate and a competent translator for the company. The results were enlightening.

Google Translate works, but don’t fire the translators

Translators don’t have to worry about finding another job just yet. While the Google Translate can get the gist of a conversation or a document, it cannot capture the personal nuances of language. While a human being can understand idiomatic expressions and get to the deeper meaning of text or a discussion, Google Translate is literal. You’re only going to get the surface meaning when you use the application. If you want a general understanding of information in a foreign language, Google Translator is adequate. When you want to capture tone, the style of the speaker or writer, and need to take into account questionable word choices, you need a human translator.

Google Translate is a handy resource

Think of Google Translate as your resource when you have to figure out what the menu says in a restaurant or when you are navigating your way through a foreign country while on vacation. With the application on your mobile device, you will be able to get out of a sticky situation. You’re not likely to have a human translator accompanying you everywhere you go. Google Translate is helpful when you are tackling homework or need to translate a document for your place of employment. If you need to do a thorough, in-depth project, you will want to seek out a language services company.

You need people to communicate

The art of human communication is meant to be one on one. It is not cold, distant, or analytical, like a computer program. When you want to get to the underlying meaning of the text or conversation, you need a real human being. You can’t count on a machine to capture the warmth and authenticity of any language. Google Translator will help you to understand a foreign language, but a real person will make it meaningful to you, building enduring connections.

google translate vs human translator

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