At least once in our lives we are faced with a text that we do not understand. We can either rely on a professional translator or use a translation program instead. However, these programs, although fast and useful, also have some problems. I guess we should get to it and start talking about the main advantages and disadvantages of using such programs.
Pros of using translation programs
- They are quite fast
Let’s face it. You simply copy the text, then you paste it, and in less than one minute the translation is ready. I am 100% sure that no human translator can do that. The best part about translation programs is they are not as time consuming as humans.
- Good for web pages
You are browsing on the Internet and you stumble upon a site that is in a foreign language that you either do not know or only know a few words in it. You really want to know what the site says, but you do not want to spend too much time looking up words in the dictionary or asking your friend to translate, then this is a good alternative.
- They are free
Most translation programs are free, which is quite a great advantage, due to the fact that professional translators could end up costing quite a lot. In addition, the majority of translation programs are available online, which means that there is no need to download and install any additional programs.
- Good for getting the overall message
If you want to have a general idea about what the text is about, using translation programs is a great option. Most of the words are translated correctly and so, you will be able to understand the main message of the text.
Cons of using translation programs
- They do not contextualize
One of the main problems that people are faced with when using a translation program is the fact that words are not always translated according to their context. Some words have more than one meaning and translation programs usually take the first one as being the correct one. This causes confusion most of the time and can give the text a whole new meaning.
- Bad for idioms and expressions
As mentioned above, translation programs do not translate the words according to their context. This is why it is better to use dictionaries, to ask a native, or rely on a professional translator in the case of idioms and expressions.
- Not accredited
If you need your legal documents to be translated, it is advisable to rely on a professional translator as these programs are not viable. It is better to be safe than sorry.
If you want to use a translation program and the translation seems to be quite correct from your point of view, but you are not 100% sure, there is still something that you can do. You can rely on a professional proofreader to correct any mistakes that might have slipped. If you happen to have other pros and cons of using translation programs, do write them in a comment.