Machine Translation and Usability: Blessing or Curse?
/ January 15, 2020
Machine Translations are of immense help in oral short-term communication between any two individuals speaking two different languages, mostly informal in nature. Though machine translations are extremely inexpensive and there are hundreds of free apps available on the Internet that translates texts, images and speeches they are extremely of low quality and more than often inaccurate and erroneous. It must be understood that everything good needs time to get done. The fact that machine translations are fast and instant does not qualify it to be a trusted support for translations. The main purpose is that the communication in one language be transmitted into another language with all integrity and this can only be achieved through high quality human translations.
Machine translation is not at all a blessing but a curse to the all end users in general. This is also a factor that would kill the human translation industry going further and make communication weaker and hindered. This article enumerates the various aspects of human civilization that will be affected due to the inefficiency and inabilities of a machine to translate efficiently and how it will create obstacles in formal communications between communities of various geographical locations.
- Ambiguous Communication
Apart from missing the contextual approach machines do not understand use of idioms, phrasal verbs, compound and complex sentences, closed compound words, passive tense, figures of speech like metaphors, puns, onomatopoeia, alliteration, personification, irony, metonyms, oxymoron etc. As a result the translation output will always remain ambiguous and have no real value to the audience.
We all know the result of ambiguous communication. Often decision making is withheld due to lack of clear information otherwise known as ambiguity. When decisions are withheld due to lack of clear information every affair of private and public life is delayed and every delay leads to loss either in life or property of human kind.
- Increase in Cultural & Social Gap Between Communities
Content is the basic source of communication between communities speaking different languages in different geographical locations. If the content gets manipulated and tarred while translating the communication will be damaged and this goes without saying. Communication between multiple ethnicities joins the world and makes it a better place to live in. When this communication is damaged so is the process of bridging gaps damaged. Subsequently, cultural exchange gets barred and the civilization becomes crippled.
- Decline in Skills Development
Excessive dependence on machines and getting things done in a blink of an eye ruins the habit of learning in Humans. If this is the scenario that is going to continue and progress rapidly humans will fall short of skills. This applies to the translation industry as well. When the culture of using machine translation will become more natural and habitual humans will lose the skills to translate important communications. Whatever machines will deliver will be the last word. What is worst than this?
- Damage Content Marketing
The online revolution is all about content and content marketing. Content marketing is not done in one single language. To increase and expand the reach, communicate and engage with new markets organizations need high quality content translators. Where will they get high quality translators tomorrow when the skills degenerated and got obliterated due to dependence on machines and its translation?
- Decrease Trend of Learning Languages
There are a multitude of universities and academic institutions that promote learning of languages through their well-designed formal academic courses. The urge to learn languages and attain expertise in it is still found in youths of all countries. If machine translation is what we all opt for this trend of learning languages will become extinct in the coming years.
- Escalate Unemployment
Translation industry is a very big industry that accommodates more than 640K official translators and more than 2 times of it are freelance translators. All of them will face unemployment with time when machine translations will be popular enough to take it over from them.
- Hindrance in Business Expansion
Business expansion is not possible without translation. Translation is an integral factor that helps business boost their revenues. If business communications and marketing campaigns create no value there is no way to a expand business. We all know that business communications are characterized by special tonalities. Machines are inappropriate mediums to understand and decode these tonalities.
- Increase in Political Turmoil
Political news and policies have a significant influence in shaping lives of people. All new agencies avail translation services to disseminate their news to global audience in multiple languages. Human language translators generally assist in this. But if the assistance is taken from machine translation it will be a catastrophe. There will be huge misunderstanding of political messages and policies among groups of people. Rules and regulations will be misinterpreted and there will be a chaotic situation that will leaves no space other than anarchy and destroyal.
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