All translations ordered via iSay are 100% translated by human beings. We do not use machine translation.
However, some translation companies do. And is it really such a bad thing? There’s no simple answer to that, but basically you need to know that machines cannot deliver the same high quality as human beings. The machines can only process the text you feed them with – they cannot take heed of the context. And they know nothing about, for example, social conditions, local conditions, culture, geography, history or other factors that can be decisive in how we translate a text. So you risk not only that your text will be spit out in a nonsensical language, but also that it will be factually incorrect.
Another well-known challenge with machine translation is that words can be translated in more than one way, depending on the context in which they appear. Unfortunately, you cannot simply teach these differences to the machine.
When it comes to Google Translate, you should exercise extra caution. As a tool, it is useful for some purposes. But once you have fed Google with your text, you allow Google to use your content for ever. So if your texts contain personal or confidential information, don’t use Google Translate. Think of GDPR laws and confidentiality clauses. Or just think twice!
Does this mean that machine translation is useless?
No. But if you do choose to use it anyway, you should stick to texts that have been purged of personal and confidential information, and refrain from using the translations in a serious or professional context.
There are also private machine translation platforms, some of which have proved surprisingly good for texts with a uniform sentence structure and many context-dependent standard formulations, such as certain kinds of guides and contracts. However, the translations must always be reviewed by experts in the language and subject matter, as the machines undoubtedly have their limitations.
Under ‘SEO translations’ you can read about the special disadvantages of using machine translation for texts that need to be SEO-optimised.