As technology develops, the world is shrinking. You may think that this sentence is very ambitious, but you are mistaken. The world of technology, which is evolving, even more every day, makes even the most remote corners of the world accessible. This situation brings a serious ‘language’ barrier with it. So how much can translation technologies combat this obstacle?

In the last 25 years, there is almost no place left in the world that cannot be reached. This brought new cultures, habits and meeting opportunities with it. Now we want to learn more, to go to more places, to be recognized in different places. And if we are selling a product or service,  we want to offer this to more different lands and cultures. At this point, we encounter an important problem; How do we overcome the language barrier that transculturation brings along?

The world of technology seems to offer a solution to this problem, no less with highly effective translation technologies. But are the developing translation technologies a great miracle, or do they have darker sides than we thought? Let’s examine this together.

Today’s Translation Technologies

Nowadays, it is possible to reach different translation technologies. We are able to make instant translations with our smartphones, and we can translate the long articles quickly into our desired language with the help of various tools from our computers. If you want to understand the point translation technologies reached, let’s take a quick look at some tools.

Google Translate

Google, our first consultant whenever we need it, works very well in terms of translation. Google Translate, introduced a new smart translation technology in recent years, makes instant translations in hundreds of languages. Moreover, the success rate of these translations is quite high.

Google Glass

You do not need to write for translating at this point of technology. Just saying, “Come on, glasses, translate this! “ is enough for technologies like Google Glass.

Skype Translator

Skype, the world’s largest video communication technology, helps its users to overcome the language barrier. Skype Translator, which saves its users from great trouble by making translations during the conversation, also inspires different translation technologies.

Google Translate and Word Lens

Google has recently added one of its investments to the translation field by purchasing Word Lens. Thanks to this technology, you can take a snapshot of a sign that comes across you while walking on the street in a country you do not know and you can reach the translation of the sign in any language.
Moreover, these technologies are only a small part of translation technologies. The investments of the companies in this field continue unabated. It is not difficult to predict that there will be surprising developments in the coming days.

Where Do Corporate Firms Take Place in the Development of Translation Technologies?

As one can see, translation technologies take a step further every day. But where are the companies in this equation?
To better answer this question, we need to thoroughly analyze why companies need translation.

As we said at the beginning of the article, the world is getting smaller every day. It is getting easier to carry a product or a service to different geographies and cultures with this shrinkage. Companies do not have to be limited to narrow geography. New markets, in other words, new customers expect companies to reach them. In order to do this, they must overcome a serious obstacle, the language barrier.

Companies need target audience oriented translation and language localization services to introduce themselves well and to bring their products or services to the customer properly.

Why Do Companies Need Translation Services?

As we said at the beginning of the article, the world is getting smaller every day. It is getting easier to carry a product or a service to different geographies and cultures with this shrinkage. Companies do not have to be limited to narrow geography. New markets, in other words, new customers expect companies to reach them. In order to do this, they must overcome a serious obstacle, the language barrier.

Companies need target audience oriented translation and language localization services to introduce themselves well and to bring their products or services to the customer properly. At this point, very advanced translation technologies are not enough.

1. It is necessary to prevent semantic loss!

Yes, translation technologies are surprising us with success rates. This is a fact, but the only thing that the translation technologies cannot cope with is the richness of the meaning. Language is not unidirectional in any geography. Each language contains a distinct richness of meaning and harmony in itself. Sometimes, two words, which can never come side by side, can come together and have a completely different and powerful meaning.

To put it more simply, which of the two words you choose that can be used in a sentence and have the same meaning in the dictionary, can tell us a lot about you and put the sentence into a completely different form. It’s because words carry a culture and tradition with them. That’s what no translation technology in our day can accomplish. These direct translation tools focus only on the meaning of words, and this will damage translation and meaning richness. 

It is very important that you work with real translators if you care about the meaning richness of your content and the perception that it will create in your target audience. (INTERNAL BACKLINK)

2. Idioms and proverbs are not friends with technology!

Each language has idioms and proverbs that feed on its own culture. These discourses enrich the power of expression and increase the quality of the content. I’m sorry to say that a translation algorithm that can give this meaning has not been developed yet. Therefore, it is hardly appropriate to entrust proverbs, idioms and local idioms, used to enrich your content, to translation technologies.

Let us explain this situation with an example. In Turkish, there is a beautiful proverb such as “Çam sakızı, çoban armağanı“. Now, when we translate this proverb into English directly as the same translation technologies do, we get a pretty meaningless expression. (like ”Pine resin, shepherd’s gift”. But if we want to give our readers something understandable, we can just translate it as ”It’s a small gift.” This way the translation will feel more natural.)

What does a real translator do in these situations?

A real translator can successfully overcome this translation by referring to a proverb or phrase that is similar in that language.

3. You can save cost and time!

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Although translation technologies seem to be more practical and less costly, they will harm you for the reasons mentioned above. Compensation for errors due to today’s inadequacies of translation technologies will return you as extra cost and time loss. And remember, extra corrections to the content will always cause the real meaning of the content to be compromised.

4. Your communication with a human is always more efficient

As it is in every field, it is very important that the demands be conveyed correctly in order for a translation to be done successfully and the text delivered in the desired quality. No translation technology can understand you and your demands as an experienced translator and cannot implement these demands as desired.

5. Translation technologies can’t compete with human memory

With a translator you regularly work with, you start to speak the same language over time. You start developing a business memory related to these experiences. This makes every job you do to be better than the previous one. Your dialogue and work experience will help you get to know each other better. This way, your demands are met more quickly and efficiently. Do not forget! No translation technology will ever tell you that “Oh, this happened before and we solved it this way”.