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Deadly Consequences of Machine Translation: Why it is not Trustworthy?

There are multiple machine translation tools that can be super handy. But there are many deadly consequences of machine translation that may stun you. Translating using any tool can make a message go terribly wrong.

Let’s begin with a scenario:

You are presently in a non-native country and your son is experiencing a fever seizure all of sudden.

For treatment, you take him to the hospital and the doctors used an online translator to inform you that your kid is going to be fine.

But “your son is having a seizure” accidentally translated in your native language is “your child is dead.”

This particular example of extremely wrong translation is a quite real possibility.

Many authorities are still making use of machine translation tools in critical situations. Without clear guidelines and proper regulation, it could get really worse.

Deadly Consequences of Machine Translation

Let’s walk you through some examples that give you a better understanding of the deadly consequences of relying on machine translation:

1- South Korea Case:

A young man made use of Chinese to Korean translation app to convey a message to his female co-worker’s Korean husband that they all will go to hang out together soon. But the wrong translation done by the app i.e. referring to a woman as a nightlife establishment worker, lead to a big fight between the two in which the husband was murdered.

2- Israel Case:

Can you believe even a social media post can make matters worse? This happened with a young man, a construction worker, who captioned a photo of himself leaning on a bulldozer with “يصبحهم,” (in Arabic) which in English means “good morning,”. But AI translator of social media interpreted it as  “attack them” in immediate Hebrew translation and “hurt them” in English. As a result, he got arrested by the police.

3- Denmark Case: In September 2012, police erroneously encountered a Kurdish man for funding terrorism due to mistranslated text message.

These examples are not shocking. Translation accuracy can differ widely within a language – as per the language complexity factors like sentence length, syntax, or the technical domain -also between language pairs and language.

4- Squid Games: The fastest growth of the Korean Netflix show “Squid Games” received a bad reaction for the failed Korean to English translation in the subtitles.

Moral of the Story: Machine translation can be a great alternative to translating more material quickly. However, the cohesion and consistency throughout the complete translation may be questionable.

Why it is not Trustworthy?

Machine translation tools like Microsoft translator, Google translate, and those integrated into various platforms such as Twitter and Skype are a few of the highly challenging tasks when it comes to data processing.

Let’s take a phrase:

“Once a big model is trained, it can produce extreme CO2 as a trans-Atlantic flight.”

For the word “trained”, there is a specific dataset of translation in an algorithm. The role of the algorithm is to save some words and their absolute positions as possibilities that may come together.

The drawback of the algorithm system is that it doesn’t interpret the context, meaning and word intention.

However, the errors caused by machine translation result in consequential mistakes like the construction worker did—tend to be subjective, random, and vary for every platform and every language.

Human Translation Over Machine Translation

We can’t ignore that machine translation can and cannot do for individuals right now. This involves comprehending the role that machine translation plays in daily life, when and where it can be utilized, and how it is distinguished by the people who are using it.

We have witnessed discussions regarding the errors in all generations of machine translation. And even there is an expectation that it will get better.

But, we know know that it can’t give the desired accuracy. Understand that language is communication. Communicating in the right way with the target audience has now become important for businesses. Now one of the real challenges for them is how to reach the wider public and how to make their message resonate with the audience.

Our answer to this: The human translation.

One of the crucial benefits of human translation is that the content businesses will receive will be of higher quality as the language expert work in their native tongue. The creativity and detail that goes into accurately translating the content can help determine potential errors that could damage brand reputation. Human translation builds a new level of understanding for the reader by presenting accurately translated content before them.

Therefore, you must pay more for human translation for getting better accuracy and excellent cultural understanding.

Are you in search of a human translator for your project? reach out to us at +91-8527599523 or send an instant quote.

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