Translation software can help translate text in a quick and convenient way, but these algorithms cannot yet deliver the feeling, essence and human nature behind the text. People can find quick translations for “bathroom” in ten different languages within seconds from their smartphones. Admittedly, there’s not much feeling behind “bathroom,” a legal document or IKEA assembly instructions, but would you trust Google Translate with a goodbye letter, a poem or your will?
Skype Translator is the latest technology in real time translation. The program converts the user’s speech into text, translates the text and reads it back in a chillingly cold Siri-like voice to the receiving user. All in real time. Although the technology is impressive, one quickly finds out there’s a machine doing the translation. If we set aside the synthesized voice delivery and only look at text, then we realize we are getting close to the ultimate test: The Turing Test. In a nutshell, the test asks “can you tell you’re talking to a machine?” In 2015, yes we can so the test is failed. Again, if we set aside delivery and only look at translated text, then we must be entirely convinced a piece of text was translated by a human. Verbal Ink conducted a study on the matter and reaffirmed we’re still years away from dismissing human translators.
The human element is key. Just as a soothing voice does wonders with poorly written text, a translator helps convey human emotions in translation. In addition to properly conveying regionalism, idiom and slang, translators know how to deliver the essence of a message when there is no word-for-word translation. This is highly important with messages intended for diverse audiences such as Latin America or China where regionalism is abundant.
A human translator knows when and how to use region-specific terms, preserve the essence of a message and, most importantly, appropriately translate the intrinsic human nature behind a piece of text. Mood Voice has a team of human translators and multilingual voice talents to ensure your brand’s message doesn’t get lost in translation.
– Submitted by Julio Rochell, Voice