Language Translation Service

Why Automated Translation Is Often a Mistake and Proofreading Is a Necessity

Great technological innovations in the recent past have certainly made life very simple and easy. Our dependence on machines and automated tools has increased manifold. In almost every sphere, we are beginning to lose the human touch, owing to the accuracy of the computers and machine tools.

But to what extent can we believe that these automated tools give us the desired benefits? After all, weren’t these automated machines, tools and computers designed by man himself? Even though the machine tools are accurate and fast, they may not be always correct at all times. There is always a benefit of doubt. This is especially so when language and translation comes into play.

Often, the accuracy of language translation vastly depends on professional, manual proofreading, rather than automated translation. Automated translation, though has its advantages, it has its own share of disadvantages too!  Read on to find out more on language, translation and the importance of proofreading translated documents.

Importance of understanding Language and Translation:

Language is an integral part of the society. Without language there are no communication channels nor would there be any form of association amongst people. Imagine a world where there is no medium of communication. It would be complete mayhem. No matter what, language is of supreme importance. Especially with globalisation and shrinking of the spaces between people and countries, language has come out to stand as a vital link between people, cultures, countries, and economies.

Equally essential is the effective translation from one language to the other language, with the real meaning in place, in the times of internationalization. Language translation has surely become a boon in bringing together people, cultures, businesses and countries all across the world. Language translation is not merely an inter-linguistic process. It is a complex phenomenon and involves a deeper perspective of several factors.

What is the role of automated translation in language translation services?

In this contemporary and fast paced world, work always has to be delivered in short turn around cycles. Hence the technological innovations like machine translators are being put to use by many, in order to translate documents, articles, business related documents etc. Automated translation tools provide greater flexibility and faster output.

However, one needs to stop and analyse the actual role and effect that these automated tools have in the language translation process.

Advantages and Disadvantages of automated translation:


  • The most evident advantage with the machine/automated translation is the time factor. A lot of time is saved. And within a less span of time, thousands of documents can be translated, which is humanly impossible.
  • The second advantage that stems from an automated translation is the cost saving factor.
  • Confidentiality is not an issue in automated translation.
  • Machine translation appears to be more consistent.


  • Though time is a saving factor in automated translation, the same cannot be said when it comes to the accuracy aspect. Languages are quite complex. Understanding the nuances of the language can be solely achieved by people and thereby translation becomes perfect. The accuracy of an automated translation is always doubtful.
  • As the accuracy of an automated translation is not perfect, there is limited use of the same in certain critical fields.
  • Since a machine follows systematic and formal rules, the main content of the text is not looked into, thereby leading to ambiguity and inconsistency of the text.
  • Machine translation is never fool
  • An incorrectly done automated translation often increases the costs of correction at a later stage.

In conclusion, the intricacies of the source language and target language cannot be understood by an automated machine. Only a human, professional translator will have the ability to recognise the delicate usage of language and balance of words in the source and target languages, to be able to convey the right meaning.

Importance of Proofreading:

Having understood the drawbacks of automated translation, it becomes very apparent that manual proofreading of documents is very essential.

Why is proofreading important?

  • Being the final step before the submission of any kind of document, proofreading becomes the most significant and important step in a process, more so in the language translation context.
  • Proofreading helps to understand whether the real intent of the text is communicated or not.
  • Proofreading involves not only spell check but also editing, word usage, grammar and punctuation which are the main basics of any document.
  • Proofreading gives a chance at a review. Without proofreading, the costs incurred to businesses are manifold as correcting the documents is a lengthy and time-consuming process with the additional cost involved.
  • Any sloppy work can be easily detected and the quality of the work can be enhanced by proofreading.
  • Mistakes and incorrectly worded statements in documents distract people and act as a deterrent. This can be avoided by proofreading.
  • Proofreading removes careless errors and improves the overall efficiency of the documents.
  • A proofread document is more organised in structure, format and content.

Proofreading in translation:

The role of proofreading in translated documents is overly critical. Manual proofreading is always the best when it comes to language translations. Professional translators often understand the depth of the source and target language. The subtle distinctions and variations in language are best understood by a professional translator who does justice to the entire translation process. Unlike the automated translations where the word to word translation occurs, often the context meaning gets altered, manual proofreading scores by making the translated documents authentic and accurate.

Though proofreading in translation is a painstaking effort, the results are very often worth the efforts taken. Proofreading is not just spell check. It involves the following:

  • It ensures the text and the intent of the translated documents ae conveyed rightly.
  • It checks for appropriate usage of words.
  • Proper consistency of word usage and paragraphs are looked into.
  • Sentence structure is given weightage.
  • The original and translated documents carry the conveyed message, after proofreading and are free from errors.

Finally, nothing can replace the human touch and the efficiency of proofreading in language translations. Automated translation often is an illusion of perfection.

Contented by: BelTranslation International