Human Translation vs Machine Translation

Loc N Apps
3 min readDec 16, 2020

This article will cover:

  • How Machine Translators offer instantaneous, cost-efficient outputs that involve little to no manual labour.
  • How Human Translators offer outputs keeping in mind the context and the idiomatic knowledge of the target language.
  • The right choice between human translators and machine translators according to the type of content you want delivered.


In today’s world, everything and anything can be found on the Internet and in our world of unknowns, saying ‘Hey Google’ usually helps answer all our questions, almost always accurate at that.

The early 2000’s version of Machine Translators could translate written documents but resulted in many grammar and spelling errors. The never-ending debate about human translation versus machine translation will continue to go on because Machine Translators continue to get better and become more accurate over time.

Through various studies, it has been confirmed that machine translators are not yet able to comprehend the complete meaning of the text. The translation remains broken, distorted, and at times even difficult to recognize. But as there are two sides to every coin, we will now look at some pros and cons of the most used translator program.


MT’s accessibility enables users to translate on-the-go. The translation process happens instantly, enabling users to find the answers they are looking for quickly. And the most important feature is that this is a free facility. The program offers translation in a variety of languages, free of cost, at the user’s fingertips.


In a world consisting of over 6,000 different languages, MTs barely manage to cover the surface. For instance: Google Translate advertises type, talk, snap, see, write, and offline translation services, but a lot of people don’t know that these services are limited by the type of language you need translated.

Since machine translation is not carried out with cultural knowledge, its limitations include ignoring the context of a sentence or the readability of the platform which the translation is for. While Google Translate is beneficial for particular word-to-word translation needs, it is important that we recognize that there is a need for human translation services.


Use MT when the specifics of content don’t matter and the “general meaning” will be sufficient. This is for when you need to take the quick route because grammar and accuracy isn’t taken into consideration while using the program.



While Machine Translation gives you the overall gist of something, sometimes that doesn’t suffice. With human translators, you have an actual person initiating the translation, ensuring that the outputs are completely accurate. A human translator is able to interpret the context of the content, and translate it to represent the exact emotion it needs to be perceived with. Human translators pride themselves on grammatical correctness and unlike MTs, they understand the idiomatic differences between two different languages.


Accuracy comes at a price, and it is important to decide how beneficial the accuracy of your translation is for the success of your venture.

Although human translation is much more accurate than machine translation, there could still be a limitation on the number of languages that an individual translator can translate. Working with a translation agency is the best way to find the largest variety of individuals specializing in several languages. Human translation is also time-consuming. The translation is not instantaneous, like that of MT. Accuracy takes time, and professional human translators take their time to ensure that the outputs are 100% accurate.


Use human translators when accuracy is your primary concern. If your audience is going to see the content, human translation will provide individuals with a better, more thorough understanding.


Machine Translation and human translation provide very different roles in the translation industry. It is important to balance the pros and cons of each before choosing which method is best for your business.

By Ira Mahajan
Team Loc-N-Apps

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