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Is the translation profession facing extinction?

Is the translation profession facing extinction?

Translation is evolving as a profession. Machine translation tools play a significant role in the translation process. As translators, we must accept that MT tools are our allies and not our enemies.

If you are a translator or a student in translation studies, you have probably been frustrated with people saying machine translation tools will replace you. Everyone is worried about machines or robots rebelling against humanity and taking over our jobs. Sci-fi movies may become a reality one day, and robots may undertake most of the employment. However, contrary to popular belief, machine translation tools are the allies of translators, and humans will always play a role in the translation process.

In today’s world, high-tech equipment aids surgeons in the operating room. However, a surgeon’s role is still prominent in this process. The same mentality applies to translation as well. Although machine translation (MT) tools are becoming more successful each day, they are still far from achieving absolute accuracy. Especially in technical texts, MT tools are quite successful; however, a translator is still required for accuracy. Even with human translators, a long process is necessary to obtain accuracy. After the translation is completed, the proofreading and post-editing processes begin. However, MT tools cannot easily translate and understand rhetoric and figure of speech when it comes to abstract topics.

The translation profession is indeed evolving, and new jobs within the translation industry are emerging. For instance, machine translation post-editing has become a profession. Instead of fearing that robots will take over our jobs, we must also evolve and realize that machine translation tools are our allies.

In addition, the issue of confidentiality comes to the fore in machine translation. Translators are required to keep all information confidential. However, confidential information may be easily leaked with MT tools.


Benefits of Using Machine Translation Tools

  • Expedites the translation process
  • Makes life easier for a translator
  • Facilitates translation of repetitive parts


 Advantages vs. Disadvantages of Machine Translation

  • Free online tools
  • Cost-efficient
  • Translation between several languages
  • Faster translation
  • Inability to recognize idioms
  • Low level of accuracy
  • Confidentiality issues
Is the translation profession facing extinction?

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