Free Online Translator – Pros and Cons of Machine Translation - Langbay: tłumaczenia polsko-angielskie EN
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Free Online Translator – Pros and Cons of Machine Translation

Entering Polish markets involves translating an enormous amount of content. Websites, blog articles, social media posts, documents, messages and emails need to be in the Polish customer’s target language. Your first thought may be to use an AI or machine translation. Free-of-charge solutions have their advantages, but at the same time, they hide many risks. Find out the advantages and disadvantages of using translation software.
Maja Walczak
Maja Walczak
17 November 2023
Langbay: tłumaczenia polsko-angielskie EN - Free Online Translator – Pros and Cons of Machine Translation

List of contents

How Does Machine Translation Work? Free Online Translation – What Are the Advantages? What Are the Downsides of the Online Translator? When Is an AI Translator a Good Idea?

How Does Machine Translation Work?

The program uses algorithms, artificial intelligence and machine learning to translate text. For this to be successful, the application must have extensive knowledge of many languages' vocabulary, grammar and spelling rules. How is the translator supposed to know all this? Most online translators use language models that gather extensive collections of texts from countries worldwide. Based on these, they learn the probability that after X, you need to insert Y. This allows the programs to recognise words, their meaning and grammar to produce longer sentences and texts.

In recent years, neural networks  or applications that mimic the activity of the human brain  – have been increasingly used. These networks learn translation from a large amount of text translated by humans and then use this knowledge to make neural machine translation, increasing machine translation's correctness.

Free Online Translation – What Are the Advantages?

Quickly and at Any Time

An app that translates texts is faster than a human translator. Google Translate or DeepL take a few seconds to change the language in a document with a few hundred characters. Instant response and high responsiveness are essential when translating short content, such as an in-app message, email or SMS.

Completely Free

The most significant advantage of online translators is that they are available for free, so you don’t have to pay for them. When we must convert large amounts of content into another language, an online program will be less costly than a professional translator. 

What Are the Downsides of the Online Translator?

Low Quality

Every year, we have access to better and better machine translation tools. Artificial intelligence companies are outdoing themselves in creating new programs that will understand the language even better. However, there is still much room for improvement.

A program will translate any text but not 100% correctly. There are often problems with understanding the context, especially in the case of phraseologies and idioms, colloquial language or professional words. In addition, online translators cannot consider the nuances and subtleties of the language even though they use neural machine translation. Hence, the content is unnatural and does not sound like a human wrote it. 

The low quality of a translator is acceptable when you are doing it for your use and not sending it to someone else. When we want to translate a mobile app, contract, sales email or make an important document translation, we cannot afford a translation full of errors and inaccuracies.

Everyday Language

People who are native speakers of a particular language often use words or expressions that you won’t learn at school or find in standard dictionaries. An online translation tool does not use colloquial or everyday language. The translations it will make are more like guessing what words are used most. It does not consider the context in which the situation is happening – the time of day, the person to whom the message is directed or dialects.

When creating content for the Polish market, you must ensure that the consumer from that country does not think a robot wrote your content. The reader wants valuable content written without errors, tailored to the given demographics and geographies. 

Threat to Privacy

Many people forget that an online translator learns while working thanks to the data provided – including what users type in on the fly. All of the content that goes into a program or mobile app is stored and can be used by the corporations that created the technology.

You do not need to be concerned about privacy when translating a menu in a restaurant. However, you must rely on something other than AI translators when you do a secret document translation or need to translate a contract, a sales performance report or business emails.

Data security in the clash with AI is a concern for many companies, and the solution to this is to ban employees from using AI. Organisations that have blocked ChatGPT, among others, include Bank of America, Panasonic, Fujitsu, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Their number continues to grow.

Tone of Voice

Every brand should have a voice, i.e. a specific way and style of communicating with the public. Companies prepare a communication strategy in which they determine, among other things, whether they want to be serious, funny or friendly and whether they will address their audience directly in the singular or plural. Every message, email, social media post and blog article should fit into the brand voice. It will help the brand stand out, be recognisable in the marketplace and maintain consistency.

On the other hand, machine translation does not allow you to stick to the brand’s tone of voice. Every time you add content to a program, it starts the translation from scratch – applications cannot refer to what has been written or pasted in before. Such text will be different every time and inconsistent with the brand vision.

When Is an AI Translator a Good Idea?

It is worth using a professional translator when you want your business to grow in the Polish market. You will then be confident that your content is of high quality, without errors, and perfectly fits the context or situation. Furthermore, you will know that the data you share is safe and will not be used by third parties.  

Machine translation is not completely bad! I can even argue that it isn’t a threat to the translation profession. The problem arises when you rely entirely on machine translation software, especially if you want to be considered a professional company.

Do you want to enter the Polish market, but you don't know how to start translating? Do you need translation and localisation of websites into Polish? I have a lot of experience in business translations. I prepare translations that reflect both the tone and voice of the brand, as well as fit into the culture of a given country. Write to me at info@langbay.eu and let's talk about cooperation.

List of contents

How Does Machine Translation Work? Free Online Translation – What Are the Advantages? What Are the Downsides of the Online Translator? When Is an AI Translator a Good Idea?

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