Online translator: helper or pest.

Translation is a complex and multifaceted type of human activity. The process of translation is not just a substitution of one language for another. Different cultures, different personalities, different ways of thinking, different traditions and attitudes collide in translation.

High-quality translation allows it to act as a full-fledged replacement for the source text (original) in the process of communication between speakers of different languages. A translation is of high quality if: the text of the translation accurately conveys the content of the original; the translated text complies with the norms of the target language; the text of the translation is roughly comparable to the original in terms of its volume.

Translation can be carried out using the following tools: bilingual dictionary, electronic translator, online translator. The most popular of these is the online translator.

Online translators are special programs with which you can translate individual words and sentences from almost any language.

Translation and dictionary

Today, the Internet offers more than 100 online translation services, differing in their functionality and quality of services provided. It is worth noting that many users often confuse the concepts of “online translator” and “online dictionary”, however, these machine translation systems differ in their functional application. Any paper or electronic dictionary is designed to translate individual words or phrases.

Of course, if you speak the language and need to translate only one pair of foreign words, it will be more convenient to resort to the help of a dictionary. With a superficial knowledge of a foreign language, the dictionary will not help much to understand the true essence of the source text.

Online translators, on the other hand, are machine translation systems that allow the user to translate lengthy texts or websites with just one keystroke and provide output not as a set of separate, incoherent words, but as a more or less coherent text.

To resort to the help of one or another online translator, as a rule, you need to perform three simple steps: enter the source text in the corresponding window of the online translator, indicate the required language pair and subject (if such an option is available) and click on the ” Translate”. Within a few seconds, the program will provide a ready-made translation of the entered text.

Of course, the high speed of translation is one of the positive characteristics of online translators, with their help, users can instantly translate the content of news and blogs published in a foreign language or information posted on foreign-language websites.

The finished translation appears directly in the browser window, which means that this saves the user from having to install special software. But the reverse side of the coin of such a characteristic as high speed is the low quality of the resulting translation, so it is hardly possible to say with certainty that the meaning of the translated text will be clear immediately, without further editing.

Such an ambiguous situation has been causing heated discussions among various groups of users of this service for several decades about whether online translators can be considered as worthy rivals to live, educated translators and whether they can completely nullify the functions of the latter.

Programmers and developers of such programs and services talk about the coming of times when machine translations will dominate, while linguists and translators talk about the gradual deterioration of the quality of the translations provided, explaining this precisely by the massive use of machine translation programs.

Machine translation programs

Often, machine translation programs are understood as some kind of unique tool that can supplant living, thinking translators.

Some users believe that if with the help of a computer today it is possible to extract any information from numerous information sources, it can also be expected to be competent in matters of qualitative transformation of this information into any possible language format.

Such a repose is extremely erroneous.

Knowledgeable specialists, as well as manufacturers of such programs, understand that in reality the situation looks different.

Of course, when advertising their software products, manufacturers honestly admit that the quality of machine translation is not far from ideal and that obtaining an adequate translation is possible only with human intervention, but it is not always revealed that the person who has to process such a translation must be a qualified translator and he will have to spend a lot of time on giving the machine text a quality worthy of a professional translation.

And, no matter how manufacturers try to embellish the merits of their products, users of numerous online translators always have the opportunity to make sure that virtual translators are not always able to adequately cope with the tasks assigned to them.

Proof of this are the numerous jokes that go from site to site and make fun of the lack of competence of online translators in matters of high-quality translation. Among the favorite pastimes of skeptical users of online translators is translating short sentences or lyrics in various directions and comparing the result with the original version.