In the province of Buenos Aires they exist around 150 helmets of stay with lodging capacity. Of modest to luxurious, all offer varied alternative for all the tastes and budgets. It is possible to be enjoyed an only day of field or one more estadía prolonged.
While you might get the gist of this machine-translated excerpt, the resulting text grates on your ears like fingers down a chalkboard. Using online machine translators such as Babel Fish will give you a rough idea of the foreign-language text, but will not render a translation useful for any other purpose.
Google’s translation site renders a slightly more comprehensible excerpt of the same original text:
In the province of Buenos Aires there are about 150 helmets stay with accommodation capacity. From modest to luxurious, all offer alternatives for all tastes and budgets. You can only enjoy a picnic or a longer.
These examples show that translation is not simply transference of words from source text to target text. Rather, effective and accurate translations require a human who understands the context of the source text as well as the nuances of both languages.
Why Human Translations are Better than Machine Translations
The limitations of the most popular online translation tools are apparent from the excerpts above, but there are more points to consider:
• Only humans can understand and effectively translate the cultural components of source text to target text.
• While machine translators can quickly produce target text from inputting source text, the machine does not recognize nor translate idioms, slang, or terms that do not appear in the machine’s memory.
• Machine translations are often literal, or word-for-word translations, hence the errors and strange language that often appear.
• Human translators can manipulate language in such a way that they mimic the style and purpose of the source text. For example, if the source text is an upbeat promotional piece, a human can reproduce that to create effective materials in the target language.
Machine translations will always be useful in giving the reader a general idea of what the source text says, but can never replace the human element in translation. For example, if you are looking for an article in a foreign-language newspaper for your business, you can at least get a sense of the purpose of that article from Babel Fish. But once you decide what pieces would be useful for speakers of the target language, only a human translator can render a translation suitable for public consumption.