Making Sense of Automated Translation

One of our Israeli blog followers recently provided us with a good laugh that we would like to share with you.


At the end of last October, we published an article about medical translations. This article was published on different sites both in English and in Hebrew. The purpose of that article was to stress the importance of relying only on a qualified medical translator in order to guarantee a precise translation, so as to avoid endangering the health of those referred to in the original medical text.


The Israeli blogger, a Hebrew reader, had a paragraph translated from Hebrew into English by a reputed automated translation machine, one that requires payment, not one of the cheap free one available on the Internet.


Here is the result of the automated translation: "Our health is expensive to the extreme more than to deposit her in the automatic translator. When translates human executes medical translations of no use in the machine of translation, he lowers significantly the risk to the missed thing of nuances that can rescue life."


You will find below the original English and Hebrew texts at the end of this blog. Yet, before rushing down to read it, try to understand what it could possibly mean without peeking at the original. Do so keeping in mind that this is a translation of a simple paragraph of a non-specialized article. Then try to imagine how a doctor or a lawyer could possibly guess the precise meaning of such a translation of a professional document, a document that concerns a patient or a client depending on his or her expertise.


This immediately stops being a laughing matter and becomes a very serious business.

As long as the writers are human beings, intent on following a logic, or a lack of thereof, of their own instead of bending to the limited imagination of an automaton, translation machines are doomed to mistranslate, mislead and generally cause its users to miss out on a lot of the meaning of the original text, though it might give them a general idea of its topic.


In other words, automated translation can provide you with a good laugh every now and then, but, if you mean business, you are still far better off with the old fashion human translator.


English correct translation: Health is far too valuable to entrust it to an automated translator. When human translators perform medical translations, with no machine translation at all, it considerably reduces the risk to lose life-saving nuances.

Hebrew original text: הבריאות שלנו הינה יקרה מדי מכדי להפקידה במתרגם אוטומטי. כאשר מתרגם אנושי מבצע תרגומים רפואיים, ללא שימוש במכונת תרגום, הוא מוריד באופן משמעותי את הסיכון לפספוס ניואנסים היכולים להציל חיים.