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What Law Firms be looking for in a Translation Agency?


Fifty years ago, researchers confidently claimed that translation would be fully handled by machines in the next few years. Machine translations or computer-generated translations have been a technical marvel but they are lacking in quality. They can be used only in specific, limited cases that are typically unrelated to the final output on the page.

Machine translations are not going to replace companies providing Professional translation services in Canada, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, anytime soon. Here are the reasons why:

Translation is both an art and a science out of the reach of most perfectly Bilingual people : Translation projects require more than just knowledge of two languages. It's a false conception that one can easily and simply create one-to-one equivalences across languages. Translators are not walking dictionaries. They recreate style and meaning in order to preserve the integrity of the source language. Often, they must create new ways of saying things, and to do so, they draw upon a lifetime’s worth of knowledge and cultural immersion Can machines do that?

Translation styles are highly Subjective: Even in the unlikely event that machines were to come equal to human beings in terms of quality, they cannot interpret the desired style of the particular target and as a consequence cannot personalize translation to satisfy these particular needs. Give a text to 100 human translators, and in return, you’ll get 100 different and unique translations. Which one offers the best “quality?” Well, this depends and who the target audience is and this requires that translator and client be acquainted with each other. While this diversity of human language expression makes things complicated, it’s also a necessity. Machine translation tools can only be very limited options in terms of their output as personalization of translation remains a goal beyond their reach.

There Are Too Many Languages Out There: In the present time, Google Translate supports 80 languages. Today there are around 6,000 languages spoken around the world. If Google tries to add 10 languages per year, it would take hundreds of years for us to even witness a fraction of the world’s human languages being addressed by machine translation.

To the Point: In a language like English, a single word can have hundreds of different meanings, depending on the context. The question is: “Can a machine learn meaning for every word in different languages?” This isn’t an easy question to answer. Even for human beings, it is not possible to learn the meaning of each word in different languages, but they can use context to figure out how each word interact with the ones around them. Machines can hardly keep up with this task.


Computers will never fully solve the translation problem as in some way or the other, translations will need significant help from professional human translators working alongside firms like those providing professional translation services in Canada or elsewhere.


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