Among the first major online services search engine company Google rolled out after its IPO was Google Translate, its very own online statistical machine translation software. And this was due to a very good reason: with the global usage of the internet, the primary importance of free translation services is not only obvious, but also very urgent, as it ensures effective inter-cultural communication. Or at least that was the general intent.
There was an enormous-and still growing-need for efficient translation services, and companies like Google know it. However, Google is not the only company to ride on the crest of this wave, so to speak. There are various machine translators online-aside from the stand-alone software translation tool you have to install on your computer-whose mission is to enable anyone to bridge whatever communication gap they encounter online or in the real world. There is a huge need for translation services, and it is arising not only from personal requirement, but also those related to business.
Indeed, as our world continues to shrink and become increasingly “global” in the business sense, so is the need to have to communicate with those who speak or write in another language. We can no longer stay within the safe confines of our own little homogenous communities. We can no longer afford to remain “exclusive”-setting our sights or goals at milestones that rarely transcend our limited horizon. These days, the need to communicate with people coming from a different culture or language is not only a personal, academic, or business need, but also something that arises from an increasingly interconnected planet.
The market for translation services is, suffice it to say, incredibly huge. There is almost always someone who needs a document professionally translated. Hence, these efforts to create the most efficient software or machine translators-to offer a cheaper, perhaps even free translation to anyone who needs it. Online services like that of Google are easy to use and hassle-free-you just go hit the internet browser and supply the URL, and you are already translating text in no time.
But not everyone can or should use these free translators. At their best, machine translators (even the most advanced of them) have not yet approached the efficiency and expertise of a professional human translator. Even if you network huge databases to construct a single machine translator, it most probably still cannot beat a team of professional translators assigned to correctly, accurately and properly translate an important business document.
Sure, for documents that can be considered “inconsequential”-which refers to documents that are not really important or simply require basic translation-these free machine translators can suffice. But if you care about quality and efficiency, there is no other choice but to get paid translation services. It is the only logical choice, especially when you consider that payment to a good translation job performed by well-experienced linguists is not actually exorbitant-many translation agencies, even the good ones, offer services at rates that are easily accessible to even ordinary folks.