Will machine translation replace the human translator?

The Association of Translation Companies will be represented in a six hour live debate hosted by BBC World Service, SuperPower Nation.  Geoffrey Bowden, General Secretary of the ATC has been invited to participate to represent the views of translation companies.

This unique experiment will explore whether technology alone can bring together the speakers of many languages in the digital world.

The BBC will be using Google Translate to translate the contributions from around the globe in Arabic, Chinese, English, Persian, Indonesian, Portuguese and Spanish.  Which  could give rise to some amusing results.

At SanTranslate,  we’re of the opinion that a human translator is still vital for any important translation work.  If it’s important that your translation accurately reflects technical terms and industry jargon, that it conveys the contextual meaning of your words, and that it expresses the personality and emotional content of your writing, it’s unlikely that a machine will capture the fine detail and subtle nuances you need.

Technology provides some great tools for translators – our partnership with SDL Trados provides great benefits to us and our clients – but we’ve yet to be convinced that it can provide a complete substitute for a qualified and experienced human translator.

SuperPower Nation will be running live on the BBC World Service site from 13:00GMT, today, 18th March.  You can take part, follow the conversation or watch video streams live from the event in London.  Just follow this link for further information:


By | March 18th, 2010|Blog|0 Comments

Luxury brands gaining ground with China’s wealthy

By 2015, the fourth largest population of the world’s wealthy will live in China, according to research by Seeking Alpha/McKinsey.

China’s wealthy are young, with 80% under the age of 45, with travel having broadened their awareness of the sheer range of luxury goods on offer – but they still  value function and want their luxury goods to be useful say to day.

Rather than one homogenous group, they fall into three main categories:  the super-wealthy with incomes of over US$10million; upper-middle management and white collar workers with incomes of $US200million-300million a year; and office workers making around US$600 a month and who are happy to spend on luxury items.

This is a market that values both heritage and innovation and looks for quality throughout, prizing western-made goods over those made locally.  Which opens up opportunities for luxury niche businesses to export to a growing wealthy population.

With a discerning market, the slightest translation error can undermine your customers’ perception of the quality you provide.  As language specialists, we would urge you to fully support your proposition of high quality through your communications and, of course, to ensure that your translations support your brand’s emotional pull as well as convey factual information.

By | March 9th, 2010|Blog|0 Comments

Portuguese translation

Thanks to a recent large project for a client in Angola, SanTranslate has been expanding its team of Portuguese translators.  We now have the capacity to handle around 100,000 words per week in the language.

In the 15th and 16th Centuries, Portugal established a significant empire around the world, making Portuguese today the world’s 7th most spoken language, used as an official or commonly used language in countries including Brazil, Goa in India, Macau in China, Timor, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea- Bissau, Sao Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique.  It is one of the fastest growing European languages.

For more information about the translation services that we provide contact SanTranslate today.

By | March 8th, 2010|Blog|0 Comments
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