Can translations ever be completely taken over by technology?


Technology (think machine translation, artificial intelligence) can never completely replace a human translator, but technology can be of great help to a translator.

I admit that the quality of machine translation is constantly improving, but translation is much more than converting sentences from one language to another. In my opinion, machine/robot/technology will never be able to interpret the content of a text the way a human translator does. A human translator can bring the right feeling to the target text through that interpretation. The same feeling that emanates from the source text. A machine translation seems a good solution for domestic use (e.g. translating an appliance manual for personal use), but professional texts must also remain professional. And they must convey the right message to the target audience. This is why, as a translator, it is so important to also know what you are doing: Who is your client? Who is the target audience? What is the message your client wants to convey to his target audience? What feeling does your client want to evoke in his target audience?

I do see the evolution towards MTPE: starting from a machine translation and 'improving' it to a human translation. This is something I can also relate to. This can save you some time as a translator, allowing you to offer clients multiple options. Whereas a 100% human translation requires more time and therefore a higher price tag, MTPE can save on time and costs. Machine translations broadly reflect the content of the text. With artificial intelligence, you can refine this machine translation with, for instance, the right terminology. And as icing on the cake, you then add human value: you will rewrite the target text, which is now correct in terms of content, to also put the right feel into it.