About incompetence of machine translation

Nowadays there are a lot of different programs for mechanical translation of texts. Nobody is surprised that many people use such programs. However, such translation is too far from ideal.


Idea of mechanical translation appeared with the beginning of development of programming.

American intelligence intercepted a lot of documents from USSR and there was need to translate them fast, because these documents had weight in the course of Cold war. Then engineers began to invent translation machine which in a flash could translate big volume of texts.

This project was financed good but that times at the beginning of 60s it began obvious that Humanity was not ready technologically to create such machine and the project was closed. However already at the beginning of 70s computer technologies pranced a lot that made possible to create that project.

Since that time we enjoy machine translation and other achievements of science and can not imagine our life without machine intelligence. Of course different computer technologies of translation are developing , however even today computer can not translate qualitatively as well as man.

Programs of mechanical translation are not popular among professional translators. Such programs don’t cope with the task, because for example the same word in different contexts has diametrally opposite meanings. Machine can not determine the meaning of text — it simply reads and translates words, trying to make text grammatically right. Even constant database updating doesn’t solve the problem.

Hyper- criticism of machine translation holds water by halves. Because you can understand the tenor of text. That is enough for the majority of users, which need only superficial understanding of text. Nevertheless, machine translation is not appropriate for publication somewhere. That needs deep and careful correction. So, we can conclude that machine translation can not be compared with competent translator and it is useful only for limited task list.

Machine translation can not understand the context of text. Even in length of time people will develop machine translation to such a degree that it will begin to understand the meaning of text, problems will stay behind. Because there are a lot of different terms from different specific spheres like medicine or science of law.

Writers of programs for translation avow that their programs are absolutely incompetent and never compare with man. For example, Google doesn’t conceal that its translator leaves much to be desired, adding that it was created for simplification of talks through the Internet, — for translating of letters, messages etc.


The conclusion of this article — Learn foreign languages as we found out that machine never compare with people.

The demand on linguistic specialties will constantly rise, forcing employers to give new workplaces, and the main requirement will be the knowledge of foreign language. So, programs can not change translators, as once machine work took place of hand work.

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