Long story short, Takeda Random House dabbled in machine translation on a published works leading to a devastating recall. Here’s the complete article Machine translation forces major Japanese publishing company into bankruptcy
Interestingly enough, this translation article only gained traction when it was re-blogged 18 months later, in January 2015. Numerous comments flowed as interest in the article peaked. These comments, in and of themselves, speak volumes as to the tug-of-war going on in the translation industry and, therefore, there is value in reproducing some of them below:
Machine translation should not be confused with computer-assisted translation. Surely, nothing can replace human translators.
Myriam Rozengurt Blankchtein
But in some cases both are intermingled.
Crazy story. I can't read the full article in Japanese - but I guess those machine-translated texts were at least post-edited before being published...I can understand the use of MT in some sectors but in this case, I have some doubts...
Nellie K. Adaba
I'm sorry, I meant to say machine or automatic translation, or translation memories cannot replace us human translators. I messed up, made a mistake, malapropism.
We all make mistakes like that. While I think machine translation might be faster and more multichanneled than human translation, it never gets the "feel" of human translation, 'tis true. It seldom gets the nuances as well as human translation when one goes between languages. Therefore we all agree: machine translation cannot replace human translation.
Maria Ortiz Takacs, trad. a./C. Tr.
Wow, it's hard to believe that a reputable publishing company would be so sloppy!
I think we should use both human and machine translators. Some time machines translators are useful (for typing faster) but sometime human is the best option.(make fewer mistakes). All in all, I think both have pros and cons.
(comment source: https://www.linkedin.com/grp/post/2410222-5987875261293563908?trk=groups-post-b-title)
Summarizing, while there is agreement machine translation can’t produce the natural translation quality of human translators, a number of glaring issues are also revealed:
- General confusion as to what constitutes machine translation
- Blame the user (“sloppy”), not the (machine translation) tool
- Approval of machine translation, having both pros & cons and depending on translation field
While we don’t endorse any of the comments above our position is that machine translation, being a software that is nowhere near ready for prime time, is being irresponsibly pushed by commercial interest as an alternative to professional human translation. I say “irresponsibly” because many folks have come to believe the marketing spin, to their own detriment. For example, a couple of months ago we had a client out of Sri Lanka that needed a machine translated website re-done with professional English Japanese translation services (and the cost was lower by 75%?!).
Your 2cents – Let us know what you think!
Translation Article bY Tokyo Translation Services Japan