Limitations of AI Translation Tools

by The JADE

With the rapid advancement of technology, artificial intelligent (AI) translation tools have provided unprecedented convenience in the field of text translation. These tools translate text incredibly quickly, yet they still have significant limitations. As discussed in our previous article, AI translation lacks the ability to comprehensively perform cross-language integration and understand cross-cultural nuances.

Next, let’s explore the details of translation that only experienced and professional translators can handle.

Previously, we have shared instances of medical incidents resulting from translation errors (link), emphasising the crucial importance of precision and rigour in medical translation.

Here is an example of pharmaceutical guideline that we have handled. The original phrase “Do not cut the pill” might seem reasonably translated as “别把药丸切开” (Don’t cut the pill). However, we chose to translate it as “千万别把药丸切开” (Strictly do not cut the pill).

This choice stems from the understanding that in the medical field, some translations go beyond conveying the literal text; it is equally important to present a tone of warning and seriousness. The use of “千万” (strictly or in any event) serves to enhance the warning effect, conveying a stronger sense of prohibition. In contrast, “别把药丸切开” might be perceived as a suggestion or advice, with a relatively milder tone. In medical translations, especially when it involves the health and safety of patients, we must ensure information is conveyed accurately and with meticulous detail.

This is what AI translation tools cannot achieve: carefully selecting the most appropriate terms to convey both explicit and implicit meanings.

The JADE have been involving in translating political statements, which often require timely completion due to their time-sensitive nature. AI translation based on extensive data training, can swiftly produce translations within a short timeframe. However, despite its ability to approximate the original text, AI translation lacks the precision to determine whether the translated results accurately convey the positions and political views of the leaders and political parties. It also fails to consider the country-specific context, as well as the cultural, values, linguistic, and habits of mind differences among various communities, and make appropriate adjustments during translation.

Furthermore, amid the author’s busy schedule, announcements may occasionally contain errors such as misplaced years, names, titles, or other inaccuracies. As a professional translation team, it is our responsibility to diligently correct these mistakes. This commitment to not only translating but also proofreading content is our standard practice for handling every political statement.

This is what AI translation tools cannot achieve: adjusting translations based on country-specific context, culture, values, language, and habits of mind, and proofreading content to accurately convey political views.

The use of AI translation tools over the internet may involve uploading information for network analysis, posing risks of confidentiality and privacy breaches. Professional human translation can reduce this potential risk.

The JADE is committed to safeguarding the privacy and sensitive information of each client. Our translation team strictly adheres to privacy protection guidelines, ensuring the security and confidentiality of client information. Regardless of the translation task at hand, we prioritise the protection of client confidentiality and privacy.

This is what AI translation tool cannot achieve: prioritising client privacy while safeguarding information security and confidentiality.

Although AI translation is convenient, translators’ professional abilities and comprehension are still indispensable when it comes to professional fields such as medical care, national conditions, society, culture and other details, as well as protecting confidentiality of information and privacy of clients. This is why in some key areas it is still necessary to rely on professional human translators.

If you are in need of precise, error-free, detail-oriented translation services, along with a translation team that prioritises the safeguarding of confidential, private, and sensitive information, feel free to contact us now!