Machines are just machines


The other day my son was playing chess on the computer when I happened to be around. It was a computer based chess game and, without a lot of difficulty, he won the game. Being excited at his victory, he gave a loud roar of triumph and said, “Machines are just machines!” It was this remark in particular that made me remember, among other things, a similar thing said by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard. He had said, “The sad thing about artificial intelligence is that it lacks artifice and, therefore, intelligence.” It also reminded me all the trouble that clients go through after getting something translated by a machine and the main reason in such cases is the absence of a human being.


We keep asking ourselves the question over and over again; Are machine translations dependable? Some people go for machine translations because they are cheaper compared to human translations. Others select this option to save time and effort. However, none of the former or the latter are ever satisfied with the results. As far as translation goes, famous writer Anthony Burgess once said, “Translation is not a matter of words only: it is a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” And, the human culture is something that a machine can never understand nor be concerned about, nor be able to deliver its sense which usually takes ages to develop. So, my answer to the question would be a very loud “No, machines translations are not dependable!” Human culture is the sum total of everything that human existence entails during a given period of time. The chemistry behind the creation and evolution of a language includes a universe of factors such as ‘Where have the speakers come from?’, ‘Where are they currently living?’, ‘What are their traditions?’, ‘How do they prefer to live, eat, dress, pray, communicate…?’, ‘What are their beliefs?’ and…..well, a hoard of other petty details. It includes a complete history that enriches that language and lends its vocabulary new meaning and its linguistic structures new sense. All this is a dynamic process with which a machine, a mechanical process run by a software, can never come to grips. That is one reason why machine translations can never replace human translations.


Humans are intelligent to cultural changes and can foresee the resultant changes in individuals. They are dynamically aware of how people would respond to semantic changes and what sense or meaning is currently being drawn out of a particular expression in a particular culture. The human elements also facilitate the process of decision making which means that a machine would be unable to pick the suitable word or expression which best express the meaning whereas a human translator would do that in fittest possible manner.


Talking about human translations, Arabic English Human Translation is a project of Communication Legal Translation Est. ( where human translators are available on the internet all the time to facilitate prospective clients. Being able to get it done on the internet saves a lot of time and effort as projects are delivered in a jiffy. Furthermore, the presence of human translators ensures the high quality of translations in terms of the accuracy of semantics and cultural background of language. As all the translators are highly qualified, well trained and experienced, they are well aware of the linguistic changes and modern connotations associated with languages. As John Conington said, “A translator ought to endeavor not only to say what his author has said, but also to say it as he has said it.” With more than 20 years of eminent presence in this field, Communication Legal Translation Est. enjoys the status of being the founders of Translation Services in the UAE and Translation Services in Dubai. And, to add the pinch of flavor, the rates are amazingly affordable. One can understand that owing to the economic and commercial importance of the region Arabic is considered one of the major business languages in the world. Resultantly, the human translators at Arabic English Human Translation are well adept at professionally translating all sorts of material may that be Educational Material, Accounting and Management Documents, Medical Translations, Media Translations, Engineering and Construction Materials, etc. An impressive list of more than 53 services is a feast for the eyes as so much is available at a single place. The process is simple and easy even for clients who are not computer savvy.