How Can I Translate a Document?

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How Can I Translate a Document?

You’re sitting on a pile of documents that you need to translate? You’ve landed on the right page. In this article, we present a few options that people generally use for translating their official documents.

Machine translation

Machine translation (MT) is the process of translating any type of documents or materials using an AI-powered translation tool, translation engines such as Google Translate, DeepL, Google Pixel Buds (speech-to-text and text-to-speech translation devices) for Android 6.0+ devices, or any other similar tools.

Pros: Also referred to as automated translation, machine translation is fast- in fact, it’s instant – and cheap. It doesn’t cost anything to copy part of the text you need to translate into DeepL or Google Translate. All you need is a good internet connection.

Cons: Automated translation tools such as these fail to capture the nuance and complexity of specialised documents like medical, technology, engineering, etc. They are best suited for day-to-day communication than document translation.

Human translation

Human translation is one of the best and most frequently used solutions to translate more nuanced or specialised content.

Pros: A human translator will always best marry grammar structure with nuance and intent. This is something that translation machines cannot yet do. More importantly, human translation is a two, sometimes three-step process: translation, revision, linguistic QA. All these steps are completed by professional linguists and terminologists working together to deliver the best quality service.

Cons: It may be expensive. Also, cost varies per type of translation (specialization, complexity), language pair, project urgency.


A combination of machine and human translation methods, transhumanization entails that the first step of the process is completed by an AI or a translation engine, while the second step involves the contribution of a human translator, who checks the solutions offered by machine translation and ensures the end result is error-free.

Pros: It costs less than a fully human translation, and it saves time.

Cons: Two translators may need to double and triple-check the document translated by the MT. Hence, more time is spent at the final stages of the process. But it’s all for the better, as MT does not always capture context, and above all, intent.

Pangea Global is an international translation and localization services provider offering both human, machine, and transhuminization solutions for the financial, gaming, and eLearning industries.

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