Human or AI – who translates better?

Spoiler alert: it depends. And we’ll help you make the right choice…

Once upon a time… Google Translate. Do you remember the early days? An exciting time when suddenly anything seemed possible. Lots of hope and, let’s say, interesting results…

But thanks to rapid developments in machine translation, a lot has changed and AI translations are constantly improving.

But wait! There was still…. Oh yes! The highly talented human linguists who deliver customised texts and breathe real life into a brand!

The care, expertise and research of a human translator is and remains irreplaceable. It goes without saying that this service may cost a little more. In return, you will receive a text of the highest quality, virtually customised to your needs. On the other hand, machine translation by AI is perfectly suited to large volumes of text of lesser importance. For example, customer reviews, social media posts or comments.

So it all depends on what goals and intentions you are pursuing with a project. Then you can decide: Should it be a machine translation (MT) or a human translation.

But what exactly are the advantages and disadvantages of each method? We’ll help you shed some light on the subject so that you can make the right choice for your project.

Human vs. machine translation

The constant development of AI means that machines are getting better at translating our texts every day. And in no time at all! And yet there are still a few things to consider…

Let’s take a brief look back at the beginnings of machine translation. As early as 1949, a method was developed to translate any communication as quickly as possible. This was primarily used to monitor Russian agents. Today, the secret services’ former wonder weapon has become an everyday tool: We translate all sorts of things with the help of machines, from simple phrases, cooking recipes and letters to lengthy documents. But be careful: Machine translations should not always be trusted blindly.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when using machine translation:

  • Whenever cost and speed of delivery are most important, machine translations offer an efficient solution. Especially when a large volume of text is involved. Unfortunately, this does not mean that it is always the best solution!
  • Projects where high text quality, nuance and brand image play a major role benefit most from a human translator. Professional translators have the know-how and expertise to strike the right tone and present the brand perfectly in the new language – just like in the original text.

So it all comes down to this: You will achieve a higher quality result with a human translator, but this will cost a little more. However, if the order volume is high and of low importance, a machine translation is suitable.

In this case, a machine translation will suffice:

  • You want to translate a lot of text, but it is not of great importance within the company.
  • You are still in a test phase with your text; the final texts are not yet available.
  • The original text to be translated is rather generic, without any creative elements.

A human translator should be commissioned here:

  • Accuracy and precise word choice are your top priorities.
  • You want to have a real translator at your side who can respond to your wishes and needs and become an expert in your corporate language.
  • The content should be rendered in a certain tone so that, for example, your brand image is effectively placed in the new language. Consistency, context and localisation are particularly important here.

delicatext – your partner for the right words

Would you like a strong partner who can provide you with expert advice on language and communication? We can help you choose the most effective translation method for your needs. Feel free to contact us at

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