Can Translation Industry survive in our technological age

We live in a digital world where human beings have never been as spoiled. Google searches for us, computers organize for us, and mobiles remind us. It seems like we hardly need to use our minds. Just like the industrial revolution, the technological revolution, we are witnessing now, is changing the face of the world with new industries emerging and others fading away. What about Translation, which is one of the world’s oldest industries, can it survive in such age?

In fact, Translation is one of the industries that benefited greatly from the cutting edge technologies surrounding us. Searching about and exploring the meanings of new terms, cultural references, wordplays… etc. has become quite easier than the case years ago when poor translators only had multiple hard-copy, thousand-paged dictionaries and references. Along with the existing incredible research tools, electronic term bases and translation machines are being created to help professional translators to translate larger quotas in shorter timeframes. However, some people went too far expecting that such machines would replace human translators one day.

The future of human translation against the rising of machine translation is extremely debatable. It is a debate that has no middle ground, simply because it a matter of perspective. It largely depends on how the profession of translation is seen and defined. If you think that Translation is the art of travelling across cultures, creating a new piece of art equivalent to the original one, then you are definitely on the side believing that human translation can never go extinct. In other words, a language is a living developing being nurturing on its own culture; a thing that a machine may not understand and cope with.

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