Are Human Translators Just Higher Priced Machines?

Mental activity can be described as a machine-like function. Activities guided solely by logic, rules, and procedures can be carried out in a mechanical way. So are skilled human translators essentially just like a machine except costing more for their services?

Hardly in our experience. Human translators can apply judgment. They have sensitivities, recognize context and subtlety, engage in mental activities for sure, but can access faculties that go beyond the machine-like workings of a computer or machine. These intangibles guide and elevate their language work.

What is the value of human translation compared to machine translation? Surveying the going rates in the marketplace for each service we can assign an approximate dollar value to the difference. So is higher quality human translation worth its premium? The thriving market for human translation services confirms that for many it is.

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