Human Translation vs. Machine Translation: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Business in 2024

  • 04/03/2019
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Human Translation vs. Machine Translation: Choosing the Right Tool for Your Business in 2024

The rise of AI in translation has sparked a question: are professional translation services still relevant in 2024? 

The answer is a resounding yes. 

Numerous sectors continue to depend on translation services to engage with their clientele and beneficiaries effectively. In this blog, we aim to delineate the various user groups that utilise professional translation services, the most requested languages in the UK, and underscore the key disparities between human translation and machine translations.

This compilation draws upon our extensive client database, comprising hundreds of customers. We have also crafted a comparable list for our interpreting services, which you can access here.



User Groups that Request Translation Services in 2024


1. Law Firms

Law firms are a prime example of user groups that heavily rely on professional translation services for a myriad of documents, including but not limited to wills, marriage certificates, passports, birth certificates, immigration documents, and litigation materials.

These documents bear significant legal ramifications, often impacting multiple stakeholders. Hence, precise and impeccable translation is imperative to ensure clarity and adherence to legal standards.


2. Private Businesses and Voluntary Sector Organisations

Businesses, nonprofits, as well as public and third-sector entities frequently seek translations for various promotional and informational materials such as flyers, brochures, directories, and marketing content targeting specific demographic segments.

Accurate translation is crucial, but maintaining the original design layout is equally important. Alejandra Gonzalez, our Translations Coordinator, elaborated on this aspect in a previous blog post.


3. Public and Social Services

Entities offering public or social services, such as the NHS, frequently need reports, appointment letters, or decision documents translated for non-native English speakers who utilise their services.

By providing translated documents, these organisations empower clients to understand vital information, such as medical prescriptions or important decisions, without the need for untrained intermediaries, such as family members, friends or AI tools for machine translation, who may not always respect the sensitivity and confidentiality of the information exchanged.


4. Education and Media Industries

While less frequent than other sectors, the education and media industries occasionally require translation services for video transcripts.  This specialised human translation process demands meticulous attention to detail and strong listening skills, particularly when working with audio of lesser quality.

The subject matter of these videos is wide-ranging. In the education sector, this may include videos on neurodiversity for special education programmes.  Social services have also required this kind of translation for video interviews used in private cases.


5. Technology, Health and Beauty, and E-commerce

User manuals, product descriptions, and global launches are essential for technology companies, health and beauty businesses, and various sectors within e-commerce and global manufacturing, often necessitating professional translations.

The exponential growth of the global economic sector has driven the demand for professional translation services in these industries. Even small companies can now reach a global audience and require translated content to effectively market and sell their products overseas.


6. Individuals and Self-Employed Professionals

Lastly, we also receive translation requests directly from individuals who need important documents translated. Not everyone undergoing immigration processes can access legal representation, yet they still need certified translations that are reliable and accurate.

Furthermore, we assist freelance professionals and small businesses with international operations. We can translate documents, short texts, and promotional materials to resonate with a target audience in their specific language. This ensures clear communication and a culturally appropriate approach to reach the desired demographic.



A Glimpse into Our Community: Most Requested Languages in Translations

The data collected from our client database revealed the following trends in the second half of 2023:

Consistently, our translations and interpreting reports provide a fascinating overview of the evolving demographics in our community, the impacts of government immigration policies, and the fluctuations in language requirements based on settlement patterns within our region.

Top Languages in the Translation Industry

As depicted in the graph above, translation requests we received from July to December 2023 predominantly -though not exclusively- involved the following 15 languages: Arabic, Ukrainian, Polish, Farsi, Portuguese, Lithuanian, Russian, Albanian, Bengali, Urdu, Dari, Turkish, Bulgarian, Spanish, and Romanian.

Understanding these language trends allows us to meet the evolving needs of our clients and the demographically diverse communities they serve. 



Human Translation vs. Machine Translation

Professional translators don't just translate words, they capture the essence: puns, idioms, cultural nuances - the full picture! While AI-generated translations may offer accuracy at a basic level, they often lack the depth and contextual understanding that professional human translators possess.

Language is a multifaceted living entity influenced by cultural shifts, historical events, and societal changes. Automated translation tools struggle to keep pace with these complexities.

Furthermore, contemporary AI models like ChatGPT, Gemini, or Copilot rely on vast amounts of training data to predict the most likely next word in a sequence. While they can produce coherent responses, they lack accuracy, contextual relevance, and cultural appropriateness. 

In essence, professional human translation services are essential for navigating the complexities of language and delivering culturally sensitive messages that resonate with the target audience. Relying solely on AI and machine translation can introduce the risk of misinterpretations or unintended offensive messages.

Machine Translation



Looking for Translation Services in the UK?

Vandu Languages has over 20 years of experience delivering translation solutions. Our team of qualified linguists ensures accurate and culturally appropriate translations and has proudly served numerous esteemed clients, including local authorities, the NHS, and public and private sector businesses from various sectors mentioned in this blog post, as well as many others.

Whether you need urgent assistance on a one-off project or ongoing project support, we offer a range of services.

Get a free quote today! Visit for more information.

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