Federal Agencies Caution Against Automated Translations

By Adriana Adarve – Owner of Adarve Translations

Lea esta bitácora en español

By embracing the cultural diversity of those we are translating for—the writer of the original content and the reader—and by taking into account the cultural sensitivities of both the writers of the content we translate and of the readers themselves we foster these deeper connections.At Adarve Translations we believe that translations written with honor and respect for diverse cultures will remove barriers and create meaningful connections between people. We believe that by cultivating deeper connections we will enhance the richness of life for all.

But how do we cultivate deeper connections all around us? People might ask themselves, “How is it possible for a translation to enable us to cultivate deeper connections?”

The answer is that by embracing the cultural diversity of those we are translating for—the writer of the original content and the reader—and by taking into account the cultural sensitivities of both the writers of the content we translate and of the readers themselves we foster these deeper connections.

This is why we write elegant and efficient translations that are respectful of diverse cultures; translations that require care, skill and experience; translations that require the touch, care and sensitivity of a human being—qualities…no, treasures—that can never be found when a machine or some sort of software is used to “interpret” the message a writer truly intends to convey to his/her audience.

One of the challenges that translators have been facing more and more for the last couple of years is the race against artificial translations created by non-culturally diverse, senseless machines that spew out words without regard for the deeper connections we all crave for in our daily lives. But how can these machines have any regard for the connections we all seek? After all, they are just machines, not people, right?

Over the years, several non-committal statements from some government agencies have been made as to why translations are needed in this country and how they should be produced.

More recently, however (January 7, 2015), the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice have cautioned “against the use of web-based automated translations.”

This caution is perhaps the clearest declaration so far made by federal enforcement agencies that “Internet translations should NOT be used without the review of a trained, qualified HUMAN translator.”

Some school districts have used web-based automated translation to translate documents. The Departments caution against the use of web-based automated translations; translations that are inaccurate are inconsistent with the school district’s obligation to communicate effectively with LEP parents.

Thus, to ensure that essential information has been accurately translated and conveys the meaning of the source document, the school district would need to have a machine translation reviewed, and edited as needed, by an individual qualified to do so. Additionally, the confidentiality of documents may be lost when documents are uploaded without sufficient controls to a web-based translation service and stored in their databases.”

U.S. Department of Justice – January 7, 2015

The Adarve Translations bureau was created with a clear sense of the goals we wanted to reach, the purpose of our work, and we have never lost sight of this deeper purpose. As Glenn Geffcken so elegantly put it on his newsletter of last week, “Embodiment of purpose in our work is what gives life to our work and our culture, and when an organization embodies purpose it comes to life in a meaningful way.”

Our purpose has always been to bring you elegant translations that are written with honor and respect for diverse cultures, remove barriers, create meaningful connections between people and enhance the richness of life for all. We do this by using human translators, not machine translation, and all-time policy now backed up by some U.S. federal agencies.

We believe in our purpose. We trust our removal of barriers to create deep, meaningful human connections.

All the best,

Adriana Adarve, Asheville, NC

 

Adriana Adarve is the owner of Adarve Translations and is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish & French), as well as pluri-cultural, multi-cultural, plurilingual and multilingual.
Adriana Adarve

About the Author: Adriana Adarve is the owner of Adarve Translations and is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish & French), as well as pluri-cultural, multi-cultural, plurilingual and multilingual.

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Published by Adriana Adarve

I’m Adriana Adarve, a multilingual, plurilingual, multicultural and pluricultural English to Spanish freelance translator. My primary interests—besides my passion for languages—are in science, chemistry, and medicine. That is the reason why I concentrate on medical, scientific and technical translations. I am also passionate about cultural diversity, which means that my translations always take into account my clients’ culture, as well as that of the audience for which the translations are intended.

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