Thoughts on what are the most challenging documents to be translated

I think most linguists would agree that ‘marketing material’ is probably the most challenging text to translate. Some of the reasons being:

– the source text needs to be ‘recreated rather than translated’.
– the communication of the message has to be translated in a way that is appropriate from the writer’s perspective.
– the message within the translation has to be localised for the target market.
– a style has to be created that ‘gets into the mind of the reader’.

The fast growing development of ‘machine translation’ does not adequately address the above issues. It is still recognised that marketing material can only be resolved by ‘human translation’ in order to obtain the right nuance and tone.
This was confirmed in a recent presentation on the latest approach to machine translation, this being ‘neural machine translation’. A large neural network is trained by ‘deep learning’ techniques to provide a more advanced natural machine-based translation. This is a radical departure from the traditional machine ‘phrased-based statistical translation’. But overall it is still recognised that machine translation cannot replace the concept that ‘a human with various thought processes is more attuned to translating marketing material’.

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