Which Translation Method Should You Use According to the Content Type

Translation Method

Let’s suppose, you are launching a global brand in different markets. For this, you need to create content and translate it into the customer’s native language that resonates with the target markets. Here the question comes how do you translate your business material? Will you go for machine translation or Neural machine translation services? 

There are many ways to localize multilingual content. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages. However, it all depends upon the type of content. In technical documents, you can go for MT but for marketing translation services, you have to take the assistance of an in-country copywriter and native translator.  

Translation Methods 

Let’s dive into different types of translation methods 

Machine Translation

Machine translation provides the translation of large amounts of data with a fast turnaround time and at reasonable prices.  It is cheaper than human translation. It cannot provide the accurate level of translation as human translators do. Even then companies take the assistance of machine translation services for a large amount of data.  

Professional Human Translation

 Translation agencies around the world employ a team of native translators. These translators are not proficient in linguists but they are also subject matter experts in their field. Therefore, they provide seamless translation services without any probability of error. 

Machine Translation with Post Editing

Using a human translator to edit a machine translation provides a wider scope of documents than standard human translators. Machine Translation Post Editing (MTPE) provides a better version of translation than MT. Moreover, it is quicker than professional human translation. 

Human Translation and Revision

Using a professional translator for the documents and getting them reviewed by another translator can provide the best translation results. Using two translators for the document is very expensive. 


Transcreation is the process of changing the source text so that it can resonate with different regions and cultures. The translation is about changing the text into another language whereas transcreation focuses on delivering the same emotion or message as the original copy. For instance for advertising and marketing translation services, companies take the assistance of transcreation.

Selecting the Translation Method  According to the Content-Type

Let’s have a look at the translation method according to the content type. 

Marketing and Advertising Materials

Marketing and advertising material are very important for companies that want to tap into foreign markets. Here machine translation cannot fulfill requirements because it is void of cultural and regional intricacies. Therefore you must go for human translation plus revision to ensure accuracy. Accuracy is pivotal because marketing and advertising material can make or break your company’s reputation in the market. Another option is to go for transcreation if the marketing content contains lots of metaphors or idioms. 

Technical Documentation 

Technical documents contain user manuals and technical instructions and there is no use of metaphor and nuance in these documents. Therefore MT and MTPE are ideal for technical document translations. If you are dealing with complex technical content then you can also opt for professional human translation. 

Medical Documents

Accuracy is very important in the medical field. This is because it is related to human life. The medical documents should be handled by translators that have prior experience in the field. Medical translation also deals with some technical documents. For example user manuals of medical devices. In such cases, MT is more feasible. Using the TMS and translation glossaries can speed up the translation process.  

Legal Documents 

Professional human translators are considered the best translation option for legal proceedings. With language proficiency, they also know the legal system of the country. Therefore, they provide the cultural context for the law.  In some legal cases, MT is considered a viable option because of its fast turnaround time and reasonable cost. 

Internal Communication

 Internal communication includes emails, memos, and business correspondences. Although English is the universal language to deal with subsidiaries in other countries, internal communication should be done in the language that internal customers understand.  The internal communication should be translated with MT. For more formal business communication, you can also go for MTPE. 

Literary Content 

For  Literary content, human translation with revision sounds like a reliable option. The literary work contains poems, short stories, and novels that cannot be accurately translated by the robust MT system. Transcreation is best for literary content because it does not hamper the emotions of the source content. 

Digital Content 

Web and mobile content comes under the category of promotional content. Therefore, you can go for human translation and review.  For simple text, MTPE could be a viable option. You can also opt for transcreation. 

Film Translation 

Films are made to portray the rich culture of any country. It portrays the different aspects of society. For film translation services, it is better to take the assistance of a human translator plus review. The human translator can translate the film by keeping intact with its theme. Review is important because a lot of investment is done in making films. Any error in translation can make the film flop in the international market. 

Wrapping Up 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when translation is required. The human translator with MT can produce effective translation results. While selecting the translation method, you must be very strategic and systematic. MT can be used for simple texts that don’t require any publication. Human translation is necessary for external documents which are dealing with cultural and regional intricacies and literary work. 

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