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AI vs Quality Human Translations: Delivering Your Brand Message to International Markets

4 July, 2024 | Philip Teoli

According to a recent survey, 44% of business owners plan to save time by using CHATgpt to write their content in other languages. The survey, conducted by Forbes Advisor, looked at 600 business owners in the US across a number of different industries.

Of those surveyed, 43% expressed concern about becoming too reliant on Artificial Intelligence while 28% of respondents are apprehensive about the potential for bias and errors in AI systems.

Transcripta — an expert translation service based in Malta — believes that translating is not just about mechanically changing words from one language to another but rather capturing the essence of what is being communicated. This also means understanding nuance and context for a faithful and true representation, says Transcripta Director Alex Spiteri Gingell.

Alongside co-director Chris Bezzina, the pair have over 20 years of experience in the industry working for a wide range of high-profile international clients, including EU institutions, leading law firms, major pharma companies, fintech and i-Gaming.

Speaking with Alex, our team at Findit had a look into the evolving landscape of translation services today with the onset of AI translation tools.

Translation for iGaming and other global markets

Although still in its infancy, the utilisation and accessibility of AI translation tools has grown exponentially over the last few years. In the highly competitive and global iGaming industry, the ability to easily manipulate a product to suit different markets without the need for a complete redesign is crucial.

This process, called internationalisation, involves designing products in a way that makes them flexible and adaptable to various languages and cultural norms. Once factored in, the product or interface can be tailored to meet the specific language, culture as well as regulatory requirements of a particular target market. This is known as localisation.

Naturally, the above requires a certain level of expertise, a team of translators, proofreaders, project managers and language experts. To cut corners, some corporations are utilising AI for faster turnaround times and to decrease costs.

However, Alex says that the latter can ironically end up costing companies more in the long run. While data from machine learning can save you time and costs in the short term, any mistakes can be irreversible, costing companies millions, not to mention the public humiliation that comes with that.

That’s why when it comes down to it, he adds, the importance of quality human translations to get your message across to international markets effectively cannot be overstated.

Costly AI Blunders

Machine translation errors often lead to amusing outcomes for the casual reader but are an absolute nightmare for companies experiencing it first-hand. The most common types of translation mishaps include word-for-word (literal translation) and errors with homographs (two words spelt the same but with different meanings).

US car manufacturer Ford experienced a notable translation blunder during an advertising campaign in Belgium. They wanted to translate the phrase, ‘Every car has a high-quality body’ but in Dutch, it became ‘Every car has a high-quality corpse’.

Amazon’s translation error was far less morbid but equally amusing. With the launch of their Swedish site back in 2020, users quickly spotted some unfortunate AI-related translation errors. For instance, a greeting card with a duckling featured the phrase ‘söta-ansikte-kuk’ (sweet-face-dick in English).

Similarly, a crochet item in the shape of a rooster was translated as ‘hand-knitted penis’. This was found to be the case with countless other items where context was not taken into account.

In 2021, the Spanish Ministry of Industry utilised machine translation for a document mentioning an employee named Dolores del Campo. However, unfortunately for her, the translation software rendered her name as ‘Pain of Field’.

What this Means

Alex argues that mistakes from unqualified translators or unvetted AI translations are a recipe for disaster. He adds that inevitably, you end up delivering the wrong message which can seriously damage your brand and overall reputation.

Undoubtedly, AI has struggled with abstract language such as humour, sarcasm as well as cultural-specific idioms that have led to both inaccurate and inappropriate translations. Context is also something it struggles with, resulting in translations that lack precision and accuracy.

For companies advertising something in several languages, or for terms and conditions, this can be particularly hazardous to rely solely on AI

The Solution

The solution, Alex says, lies somewhere in the middle, balancing the advantages of AI with that indispensable human element. While AI excels in speed and can streamline processes, true understanding of cultural nuances, customisation, feedback and quality control can only be achieved through ISO-certified translations performed by humans who are experts in their field.

For more information on how professional translators, such as Transcripta, help you avoid costly errors and embarrassing blunders, contact them today on 2729 3000 for more information or send an email to

205, Flat 4, Vincenti Buildings, Triq L-Ifran, Il-Belt Valletta, Malta  

+356 2729 3000

Transcripta has been breaking language barriers for over 18 years. Their expert team delivers certified, high-quality translations across all major languages and sectors, including legal, techn...

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