Determining whether human translation or machine translations are the right choice for a business and its clients depends on a few factors. Most notably, the type of translation service to choose can be decided by:

  • Type of Industry
  • Type of Document

Here are a few examples of the different industries and their document types. We’ve listed the degree of human or machine translation that is needed for each.

Industry Type

Depending on the industry a business is in, there is a degree of nuance that is needed within each text.

  • Marketing

    100% Human Translation

    Most marketing collateral needs to be specifically tailored to each client, and often needs to adapt to the tone and voice of each client. Human translation is the best choice for this industry, because even with translation memory, each client needs a different voice.

  • Legal Documents

    50% Human / 50% Hybrid Translation

    Human translation is best for public facing documents, while hybrid translations are appropriate for internal documents.

  • Human Resources Training Documents

    70% Human / 30% Hybrid Translation

    These documents are mostly internal, so hybrid translations are suitable. Overall style is not as crucial or as indicative of a company’s image as with client-facing content.

  • Health & Wellness

    50% Human / 50% Hybrid Translation

    Specificity or formatting is dependent on the audience the document is intended for. Human translation is best for public-facing documents or texts. Hybrid translations are appropriate for internal documents.

  • Travel Industry

    75% Human / 25% Hybrid Translation

    Many travel industry documents are public facing marketing materials, which requires a human translator. Internal communications are perfectly suited  for Hybrid translation.

Document Type

Depending on what kind of document or text that needs to be translated, there is a spectrum of nuance and specificity that each document requires.

  • Books

    100% Human Translation

    Text for each book is so different and nuanced, human translation is the best choice to get at the deepest level of context and understanding.

  • Health Resources

    40% Human / 60% Hybrid Translation

    Hybrid translation can easily replicate and translate health resource documents that offer a repetition of information. Human translation may be needed with more sensitive or specific cases.

  • Internal Documents & Memos

    10% Human / 90% Hybrid Translation

    Many internal documents within companies are suitable for hybrid translations. The main point is to transmit the general idea of the text.

  • Surveys

    50% Human / 50% Hybrid Translation

    For questions generated for surveys, hybrid translation is a great option, and often uses translation memory to generate specific questions. User responses, however, require the use of human translators to ensure the subtleties of each response are translated clearly and recorded.

  • FAQs

    100% Human Translation

    Frequently Asked Questions on websites need human translation to parse through the nuanced and consumer specific questions, which assures absolute consumer clarity

  • Website Content

    75% Human / 25% Hybrid Translation

    Both human translation and hybrid translation are suitable for website content translations. Hybrid is best for content that can be translated in a straightforward way. Human is best for adapting industry-specific language.

  • Legal Documents

    75% Human / 25% Hybrid Translation

    Both human translations and hybrid translations are suitable for use here.

    Hybrid is suitable for stenography or recordings, while sworn legal human translators are the only suitable option for sworn legal documents. Sworn translations must be done in their entirety by certified legal translators, however.

  • Marketing Collateral

    75% Human / 25% Hybrid Translation

    Marketing collateral, or documents and material that is both digital and traditional, should always be translated by a human translator. This guarantees that the style, tone, and client specific information is accurately conveyed in each piece of marketing material.

Do you need a more personalized look at which service is right for you? Try our Translation Services Selection Assistant to get a personalized estimation for your needs!