AI Translation Software: Enhancing or Hindering Your Global Strategy?

The digital age has evolved AI translation software into a valuable aid. It learns from and improves methodology to provide more accurate, contextually relevant translations. 

The exact use cases of this type of software depend on the provider. Some are ideal for internal communications and document translation, while others support global strategies and large-scale localization projects. But whether the software enhances or hinders your efforts depends on whether you keep humans in the loop. 

Precise localization is vital for mobile apps, SaaS platforms, and other services targeting global markets. It impacts user experience, cultural appropriateness, and brand reception—shaping how your product resonates with new markets.

AI speeds up localization workflows, improves efficiency, and cuts costs so you can scale. However, today’s purely AI translation tools lack contextual and cultural nuance. They also leave room for misinterpretation or overreliance. Overcoming these issues requires the expertise of human linguists to support global expansion so you can stay on track.

Below, we’ll go over the pros and cons of AI translation technology, and how to bridge the gap without neglecting the value of AI. 


Unveiling AI Translation Software

AI translation software is a type of technology that uses artificial intelligence and learned patterns to accurately translate different languages. It’s capable of tackling many traditional processes, from speeding up rudimentary activities to providing real-time speech translation. In short, it’s an increasingly industry-significant technology.

AI relies on various mechanisms to complete tasks. One example is neural machine translation services or NMT. These systems use neural networks and machine learning to process and translate large volumes of text efficiently, improving over time with more data. 

Another example—natural language processing or NLP—helps systems comprehend context and semantics. This often produces high-quality translations that are not only accurate but contextually and culturally relevant. 

The exact capabilities and use cases of AI translation tools vary. For developers and SaaS companies expanding their brands globally, AI reshapes localization workflows by automating the adoption of different languages. Meanwhile, Data Science Central highlights how AI can target localization opportunities and improve methods by studying user behavior. Dedicated AI translation platforms, on the other hand, speed up end-to-end processes. 

However, it’s important to recognize that there are pros and cons of using AI to refine your global strategy. 


Pros of AI Translation Software

The primary benefits of AI translation center on efficiency, costs, and the prospect of a better, smarter methodology. Let’s examine them below.

  • Unlocked efficiency: AI translation services sport complex algorithms that are increasingly efficient. They achieve quicker turnaround times for project deployments and provide localization teams and project managers with more support.

For example, dedicated AI services can handle repetitive, rudimentary tasks. They automatically translate common phrases and technical documentation, allowing human translators to focus on more context-sensitive content.

  • Economies of scale: AI-powered services support scaling and cost reduction through their fundamental capabilities. For instance, an AI translation engine (such as an NMT) uses deep learning to dissect large volumes of data and decrease the likelihood of errors in translated texts. This, in turn, minimizes costly revisions and rework, improving scaling.

Additionally, the efficiency and intended usage of some services mean there isn’t always an extra headcount. They integrate with current processes and, depending on the degree of language translation, help cut costs.

  • Adaptive learning: AI systems continuously improve as they learn from the data they ingest. How systems learn depends on their respective algorithms and your needs. 

Advancing models with generative AI are increasingly adept at understanding the context and nuance, while NMTs have robust language models and datasets to improve their text translations. 


The Flip Side: Cons of AI Translation Software

The flip side of AI translation software distills down to the dangers of overreliance and a lack of nuance. Here are a few reasons why there’s no AI-only option for any brand looking to expand its global reach.  

  • Contextual and cultural oversights: Expert human translators address contextual and cultural oversights AI can’t understand. AI will provide technically accurate translations but often lack the nuance to handle humor, phrasing, slang, structure, or culturally and time-sensitive content.

These limitations lead to misunderstandings or misrepresentations that might offend consumers. They also highlight language barriers between a service and a new audience, potentially weakening the relationship.  

  • Risk of misinterpretation: Just as there’s room for oversights, there’s room for misinterpretation of precision versus approximation. The former is exact, consistent, and accurately conveys the source text’s intent into the target language.

The latter is generally accurate but lacks nuance or technical details. Misinterpreting approximation for precision risks errors and context slipping through the cracks. This in turn adds to revision and rework costs.

  • Overreliance on technology: AI translation technology speeds up workflows, but an overreliance excludes human insights and weakens the translation process. For example, AI is often adept at supporting common language pairs like English-Spanish, but that doesn’t necessarily extend to Finnish, Korean, Taiwanese, or Japanese, where structure, formatting, and UI widely differ. 

You require human translators to direct these translations. Without them, you lose out on vital experience and quality assurance that make or break localization. 


Bridging the Gap with Human Expertise

Bridging the gap means incorporating human expertise into the AI process. Professional translators provide nuance, cultural insight, and contextual understanding that AI hasn’t had decades to hone. Humans additionally reflect the global market. They have the linguistic versatility to steer clear of sensitive topics and ensure humor doesn’t fall flat.

Leaving humans out of the loop leads to an unrefined final product. We know that 73% of global consumers prefer to shop in their native tongue—and 40% won’t even buy in other languages. Add a glaring lack of cultural nuance on any web page or app, and your audience is inclined to click away. 


In other words, we need human linguists to act as gatekeepers.

Comprehensive translation management systems (TMS) can marry the cutting-edge speed and velocity of AI with human expertise. Whether it’s website translation or content creation, integrating a TMS into your workflow can deliver top-notch translation, cost efficiency, and consistent productivity. 

Integrating Refined AI Translation within OneSky’s Ecosystem

OneSky’s “AI-Human translation service” combines the efficiency of AI innovations and the experience and ingenuity of human-led translations through a team of 1,000+ professionals with specific industry knowledge. Without worrying about the cost and time of oversight and corrections, OneSky’s expert human translators address nuanced cultural references or industry-specific jargon that AI can misinterpret, ensuring the output is both accurate and relevant.

While human translators take on the responsibility of quality assurance, we leverage our adaptive AI engine and translators’ feedback to continuously enhance AI translation quality, produce more on-brand translations, and improve scalability.

Furthermore, our ecosystem system additionally integrates with the most popular development platforms for mobile apps and games. This ensures a cost-effective, flexible translation workflow free of the challenges of a heavy tech stack or steep learning curves.


Embracing the Best of Both Worlds

Embracing the best of both worlds is essential for global localization strategies. Doing so delivers the knowledge base to complement AI’s algorithms. Many translation agencies even implement both to boost their processes and meet clients’ needs. 

Furthermore, by choosing a hybrid translation solution, emerging developers and SaaS platforms direct work to less intensive areas. 

For instance, AI saves time on old material, freshening it up and ensuring it stays evergreen. Short-form content is also easier and fool-proof to produce. In the meantime, humans direct the more complex elements of global localization, support design choices for UI, and adhere to legal requirements. 

That said, complex work doesn’t fall squarely in human hands. Our centralized, user-friendly localization solutions offer features like translation memory, glossaries, string context, and comprehensive file formats to keep humans and globalization on track. Mobile app and game localization achieve what a fully sufficient AI-human copilot solution should—reduced revisions, costs, and delays as you expand into new markets. 

OneSky Can Help You Prepare for the Future

The strategic advantage of combining AI translation with human expertise is evident: you gain a comprehensive, intelligent approach to global localization.

Don’t choose “either or.” Partner with OneSky. We offer the knowledge, insights, and creative sense of professional linguists to ensure the AI-powered translation is well-refined and top-notch for delivery. Robust features and API translations integrate seamlessly into your workflow. Additionally, our human-led, machine-backed efforts achieve the productive, cost-efficient, and excellent quality every localization project needs to turn brands international. 

Unlock your global potential and choose the right pricing that fits your needs. With free sign-up, explore how OneSky’s translation management software, backed by professional translators, elevates your localization strategy.

Mandy Fong

Head of Sales, OneSky

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