AI Translation

AI Translation vs. Human Translation: What Works Best?

Do you want to know how your brand can humanize itself and connect better with a global audience?

Through language. Brands that give their target audience the freedom to connect with them in the language of their choice are often well received. Even within the same geographical location, offering localized languages to the target audience can have a significant impact on the bottom line.

It is here that AI and human translation truly come in handy. In addition to enhancing the customer experience, AI translation (or human translation) establishes your brand as a trustworthy, customer-oriented, and reliable enterprise.

Through this guide, you will be able to explore the pros and cons of using AI translation and human translation. You will also be able to compare the properties of both and arrive at a verdict regarding the best option for your business and purposes.

Table of Contents

Essence of Human Translators

Translation is a complex process. Especially when it comes to translating between languages that come from cultures with little similarity, a large amount of contextual knowledge is necessary to achieve accurate translations.

Humans can understand culture and apply the learnings to diverse translations to accurately capture not just what is said, but intended as well. This makes it a unique skill that is hard for artificial intelligence to match.

Additionally, human translators may be able to offer more realistic and humanized emotions, expressions, and intent as seen in actual conversations. This helps make the overall experience more rewarding.

Advantages of Human Translation

There are several advantages to using human translators:

1. Ethical Considerations

Humans are better sensitized towards content that may require censorship or delicacy with translations. For example, translating content with expletives requires an understanding to achieve ethical accuracy.

2. Adaptability to Change

There are instances where translation requires adjustments to original or translated scripts. Human translators can identify and introduce these changes on the go without disturbing the entire workflow in real-time.

3. Emotional Tone Preservation

Humans deeply understand the emotion being communicated through content. As such, they are able to import the emotion into the translation as well by understanding the context.

4. Context Sensitivity

A professional human translator understands precisely how to translate colloquial and idiomatic expressions between languages by exploring both cultures and vernacular characteristics of the language. It helps provide accurate context into cultural sensitivity.

5. Cultural Nuances

Cultural nuances involve expressing intended meanings without altering the context while capturing the tone and emotion accurately. Professional translators are adept at transferring full intention and cultural references from one language to another.

Human Translation: The Disadvantages

Even with human translation, there are several disadvantages that need to be considered:

1. Time-Consuming

The speed of translations is compromised when there are large volumes of content. Human translators might take their own time to translate it if the results need to be accurate and of high quality. Additionally, you may need to hire more than one translator for different languages.

2. Costly

Maintaining a full-fledged translation workforce can be a costly affair over the long term. In situations where there is a large volume of content or project-based translation, it can be financially strenuous for the enterprise.

3. Inconsistency

Errors are inevitable with human tasking. Factors like lack of productivity, distractions, multiple translators, translation styles, and exhaustion bring the accuracy of translations down and introduce inconsistencies in the quality of the final output.

4. Dependency on Availability

Human translators do not work around the clock. Whenever there is an urgent requirement, human translators may not be readily available, causing delays in the project. This creates avoidable dependencies.

Understanding AI Translation

Where human translation lacks, AI translation fills the gaps.

AI translation is a marvel of modern technology that leverages the power of neural networks to achieve highly accurate and meaningful translations. These tools work by segmenting the sentence into smaller parts and applying complex AI algorithms to each segment to analyze for content, meaning, and other subtle nuances.

Based on the analyses, the AI translation tools then generate encoded sequences, which are then converted into the corresponding words of the target language. The entire process takes mere seconds to complete while being accurate as well. AI translators are great for real-time translation.

Advantages of Machine Translation

Leveraging AI tools for translation offers several benefits:

1. Speed and Efficiency

AI translation tools are lightning-fast. The translation processes take mere seconds to complete (depending on the length of the content). This enables the processing of high-volume content within a shorter amount of time and with high efficiencies as well.

2. Cost-Effective

For enterprises or individuals dealing with a high volume of content, AI translator tools can enable translation at reduced cost and low turnaround times. The requirement for human capital is eliminated as a single tool can handle large amounts of translation data.

3. Consistency

With AI-based translation, users get uncompromised consistency in the translated content. This is because once the rules of translation are determined, the computational algorithms do not deviate or incorporate differences.

4. 24/7 Availability

AI-based translation tools do not feel tired, get exhausted, or require breaks. They are available 24 hours a day to provide uninterrupted support for translation tasks, helping manage even the most urgent tasks at scale.

AI Translation: The Disadvantages

Though efficient and quick, machine translations have disadvantages, too.

1. Context and Nuance Challenges

AI-based tools are, in the end, computational models. It is difficult for them to grasp the contextual essence and nuances of translation. Several important expressions may thus get lost in translation.

2. Lack of Cultural Understanding

AI cannot yet properly understand cultural subtleties, which hinders its capacity to capture such references in its translations. Without that context, the translations may fall flat and lack depth.

3. Potential Biases in Training Data

If the AI model hasn’t been properly fitted (or it experiences underfitting), then it is highly likely that there would be biases in the translated content. It may pose a risk of introducing culturally sensitive data into the output.

Face-Off: AI Translator vs. Human Translator

AI translations and human translators both have unique qualities and moments where they shine. It all depends on the ultimate requirements that you have and the compromises that a business is willing to put up with.

1. Use Cases: When to Choose AI or Human Translation?

For use cases that require the preservation of cultural references, vernacular aspects, and even the tonal subtleties in the output, human translation is the better choice.

A good example is employing human translation services for translating movies, song lyrics, and books for a global audience. This type of content banks on invoking user emotions, which AI translation tools may miss or miscalculate, taking away from the user experience.

On the other hand, there are several use cases where human translators may fall short of the requirements. In legal offices, for example, where a large volume of documents pass through multiple desks, a more rapid, consistent and accurate translation may be required to quickly mobilize operations.

AI-based tools perform the task at hand efficiently, helping process large volumes of data with no loss of productivity, consistency, or quality of translations. Maintaining pace with changing time zones is also not a problem for AI tools.

2. Cost Considerations

Cost is the second major factor that influences the choice between AI and human translation. The long-term financial impact of hiring translators or investing in an AI translation tool requires justification through the nature and volume of work and also by the ultimate quality required from a translation.

AI translation tools may have a steep initial cost for purchase, implementation, and deployment. There may be several add-on costs involved as well for transcription features or selecting exotic languages for translations.

It helps to have a thorough understanding of your translation requirements to set aside a budget for acquiring AI tools for specific translative purposes. If your enterprise requires quick translation for a high volume of content, AI translators will be a good investment.

On the flip side, human translators are a better choice where you require sensitive translation. For example, translating children’s books from one language to another requires immaculate attention to the messaging and intention captured in the book, which humans better understand and handle. A straightforward translation, no matter how accurate, wouldn’t be enough.

Hybrid Approach: Best of Both Worlds

With the evident benefits of AI translation and human translators, enterprises can skilfully combine the power of both to achieve stellar translation workflow. A balanced outlook will lead to the implementation of a good translation system that capitalizes on speed and efficiency while maintaining the contextual, emotional, and colloquial relevance of the translation.

A combination of AI translation tools and human translation has the potential to create a holistic ecosystem that is fast, accurate, and humanized. Exhaustive manuscripts or content can be first fed into AI translation systems to generate first drafts at scale.

For translations that require attention to detail, human capital can be brought in to search for discrepancies or anomalies that went undetected by computers.

The two-step process achieves not only speed for high-scale translations, but also preserves the originality of the input even after translation. Additionally, a third step can be incorporated where a final sweep for potential errors could be made for highly sensitive translations.

A combined approach brings in the benefits of AI and human translations while mitigating the limitations of both.

Murf for Effortless AI Translation

Murf Translate is a highly efficient and versatile translation feature that leverages the power of artificial intelligence to generate high-quality translations.

With Murf, you can translate your content into 20 different global languages. Murf also supports a set of high-quality, humanlike AI voices to generate your translated audio.

The translation process in Murf is extremely simple:

  • Login to Murf Studio.

  • On the left sidebar menu, locate the "AI Translate" tab and click on it.

    • From the dropdown menu, set the tone and language for the translation. Select your desired features and click Next.

    • The engines will now begin the translation. Once it is done, you will be able to review it in the playback and the translated script generated on the dashboard.

Currently, the AI Translate feature is only active for Enterprise plans. 

Additionally, the following features make it an extremely efficient translation tool:

  • The translation isn't just literal but context-aware. Murf AI Translate understands the entire sentence and the context to generate a translation instead of just translating a sentence word for word.

  • It takes only a few minutes to generate translations. All you need to do is sign in to Murf Studio, upload your audio, select the source language and the target language and tone, and translate.


AI vs. human translation will always be a subject of discussion but both methods have undeniable benefits that they bring to the table. With AI-based translation tools, enterprises enjoy speed and efficiency in high-volume translations.

Whereas human translators can preserve the sanctity and meaning of the original text, passing on the exact meaning into the second language.

With that said, a translation workflow that combines AI and human-based translations may offer a confluence of benefits. However, where budgets are a concern and you would much rather use a quick solution that is accurate as well, Murf checks all the boxes. Try Murf Translate today to witness the magic for yourself.


Can AI translation replace human translators?

It isn’t possible to entirely replace humans with AI-based translation tools. This is because AI-based translation relies on computational algorithms to achieve the task.

It may cause them to miss the nuances and subtleties of language, leading to costly errors in businesses. With the computing capabilities that exist today, human touch is necessary.

What are the disadvantages of human translation?

Human translation is riddled with the possibility of inconsistencies. This is because every translator has their own style and interpretation when working with multiple languages. This may create results that vary.

Additionally, distractions, exhaustion, and errors may result in a final product that does not match the quality benchmark that is expected.

How accurate are AI translators?

AI translators are extremely accurate, but only to the extent that emotion and linguistic subtleties do not have much impact on the end use of the final output. These translation tools are best leveraged for translated transcriptions, generating automated captions and subtitles.

Which will be better for small businesses? AI or human translation?

Small businesses need to consider their budgets before deciding on AI-based translation tools or human capital. Human translation can prove to be costlier when the volume of translation required is high.

On the other hand, there are economical software available to translate content at scale using AI.

What are the benefits of AI translation compared to human translation?

The biggest benefit of AI translation is that it can work tirelessly for 24 x 7 without losing any quality or consistency of output. The productivity and output can be adjusted as per needs, making AI translation tools highly scalable and project-friendly.