When translating literal texts, machine translating often does a phenomenal job at recognizing previously used patterns of words and phrases and replicating the semantics of one language into another. However, with academic literature, this pattern recognition method, used by Google Translate and others, falls short. This is the result of academia’s specific writing style, unique vernacular, and nuanced methods of portraying their research and ideas.
This environment is ill-suited for the current capabilities of machine translating, often leaving the translated text riddled with grammar errors, sentence fragments, illogically long sentences, and unintelligible ordering of phrases. This section below from American Journal Experts, shows just how different human and machine translating is when it comes to academic works, especially in the usage of context-dependent translation.
“Introduction : Malgré l’essor des techniques chromatographiques couplées à la spectrométrie de masse, l’immunoanalyse revêt toujours une importance capitale dans les laboratoires hospitaliers et de médecine légale. Nous nous attacherons ici à décrire quels pourraient être les protocoles à mettre en œuvre pour utiliser ces tests immunochimiques sur des matrices non conventionnelles (sang total laqué, cheveux…) et sur les préparations nécessaires pour analyser ces échantillons. Différentes techniques immunochimiques avec leur aptitude à accepter des matrices dites alternatives seront évoquées.”
“Introduction: Despite the development of chromatographic techniques coupled with mass spectrometry , immunoassays always of paramount importance in hospital laboratories and forensic medicine. Here we will describe what might be the protocols to implement these immunochemical tests for use on non- conventional matrices (lacquered whole blood, hair … ) and the necessary preparations to analyze these samples . Methods: Different techniques immunochemical with their ability to accept so-called alternative matrices will be discussed .”
“Introduction: Despite the breakthrough of chromatographic techniques coupled to mass spectrometry, immunoanalysis is still a key component of the various techniques used in clinical or forensic toxicology. This article describes different procedures to use immunoassays on unconventional biological matrices such as clotted blood or hair specimens. A focus is made on sample preparation needed to analyse such matrices. Various immunoassay techniques and their ability to accept unconventional matrices are discussed.”
While the application of more nuanced machine learning will improve the ability of machine translation to successfully translate academic texts, the dramatic changes in tone/tense/vernacular that occur within the stages of a journalistic publication will further hinder the development of successful machine translated academic work. For example, in many journals the author will give a personal introduction, followed by the work, followed by peer review comments, and then finally with the comments from readers. Successfully and accurately translating an article with at least four different writing styles, word choice, and varying usage of figurative language is near impossible.