Human Translation

About human translation

Human translation (HT), by definition, is when a human translator—rather than a machine—translates text.

It’s the oldest form of translation, relying on pure human intelligence to convert one way of saying things to another.

And while human translation comes in many different flavors, it remains the most widely-used translation method to this day.

Types of human translation providers
Traditional agencies

Within a traditional agency, technology has little part in the actual translation process. In these organizations, full-time or freelance translators work alone or in small groups to manually manage files. Despite providing top quality translation, traditional agencies struggle to complete high-volume projects within a reasonable cost and timeframe. Translation rates at boutique agencies can be 10 times more expensive than crowd platforms, as they use a limited number of translators, use manual processes, and have a 9-to-5 style conventional workflow.

As a result, traditional human translation agencies are best suited for smaller projects or those that require mastery of the subject. When you want high-quality human translation for a larger project, you’ll have to rein in that budget, which is where a crowd-platform approach may offer more value for the dollar.

Crowd platforms

Within a technology-leveraged crowd-based system like Gengo, thousands of translators work simultaneously using a platform that allows for seamless project management. These human translation providers eliminate most of the overhead of a traditional agency through a sophisticated platform and tools like translation memory and automated validation.

Overall, crowd-based approaches significantly increase the scalability of human translation and reduce the cost associated with traditional models.

Human translation benefits
Better quality

Human translation is your best bet when accuracy is even remotely important. Especially for businesses looking to go global, it’s pivotal that all translations are the highest quality possible. When working with human translation providers, you can expect to get a much better quality output compared to machine translation or human aided machine translation. While computers and automated translation solutions are incredibly fast at translating large volumes of content, their output is far from business-ready. Humans can interpret context and capture the same meaning as the source text, rather than simply translating word-for-word.

Translate one word accurately
Naturally convey emotions, idioms, humour
Statistically higher conversion rate
Native speaker quality
High Google search results
SEO ready

With all of its grammatical inconsistencies and unnatural phrasing, machine translation looks like spam in Google’s eyes. Proper global SEO requires professional human translation. Quality multilingual content will help boost your search rankings to reach international customers, fast.

Gengo’s human translation platform

Gengo has radically changed the language services industry landscape. With over 21,000 translators and support for all major global languages, our professional human translation platform represents a huge leap in quality compared to machine translation, while enjoying faster delivery times and lower project costs than traditional agencies. You’ll get careful, detailed translations at just a fraction of the price.

Custom-built translator teams

Gengo’s translators cover a broad range of quality requirements and content specialties. All translators are tested and reviewed and receive ongoing ratings from Senior Translators as well as from ongoing customer feedback. Depending on your project’s needs, we can build custom on-demand teams to meet your specific requirements.

State-of-the-art technology

Gengo has always strived to provide simple yet powerful translation tools. That’s why our platform features a variety of built-in tools including the first ever human translation API, automated validation, translation memory and more to ensure consistency and overall quality for all your projects.


Unlike traditional language service providers, Gengo focuses on your ROI with a platform developed to provide high scale and volume human translation. We’ll calibrate with you to find the right mix of cost, quality, turnaround time to suit your unique business needs.

Trusted by global companies

I’ve been impressed with the quality and speed of the translations that Gengo delivers.
Jeff Chin, Product Manager at Google
The Huffington Post
Vestiaire Collective


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