An Economic Model of Machine Translation


  • Milam Aiken School of Business Administration, University, Mississippi, USA
  • Mina Park School of Business, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT 06515



Google Translate, machine translation, computer-aided translation


With the advent of free, online translation services such as Google Translate, many people are now able to obtain information relatively effortlessly from a wide variety of foreign language sources. The translations from these services are often worse than those provided by professional, human translators, however, and the tradeoff between these two alternatives is not always clear. When should a professional be used, and when is machine translation sufficient? In this study, we discuss factors involved in the decision and illustrate their use with a predictive model.


Download data is not yet available.


Ablanedo, J., Aiken, M., and Vanjani, M. (2007). Efficacy of English to Spanish automatic translation. International Journal of Information and Operations Management Education, 2(2), 194-210.

Aiken, M. (2019). An updated evaluation of Google Translate accuracy. Studies in Linguistics and Literature, 3(3), 253-260.

Aiken, M. and Vanjani, M. (2009). Polyglot: A multilingual group support system. Issues in Information Systems, 10(2), 101-106.

Aiken, M., Wang, J., Gu, L., and Paolillo, J. (2011). An exploratory study of how technology supports communication in multilingual groups. International Journal of e-Collaboration 7(1), 17-29.

Bass, S. (1999). Machine vs. human translation. Advanced Language Translation, Inc.,

Biel, L. and Sosoni, V. (2017). The translation of economics and the economics of translation. Studies in Translation Theory and Practice. 25(3): Translation of Economics and the Economics of Translation, 351-361.

Cadwell, P., O’Brien, S., and Teixeira, C. (2017). Resistance and accommodation: Factors for the (non-) adoption of machine translation among professional translators. Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, 26(3), 301-321.

Cantor, S., Byrd, T., Groff, J., Reyes, Y., Tortolero-Luna, G., and Mullen, P. (2005). The language translation process in survey research: A cost analysis. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 27(3), 364-370.

DePalma, D. (2013). How to add post-edited MT to your service offerings. Cambridge, MA: Common Sense Advisory.

Doherty, S. (2016). The impact of translation technologies on the process and product of translation. International Journal of Communication, 10, 947-969.

Ferose, V., Pell, B., and Pratt, L. (2018). From the business of language to the language of business: The future of translation worldwide. Digitalist Magazine, May 17.

Ginsburgh, V., Weber, S., and Weyers, S. (2011). The economics of literary translation: Some theory and evidence. Poetics, 39(3), 228-246.

Green, S, Heer, J, and Manning, C. (2013). The efficacy of human post-editing for language translation. Association of Computing Machinery’s CHI 2013 Conference; April 27; Paris, France.

Guerberof, A. (2013). What do professional translators think about post-editing? The Journal of Specialized Translation.

Hendrickson, S., Harrison, T., Lopez, N., Zegarra‐Coronado, A., and Ricks, T. (2013). Translation cost, quality, and adequacy. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 45(2), 185-191.

Kaufman, S. (2019). Google Translate doesn’t work? The Linguist.

Läubli, S. and Carmona, D. (2017). When Google Translate is better than some human colleagues, those people are no longer colleagues. Translating and the Computer 39, London.

Liebesny, F. (1958). Economics of translation. Aslib Proceedings, 10(5), 115-123.

Pym, A. (1995). Translation as a transaction cost. Meta, 40(4), 594-605.

Richardson, S. (2012). Using the Microsoft Translator Hub at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. AMTA 2012, Proceedings of the Tenth Conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the Americas, San Diego, California, USA.

Translation Services (2017). What does the future of the translation industry look like?

Turner, A., Bergman, M., Brownstein, M., Cole, K., and Kirchhoff, K. (2014). A comparison of human and machine translation of health promotion materials for public health practice: Time, costs, and quality. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 20(5), 523–529.

Vanjani, M. and Aiken, M. (2020). A comparison of free online machine language translators. Journal of Management Science and Business Intelligence, 5 (1), 26-31.

Vashee, K. (2013). Understanding the economics of machine translation. Translation Spaces, 2(1), 125-149.

Williams, K., Aiken, M., and Pepper, W. (2012). Multilingual meetings and the time value of accurate translations. Business Research Yearbook. 19(1), 158-165.

Zhong, Y. (2006). Let's talk translation economically. A demonstration of re-articulating translation through economics terms. Across Languages and Cultures, 7(1), 77-92.




How to Cite

Aiken, M. ., & Park, M. (2021). An Economic Model of Machine Translation. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF COMPUTERS &Amp; TECHNOLOGY, 21, 76–83.



Research Articles