Reading time: 5 mins

It is almost certain that you have at least heard the name ChatGPT in the last few months. This AI-powered tool has taken the world by storm, opening up several discussions on how it and other similar tools will fundamentally change the way we work. Scenarios vary from utopian to downright terrifying – not necessarily in the form of a Terminator-like future, but rather by way of uncertainty of which jobs or even whole industries may become obsolete thanks to technological advancements. The translation industry is one that frequently ends up high on such lists. We have addressed the influence of machine translation (MT) before, but now let us have a look at AI models and how they may transform our line of work on the example of ChatGPT.

What is ChatGPT?

Chat GPT is an AI model for conversational interactions, designed to generate human-like responses and assist with various tasks. People can use ChatGPT for a wide range of tasks, including getting instant answers to questions, seeking information on various topics, receiving language translations, generating content, brainstorming ideas, and engaging in natural language conversations for entertainment or assistance purposes.

It may not come as a surprise that the above paragraph was in fact not written by our team at Alamma, but rather by ChatGPT asked to describe itself. As a fun experiment, we decided to integrate responses generated by the model throughout this article. Now that the cat is out of the bag, other unedited responses from ChatGPT will be italicised.

ChatGPT as a translator

Here is what ChatGPT has to say about its use as a translation tool:

ChatGPT can be used for translation by inputting text in one language and receiving the translated text in another language as output. Users can interact with ChatGPT in their native language, providing sentences or phrases they want to translate. The model’s language processing capabilities enable it to understand the input text, analyse its meaning, and generate a translation in the desired language. However, it is important to note that while ChatGPT can assist with translation, it may not always provide the same level of accuracy and nuanced understanding as a human translator, especially for complex or context-dependent translations. Therefore, it is advisable to use ChatGPT as a supportive tool in conjunction with human expertise to ensure the highest quality translations.

It has to be stressed that ChatGTP is not primarily a tool for translation. If prompted, it can certainly translate words, phrases, or entire paragraphs from one language to another, but as it warns, it is not able to guarantee high-quality translations of complex and nuanced texts at the level of a human translator. That being said, it is able to provide users with simple, everyday translations that may help them understand a piece of writing in a foreign language, much like other MT tools, such as Google Translate or DeepL.

In contrast with those tools, it can actually do more thanks to its ability to follow additional instructions. You may for example prompt ChatGPT to not just translate a sentence, but do it in a specific way, such as specifying the variant of the language (e.g. Australian English) or register. Can it do this reliably? We will put this to the test in our next article.

Other uses of ChatGPT in the translation industry

While ChatGPT’s main strength may not be translation itself, it can be helpful as a support tool. Here is what it claims:

ChatGPT can support the translation industry by offering instant language assistance, aiding in terminology research, providing context-specific suggestions, and aiding in post-editing tasks. Its ability to understand and generate human-like responses can enhance productivity, efficiency, and accuracy in translation workflows, benefiting translators and language professionals.

The tool may thus aid translators and other professionals by suggesting ideas, research sources, and starting points. Even so, we must remain vigilant, as ChatGPT has been caught making stuff up and being generally unreliable. We can look at it as an imperfect assistant, who is able to scour its vast amount of data much quicker than we can, but who is also not on par with a person’s ability to critically assess information. We should also keep security and privacy in mind when using it: although ChatGPT does encrypt data, it still learns from users’ prompts and responses. It is thus not advisable to ask it to translate sentences or paragraphs that may contain sensitive or confidential information about you or your company.

AI models are undoubtedly part of our future and they can only continue to improve. Whether they will ever make our jobs obsolete remains to be seen, but we do not have to worry about emptying our desks just yet. Still, it is vital to stay on top of technological advancements and make the best of what they have to offer.

We typically end our articles with a call to action to get in touch if you have comments, questions, or require our services. This time, ChatGPT did it for us:

We value your feedback and are ready to assist you with any inquiries or translation requirements. Reach out to us at for prompt and reliable language solutions.