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IELTS Writing Sample #161

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Machine translation (MT) is slower and less accurate than human translation and there is no immediate or predictable likelihood of machines taking over this role from humans.

Do you agree or disagree?

Write at least 250 words.

Model answer

Read the following sample answer. Complete the answer by filling the gaps with a word or phrase from the box below.

on the contrary for instance especially because
for these reasons in order to it is true of course
similarly however it seems to me for example

It is true that there have been great advances in technology over the last forty years. .................... the use of mobile phones and e-mail communication are common these days. ...................., machines that translate from one language to another are still in their early stages.

.................... that a machine could never do as good a job as a human, .................... when it comes to interpreting what people are saying. ...................., machines can translate statements such as “Where is the bank?” but even simple statements are not always straightforward .................... the meaning depends on more than just words. .................... the word “bank” has a number of different meanings in English. How does a translating machine know which meaning to take?

.................... understand what people are saying, you need to take into account the relationship between the speakers and their situation. A machine cannot tell the difference between the English expression “Look out!” meaning “Be careful!” and “Look out!” meaning “Put your head out of the window”. You need a human being to interpret the situation.

.................... with written language, it is difficult for a machine to know how to translate accurately .................... we rarely translate every word. ...................., we try to take into consideration how the idea would be expressed in the other language. This is hard to do .................... every language has its own way of doing and saying things.

.................... I feel that it is most unlikely that machines will take the place of humans in the field of translating and interpreting. If machines ever learn to think, perhaps then they will be in a position to take on this role.

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