Businesses and individuals looking to transform texts from one language to another may turn their attention to Google Translate. It’s free, easy-to-use and delivers results fast. But many users question the accuracy – especially considering these jaw-dropping Google Translate fails.
In this blog, I look at Google Translate in more detail and reveal the pros and cons of using online translation tools. Plus, more specifically, how accurate Google Translate is.
What is Google Translate?
Launched in 2006, Google Translate allows users to automatically translate texts from one language to another for free. You simply enter an individual word or phrase into the box, select the existing language, choose the language you want to translate it into, and Google does the hard work for you – in real time.
Originally, Google used documents from the United Nations and European Parliament to obtain its linguistic data. But since then, the services have been updated thanks to machine learning and AI. In 2016, Google moved its translation services to Neural Machine Translation (NMT), enhancing its abilities with credible linguistic sources.
Does Google Translate work?
If you want to quickly translate a short phrase or sentence, or even a single word, then Google Translate can be a useful tool. However, for businesses and individuals looking to translate more than one sentence including essays, novels, articles, and even crucial communications, Google Translate should not be relied on.
This is because Google uses Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) which breaks down a phrase into words and finds a match in the database. These words are then put together to create the sentence translation. Instead of translating a sentence as a whole, the words in the sentence are translated word for word – and this has a direct impact on the context.
What’s more, as Google’s services are powered by technology, it lacks the understanding and awareness that a human translator boasts. For example, some words have several different meanings and Google could pick the wrong definition.
That’s not all. Other drawbacks to Google Translate include grammatical errors as the system doesn’t take these into account. There’s also no reporting method so if you spot an issue in the translated content, you can’t flag it.
So, what’s the verdict?
Free-to-use and accurate for single word translation, Google Translate does have a place in the world. However, it can’t be denied that there are limitations to its usefulness and language pairs. If you just want to know a certain word in another language, then Google Translate is great. However, if you want to translate something significant – in either length or meaning – it’s wise to invest in professional translation from humans.
After all, whether you want to bridge the language barrier gap, engage with audiences in another target language or simply understand a piece of work in your own language, nothing can beat the power of real people and native speakers. For more information on how I could help you to transform your documents with accurate translation, visit my services page or contact Aurea Translations at firstname.lastname@example.org.