Translation Matters. Why Your Business Should Not Rely On Google Translate.

Translation Matters. Why Your Business Should Not Rely On Google Translate.

Today, Google Translate is recognized as the fast and easy way to translate. But when it comes to a specific business need for a firm, is Google Translate the way to go?

Before we delve into the relevance of Professional translators, it is important to understand how Google Translate truly works. Google Translate is nothing but a statistical machine translation system. It doesn’t try to unpick or understand anything. All it does is look for similar translated texts, scrolling thorough webpages. Once it finds the most likely existing match Google Translate coughs it up, raw or, if necessary, lightly cooked.

Thus essentially what it tries to do is simulate what we suppose goes on in a translator’s head.

Here are 4 reasons why you need to go to a professional translator for that critical business translation:

  1. A machine is a machine

A program can be used to translate, but you can’t expect them to pick up the broader themes or the business context in which the document is written. A professional translator will spend time understanding the needs of the client- who is my target audience? Is the translation for a marketing document or is it a text informing people of a critical medical issue?

  1. Confidentiality matters

When you understand how Google Translate works, it is clear that Google needs to access earlier translated data for it to give relevant results and improve the quality of their output.  A thorough read of Google Translate Terms and Services reveals that:

“When you upload, submit, store, send or receive content to or through our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content.”

For most companies and their client confidentiality of documents is a pre-requisite.   Thus using a ‘free’ translation service could turn out to be very costly.

  1. Small jumble can lead to large consequences

Many times we have seen literal translations and laughed at how they have butchered the meaning. But a brand cannot afford to have embarrassing errors in their translated documents.

In 2016, there was a major news item on Google Translate when translation of the words Russian Federation from Ukrainian into Russian returned the word Mordor, the evil fictional realm in J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

  1. Logic vs. Memory- Logic wins

Translation is not a binary process. Many words or phrases may have several possible translations depending on its meaning. For instance, the English verb “run”, as per lexicographer of the Oxford English Dictionary has 645 different meanings! While a program can remember this, it is extremely difficult for it to figure out which of all translations is the correct. While professional translators may not remember all 645 interpretations, they can understand which one is the more appropriate in context of the text. Of course, with human translation, you need someone who understands the subject matter, which is why our translators are not just fluent in the language but in the topic they are translating into.

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