When an Online Translator Could Let You Down

Machine-Translation-
Many people, if they want a quick solution to getting a German translation done, turn to Google Translate, as the translation appears miraculously before their eyes in a matter of seconds. They may think it is a good as a human German English translator. However, these sorts of translation tools, whether they are for a German translation or into another language, don’t always turn out as accurately as one might expect.

An example of a translation inaccuracy turned up recently at Pontes, a Spanish town, which was advertising a local event. This was the annual food festival when the town’s advertising official used Google Translate to translate some key words from Spanish to the local language. A problem that took some time to reveal itself was the mistranslation of the word, “grelo,” which is a locally produced green vegetable. This was to be showcased at the festival but it was mistakenly translated to a word for a female body part. Once noticed it became a huge embarrassment for the community.

A Google spokesperson did say that Google Translate is a translating tool that is automatic and eliminates the need for human translator intervention because of the sophistication of the state-of-the-art technology. However, s/he did suggest that because it is a machine it is not always perfect and mistranslations do take place.

All languages have expressions or nuances that are not directly translatable and it is only through human intervention an accurate translation can be expected. So far translations conducted by machines have been developed to a certain extent but they are not yet completely perfect. Those who use the tools have to judge for themselves how likely the translation is to be accurate.

If the text they wish to get translated has specific expressions or idioms that need a precise German translation then a machine translation tool like Google Translate may not be up to it so it will be important to hire an English German translator who can quickly see what words are needed to ensure the translation is accurate. Sometimes using cheaper machine translator tools do not reap the best results.