If you want to know something, you Google it. That’s what we do now, right? In my previous life as a high school teacher, I once had a student who was typing out an essay in class ask me, “Mister, how many countries are there in the EU?” This should be a normal sort of teacher-student interaction. The young student comes to me, and I, in all my wisdom, share my knowledge. Except my gut reaction and immediate response was, “Why are you asking me? You’re on the computer. Google it.” To be honest, I was a little disappointed in his judgement. Google knows everything. I’ve got no clue. I would have just Googled it anyways.

professional translation company A Plus Translations

Using Google Translate

So if Google is the end all be all of information, it would stand to reason that if we want to know how to translate something, then we would use Google Translate. Their translations have to be good, right? I mean, this is Google we’re talking about. Machine learning algorithms, AI, neural network deep learning, all that big-brain stuff.

Except… If you’ve used Google Translate before, then you know it’s kind of a mess.

For a very rudimentary test, I took a short text in English, ran it through ten languages in Google Translate, then did a back translation into English to compare the results with the original. If you’re curious, it was English -> French -> Chinese -> Russian -> Spanish -> Japanese -> Dutch -> Vietnamese -> German -> Finnish -> Greek -> English.

The original:

Google Translate gets a bad rap because it struggles with slang and can go a bit haywire when trying to translate figurative language, but if you’re just looking for a single word or quick reference, then it’s worth a shot. Even a couple of paragraphs of elementary-school-level text should work for most languages. If you’re dealing with any kind of abstract language or fancy artistic stuff, forget it.

After multiple translations with Google Translate:

Google Translate is bad because it defies professional language and can be a bit outdated when translating images, but if you are just looking for a word or a quick guide, it’s well worth it. Some preparatory texts should apply to most languages. If you are dealing with abstract language or strange art, forget it.

The verdict?

Pretty bad. It was able to hold on to the middle section, but the beginning doesn’t really make sense, much less convey the original message. The end is okay, except “strange art” might be a bit insulting.

Hire A Professional Translations Company To Do The Job

So if you just need help with your Spanish vocab homework or want to know what the name of that French restaurant actually means, Google Translate is great. If you’re working on a big project, trying to get into a new market, or money’s involved, then you need to do better. That’s when you can turn to the reliable translation services from APlus Translations.

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