As we all own a smartphone and we have internet at our fingertips, we turn to the simplest option: an online translator and, more specifically, Google Translate, the most well-known of all.
This translator was launched in 2006 and has become one of Google's most popular tools. The platform receives over 200 million visits per day, and currently supports 103 languages.
Despite its increasing accuracy in translations of English and Spanish, the most widely spoken languages in the world, the tool simply cannot guarantee accurate and reliable translations in any language. Furthermore, in the case of languages such as Basque or other less widely spoken languages, it is even more difficult to find reliable translations. There are other online translators beyond Google Translate, such as DeepL. Both are online translators, and there is something of a rivalry between them; get to know the differences between Google Translate and DeepL. However, neither is a translation tool which can be trusted 100%, as online translators present certain disadvantages.
What are the disadvantages of Google Translate?
As an online translation tool, i.e., a machine, it can only translate automatically and mechanically. In other words, it is designed to translate but not to interpret.
This is one of the major drawbacks of an online translation system, such as Google Translate, compared to translations carried out by a qualified and experienced translator.
What are the other disadvantages of Google Translate?
Yes, there are a few:
- The translation will never be perfect: although an online translation tool may be able to deliver a relatively accurate translation, it cannot compare with the quality and accuracy of a translation made by an experienced human translator.
- Grammatical errors: as we mentioned earlier, a robot produces a mechanical translation, without taking into account the sense of the sentence. A human translator not only translates, but also interprets the general context to give the translation meaning.
- Expressions and colloquial language: Just as current machine translation technology often cannot make sense of a sentence, neither is it capable of localising text to specific cultures or languages or interpreting colloquial or figurative expressions.
So, as a machine translator has no interpretative or cultural knowledge of the language, it will be able to translate word by word but it won't understand the text as a whole. A professional translator, however, is able to ensure an accurate, grammatically correct translation which takes the overall meaning into account.
So, if you are looking for an accurate, high-quality and natural-sounding translation, your best option is to hire the services of a professional translator. At ATLS, we are specialists in translation and interpretation. Request your instant quote!
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