4 Reasons why Google is so much better than Translators

I have recently talked to quite a lot of people who are not into translation or interpreting. They are great supporters of Google Translate, and here are some of their reasons:

– Google Translate loads faster than any online dictionary
Its interface is free from ads, so it’s very quick to access it, especially when using a smart phone.

– Google Translate provides you with just one solution
You don’t have to skim through a dictionary’s entries, you are presented with just one, clean and easy to use solution.

– Google Translate translates sentences, whereas a dictionary only offers words
If I want a sentence translated NOW or at 2am, it’s there and I don’t have to ask someone

– Google Translate is free
No explanation needed here 😉

What did I say? We translators can’t compete with Google Translate simply because we offer a completely different product. We might be quick, but we’ll hardly ever be as immediate as a click on a button.

If you’re in a restaurant in Hungary and would like to know if you’re just about to order chicken or beef, Google Translate is a great idea (I can’t guarantee what the waiter/waitress will get you, though 😉 ), but not if you want your fancy name of a stylish delicacy to be conveyed in another language.

And you dear readers? Have you ever heard praising Google Translate? Please share some of its ‘pros’!

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About Chiara Vecchi

A blogging translator working from English and German into Italian. You are more than welcome to visit my blog https://squirreltranslations.wordpress.com!
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15 Responses to 4 Reasons why Google is so much better than Translators

  1. jeremy child says:

    I like google translate – for certain things. lt’s quick, easy to access, and free. It’s useful if you just want to check something unimportant (like what funkraum means, as I did yesterday), or get a broad idea of what something means.
    But despite the name, it is NOT translation, and I would never use it for anything important.

    • Hi Jeremy, it’s so nice to see you here on the blog! 😉 Thanks for sharing your experience. I have used Google Translate too,for example when I needed to check a few words in Czech, so it’s useful in its own way. What I don’t like is the analogy Google Translate = Translator, so I’m glad you make a difference between the two! 🙂

  2. Allan MacLeod says:

    Fortunately for me, Google Translate is currently little better than a dictionary when dealing with Turkic languages. To take a more or less random example, when inserting the headline from a recent news article I translated, Google Translate returns “Greek immigrant racists market turned down the battle field.” Turkish chokes Google up because the subject of a Turkish sentence is frequently implied and may or may not show up anywhere in a sentence, so here we end up with a market in which Greek immigrants sell racists, or perhaps just a market full of racist Greek immigrants. In this situation, the racists are actually the actors, so a more faithful translation would read “GREEK RACISTS TURNED AN IMMIGRANT MARKET INTO A WAR ZONE.”

    • Hi Allan and thanks a lot for this example! It’s great to see theat Google Translate can help, but it’s even better to see that at some point you need a person with a brain to check its output.

      • giupina says:

        Well, I don’t agree on this last sentence. this is an old banter on artificial intelligence. Check this (http://translate.google.com/about/intl/it_ALL/) on how google translate works:
        “for some languages however there are fewer translated documents and therefore fewer patterns that our software has detected. this is why the translations could vary by language and language pairs”

      • Hi Giupina and thanks for commenting! Surely Google Translate’s work differs depending on the language, but even if I were translating between two very well supported languages – let’s say English and Italian – Google’s output would be different from a human one, especially if there are hidden meanings that a machine will hardly detect. However, thanks for pointing out that there are some languages, such as Urdu and Tamil, which are still being developed 🙂

  3. Pingback: 4 Reasons why Google is so much better than Translators | LinguaGreca | Scoop.it

  4. Iris Steiner says:

    I really liked your blog entry and I would like to add one more reason: you can create fantastic “poems” with it… That’s especially true when you try to translate some Urdu into German. Something I happen to do a lot… 😀

  5. Google Translate CAN be very useful. I have it running in a separate window whilst I translate with a CAT tool, so I’m in a good position to evaluate it. Sometimes GT produces amazingly good results and is as good or even better than a human translator… but then the next line is totally off again.
    This is its Achilles heel: DEPENDABILITY
    You just cannot depend on it as you can on a human translator. GT sometimes gets the context and sometimes it doesn’t. You can never know when it will and when it won’t.
    GT is like free public transport without a schedule. It can be better sometimes, but you wouldn’t want to have to depend on it for important stuff.

  6. Pingback: 4 Reasons why Google is so much better than Translators | Translation Tools | Scoop.it

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  8. Rose Newell says:

    Small note re: how Google Translate functions… In rare language combinations where there isn’t much of a corpus, say, Japanese to Turkish, it will use English as a go-between. In some other languages, it will use the corpus of say, Turkish to Spanish, because it at least exists, but you may get a better result by first translating to English and then into Spanish. It’s a practical solution, however English is pretty poor as a choice for interlingual machine translation, since it has its own peculiarities, like every language. In my original example, Japanese to Turkish, it should be noted that there is no he or she for people in either. So any translation risks turning into it, and then “the object”….

    …Anyway, your question:
    Simple – it gives a rough idea, and awakens curiosity. People often come to me with questions about Google Translate – why it did this or that. It makes them, eventually, realise that what I/we do is quite clever. Something machines cannot manage to get right.

    • Thanks for your comment Rose! I’m especially intrigued by the fact that people value your (our) activity after they ran a text into Google. The more comments this post get, the more I learn! 😀

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