In the early 2000s, Google entered the race to license its early translation technology, which was at this point, far from perfect. So, Google launched its machine translation solution, Google Translate, in 2006. Originally, Google used SMT (Statistical Machine Translation) to power its AI translation engine. By 2016, the team at Google added NMT (Neural Machine Translation) to Google Translate, using artificial intelligence to learn languages and improve knowledge constantly. Nowadays, Google Translate offers automatic translations for over 100 languages and real-time translation.
Let’s explore now both the advantages and disadvantages of Google Translate, then find out if we have a better alternative.
In terms of accuracy, some languages perform better than others in Google Translate. According to:
- Google Translate had 50% accuracy for languages like Afrikaans, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish, Chinese, Croatian, Dutch, Galician, Greek, Italian, and Latvian.
- However, translations for Kurdish, Nepali, Latin, Malaysian, Urdu, Māori, Cebuano, Georgian, Persian, Punjabi, and Uzbek were only 20% accurate.
Google Translate Advantages:
Whenever a quick and free way to translate is needed, Google Translate is considered a decent starting point – not perfect one – as it is:
- Evolving technology that builds knowledge to get smarter over time. As Google technology improves, machine translations will improve in quality.
- Despite accuracy issues, Google’s translation tools integrate with Google Chrome and Android devices to offer quick translations of websites all over the world.
- When you navigate to a foreign language website in the Chrome browser, a popup will offer free, automatic translations of 100+ languages.
- Helpful translation drafting tool, then the draft is post-edited by human translators; this can save time and lower translation costs.
Google Translate Disadvantages:
Using Google Translate on public website is quite risky and may negatively affect the global bran, as it is:
- Google Translate is notorious for making big mistakes in translation, ignoring slang and idioms, and corrupts grammar and syntax, which can be destructive to the brand.
- Google Translate has formatting problems, Text and Number formatting, which can be damaging in important pages like brand’s pricing and checkout pages.
- Google Translate can’t always understand the context in a language and struggles with unique cultural nuances like traditions, gestures, local places, and more.
- Google Translate has problems with Jargon and Industry Terminology that would be life-threatening mistakes in some industries, like in medical documents.
So, what better solution do we have?
When relying on Google Translate as the brand’s sole translator, you may get what you are looking for but unfortunately with low-quality translations, as free AI tools can’t deliver professional, coherent, easy-to-read pages.
Instead, resorting to a human translation service that uses both human and technological tools to deliver fast, accurate website translations and localization, is the best solution.
How does Contentech handle it?
Contentech uses a mix of human talents and technological tools to deliver the best language translation services in terms of quality and time, following a strict process to ensure unrivaled results, that involves:
- Research: Before proceeding with the document translation, the assigned team conducts introductory research that covers the type of the document, the purpose, the target audience, the style and tone, and other applied standards to keep consistency.
- Tools: For maximum efficiency, we use modern translation technologies, such as CAT tools (Computer-Assisted Translation), Machine Translation (MT), CMS (Content Management System), TMS (Translation Management System), etc., to provide the translators with the widest tray of options and the most perfect results.
- Translation: The source text is to converted to the target language while maintaining the original message, preserving the specialized terminology, idioms, cultural references, abbreviations, etc.
- Editing: The team of specialists starts a grammar and spell check process to make sure the translated text is free of typos, and a structure and style review is conducted to verify that it is clear, direct, and coherent.
- Formatting: The process also would involve a step for formatting the new translated text upon request, to look and feel like the original.
- Proofreading: It is an added value to detect any previously unnoticed or overlooked errors to guarantee the delivered content is perfectly error-free.
- Quality Assurance: It is the last step before submitting the final version where we check all the numerical errors, inconsistencies, double spaces, desktop publishing, then it is extracted in its final format and delivered for the client’s feedback and comments, if any.
Although Google Translate has its Pros like generating fast, easy, and free translations of many different languages, it has fatal Cons like it is far from perfect and lacks the nuance of a real native language. On the other side, human translation service providers, like Contentech, have their own advantages that ensure providing the best translations, meeting the global market requirements and customers’ backgrounds.