We’ve said for a long time that friends don’t let friends use Google Translate. I love a good love story, though, and after reading this one, I thought it was important to clarify that statement.
Google Translate is good for falling in love when you’re an American journalist and a French UN peacekeeper. In this context, a translation like this is acceptable, as the meaning is conveyed – even if the form is a bit awkward:
“I’m glad to have could to see you. It was very sweet and ardor this night. I like the contact with your skin.”
I personally use Google Translate when instant messaging with my friends in Israel, when I want to respond faster than I otherwise could in my increasingly-rusty Hebrew. In a business setting, Google Translate comes in handy for getting a quick understanding of emails and websites in other languages. When you want a high-level understanding of a document or don’t yet know if the information it contains is important, machine translation is great option.
When you care about communicating clearly and accurately with your audience, however, Google Translate is not the way to go. When you want to reach out to a multilingual market and therefore include a Google Translate plugin on your website, that tells your audience that you want their business – but that you just don’t care enough to work for it. As sophisticated as it is, machine translation continues to produce awkward sentences, strange syntax and overly-literal translation. And it just doesn’t get nuance.
Sure it’s more expensive to work with a translation agency, but when you do, you get the best of technology and humans together. You get certified translators and editors who can leverage computer-assisted translation tools – different from machine translation – to create a translation that represents your voice in another language, while taking into account important cultural nuances.
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