Over 200 million people use Google Translate on a monthly basis. It translates more words in a single day than all translators put together can translate in a year. It breaks down language barriers and helps people to communicate in a world with roughly 6,500 languages. Yet, even in an official blog post by a Google employee, it is admitted that nothing beats a human translator. That is why I'm here to give you 5 reasons why Google Translate is better than a human translator.
1. Google Translate is faster than a human translator
When you're sitting in that authentic Spanish tapas restaurant in Barcelona and you order some drinks and the waitress asks "con hielo?" after a couple of tippity-taps on your smartphone you will know within seconds that she is asking if you'd like ice in your drinks. Okay, you wouldn't be able to have a full-blown error-free conversation but it will get you by in those little situations.
2. Google Translate is Free
Okay, so Google Translate is free to use. But is it worth it? That depends entirely on what it is you want to translate. It might be worth the risk if what you need to translate is a simple sentence you have come across in another language that you don't understand and if you aren't relying on the translation to bring you money. If it's something for your own personal use that won't have a major impact if there's a mistranslation then Google Translate could do the job. If it is a document that is critical to your business, e.g. a contract, instructions, legal documents or terms and conditions then it is important that you get an expert to translate these. After all, you get what you pay for and if you don't pay anything...
3. Google Translate can help your business reach a foreign market
Okay, so by using Google Translate to reach a more global audience you will indeed reach them. However, you would probably end up giving them the completely wrong impression of your business. One thing that Google Translate lacks is the ability to mimic nuances and style. Maybe you use idioms, or some tongue-in-cheek phrases to give your business that touch of down-to-earth relatable feel. Google Translate doesn't have the ability to pick up on that, it will translate it literally which could result in your text coming across as rude or simply non-sensical. For business translation, you need a human translator who can really get to know your brand and who can write natively in the style which you wish to achieve.
4. Google Translate probably isn't better than a human translator
I mean, I know I said in my first point that it would get you by in short conversational settings... I lied.
5. Okay, I lied there are not 5 reasons Google Translate is better than a human translator. Sorry.
It can be a useful resource (sort-of) but my one piece of advice is to never rely on it and never claim that you translated something yourself if Google Translate did it for you. Of course, as a translator myself I can admit that at times it can be a good aid and I acknowledge fully that it has come a long way, as has all technology. But, it will never be able to mimic the decisions the brain of a human translator makes when deciding which words to use, how to phrase a term and how to write in a way that carries across the style and tone of the original text.
So, if you clicked on this to ACTUALLY find out why Google Translate is better, then I'm sorry but you will have to look elsewhere for that.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to check out my previous blog posts on translation.
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