Google Translate has been around for more than 10 years and it did help many people communicate effectively regardless of language differences. Can you guess the number of people using Google Translate? It’s 500 million people! Meanwhile the entire population of European Union is just about 510 million people, as of 2016. What is more astonishing is that Google Translate translates more than 100 billion words per day! Today, Google Translate has become the world’s most popular machine translation tool. And like any other tools, Google Translate has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Google Translate is fast
Human translators cannot compete with the speed of Google Translate. It is incredibly fast, therefore, you can have your document translated in just a blink of an eye, no matter the length of text. Meanwhile a professional translator can just translate about 2,500 words in an average work day.
Google Translate is free
It costs nothing to use Google Translate. All you need is Internet connection to access the tool and then have your document translated for free.
Google Translate is convenient
You do not have to contact the translators and discuss the work or the lengthy terms of contract. All you need to do is typing or just pasting the text to get immediate translation.
It’s not ideal for confidential documents
It might save a lot of time and reduce costs, however when it comes to important/ confidential or creative documents, Google Translate is not the best idea. Free translation platform like Google Translate cannot assure the safety and confidentiality of your documents. You should work with a translation agency who offers Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to protect the translated content.
Google Translate cannot provide a perfectly accurate translation
After more than 10 years of development, GT now supports 103 languages, however, it’s still far from perfect. The accuracy and perfectness of Google Translation are still in the development process with the help of machine learning and human volunteers. Furthermore, machine cannot understand the context of the content and nuances of the words, which results in mistranslation. Meanwhile translation agencies have the ISO certification and also quality assurance practices to ensure the accuracy of their works.
There is no proofreading
There is no guarantee that your content has been translated accurately with Google Translate. Meanwhile the translation process of language agency always includes copy editing, client review, formatting and proofreading. Those steps will ensure the perfect accuracy of your translated documents.
It requires Internet connection to use Google Translate
Without Internet connection, you cannot use Google Translate. What would happen if your project is in a rush and you have limited access to the Internet?
Using Google Translate for your website has certain drawbacks
The automated translation system has been known to produce some hilarious literal translations. Do you want your website to say something that might cause misunderstanding and embarrassment to the brand? Of course you don’t. Using Google Translate widget on your website is a convenient way to communicate with local customers. However, if you want more accurate translations, you should consider website localization.
Machine translation like Google has certain advantages and can be really helpful, especially for travelers and non-business users. However, when it comes to important or confidential documents, relying on a translation agency is the best idea. Furthermore, with literature or creative documents, human brain is always more accurate. Therefore, if you want a perfectly accurate translation and complete safety for your documents, you probably should consider working with a professional translation agency.