Why Google Translate Might Not Be Reliable

If you have a business document, paperwork, or an employee manual that is originally written in English and you need it translated into Spanish, you may think using Google Translate is a simple, inexpensive solution. While Google Translate English to Spanish is a free tool, it doesn’t always provide accurate results.

Largely, Google Translate cannot translate the meaning of one phrase from English to Spanish if the phrase has no direct translation. Additionally, it can provide typos, incorrect words, and grammatical errors that are unprofessional and embarrassing. Incorrect translation can also cause legal issues, among many other problems.  Let’s look at some reasons why Google Translate can be detrimental for business use when it comes to translating your important documents and paperwork.

Google Translate English to Spanish Raleigh

How Does Google Translate Work?

Google Translate is an online translation service that supports more than 100 different languages. It allows you to translate various words, phrases, and text. Google Translate uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide the best translation services it can. While it can translate word for word, it cannot interpret colloquialisms and deliver the desired tone of the material.

Why Do People Use Google Translate?

Many people turn to Google Translate because it’s quick and convenient. Without doing their homework, people will plug a document or text into Google Translate to get results. While it can quickly translate word for word, it’s not the best solution. There are several problems you may uncover while using Google Translate. When people realize that the system isn’t foolproof, they turn to a professional translator who can offer superior translation services. When you choose the right translator, you can trust that your translation needs have been done correctly and accurately the first time.

Reasons to Avoid Using Google Translate

Google Translate Doesn’t Provide Context

In communication, both written and spoken, context is key. Google Translate English to Spanish often provides specific, literal translations for words and phrases, but when you attempt to translate a metaphor or an idiom, the returned translation is often nonsense. Instead of creating a word-by-word translation, our professional English to Spanish translators can take the context of the document and translate any idioms or figures of speech into an equivalent phrase.

This translation failure is a great example of the phrase “lost in translation.”  The common English term “beat around the bush” translates into Dutch as “Versla de bush,” but when it is put back in English, Google translates it as “defeat the bush.” While there are the same general words, they have very different meanings.

Google Translate Can Glitch

Even in simple communication, Google Translate is not reliable. Machine translation, like any automation, gets bugs and glitches, sometimes causing it to return incorrect information. Because the algorithm scans online information looking for patterns in millions of resources, if it picks up words in a different context, the translation will come back with errors.

It’s also important to note that users can manually suggest alternative translations or be a part of the Google Translate Community in which users volunteer to translate new words and phrases or validate existing translations. 

Fun Fact: In 2015, Google had to manually fix bugs in their algorithm after the phrase “Russian Federation” kept translating as “Mordor” from Lord of the Rings due to user feedback, and “Russians” was translated as “occupiers.”

Risk of Confidentiality Breach

While free services like Google Translate English to Spanish can save time and money, they are not required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). This means they may sell your information to a third-party buyer. If you are looking to translate business documents, this can result in complex legalities for your business.

If you want to translate data such as medical documents, financial reports, or other documents that include personal information, you’ll want to use a professional, human translating service.

Can Cause Legal & Safety Issues

In the case of translating an employee handbook where the wrong words can put someone at a safety risk or give them wrong information, you can’t afford mistakes. You can’t rely on Google Translate to prevent this from happening.

Does Not Understand Your Target Audience

Since Google Translate English to Spanish is automated, it misses the human touch of understanding your target audience. It will simply translate word for word, not taking into consideration cultural cues or habits. A human translator will be better able to understand your needs and adapt the text to appeal to your target audience.

Can’t Create the Desired Tone

When you rely on Google to translate your documents, it won’t be able to produce the desired tone you want. If you are translating business documents, you have developed a tone that aligns with your company’s values. Google will not be able to pick up on the tone you’re hoping to achieve. A professional translator will be able to understand your objectives and make sure that it comes through with the translation.

May Not Account for Regional Dialects

Since Google uses a machine translation system, it can’t understand the nuances that come with everyday language, especially when you’re talking about dialects and accents. Google Translate is going to be bland and overly generic, compared with having documents translated by a professional translator who can bring life to your text.

You Will Still Need to Proofread

When you’re using Google Translate English to Spanish, you’re still going to need to proofread the material. There may be grammatical mistakes that the system creates or doesn’t catch in the translation.

Reasons to Use a Professional English to Spanish Translator

There are several reasons why using a professional translator is preferred over Google Translate English to Spanish.

  • Translations will be grammatically correct and error-free
  • Maintain the overall tone and message of the document
  • Avoid embarrassing professional mistakes
  • Ability to convey the objective of translation
  • Ability to ask questions about translation
  • Respects the privacy and sensitivity of documents

Choosing an English to Spanish translator also allows your words and context to be better connected. Many words have multiple meanings which can be challenging for an automated system to pick up on. A human translator will be better able to understand these concepts and ensure that the right words are being used in the proper context.

Documents Professional Translators Can Best Assist With

Legal Documents

Legal documents such as contracts, patents, and lawsuits all require precise translation. 

Medical Documents

Any patient records and treatment plans must be translated accurately while maintaining confidentiality, so you’ll want to have a professional translator such as English to Spanish Raleigh who can translate documents and sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep your patient’s information secure.

Business Negotiations

You’ll benefit from the services of a professional translator when it comes to making important business negotiations to ensure all ideas are communicated properly. As previously mentioned, the meaning of a word can often get blurred when translating from Spanish to English, so you’ll reap the benefits of having your meaning properly conveyed by a professional.

Marketing & Advertising Material

Perhaps you have an international business that already has marketing materials in another language. If you want those marketing materials translated into another language, a professional translator can help and ensure accurate translation the first time. A professional translator can make sure your business message is properly conveyed.

Request Translation Services from a Professional Translator Today

If you’re tired of getting unreliable translations, turn to English to Spanish Raleigh. Our professional translators have a tried and true 5-step process that guarantees accurate translation results the first time. Our native Spanish speaking translators prepare, translate, edit and format documents before proofreading them with our internal team and handing the final translated product back to you. To learn more and request a quote, call us at  919-629-0020 or fill out the form below.