Free online language translation software can be hard to trust. The longer the text needed in the document, the more likely the translated document will be incorrect. Even good language translation software still requires a human translator to sift through the grammatical mistakes and make sure the sentences makes sense.
Unfortunately, there is still a big enough need for free online translation software that companies from Google to SDL, keep it up and running. Don’t get me wrong, though, there are still some good uses for this type of software. For example, if you’re trying to figure out a single sentence in an unfamiliar language but won’t ever use it again, it would be a waste of time and money to purchase pricey translation software, so, I can understand the need. The problems with this type of software arise when people put all their faith in it without first communicating with someone who remotely understands the target language. Just knowing how huge the difference is between free and paid translation software is vital. One great example of this is from Jesse Browner, a writer for slate.com, who experimented with the accuracy of various translation software programs. What she found, of course, was nothing too unexpected. The free programs tended to perform poorly. A well-known word like the Italian “youth” could not be identified in the free programs. Unable to find a proper word for it, the translation machine would revert the unknown word back to the original language and go on its merry way. Even later into her experiment, when she dealt with paid translation software, she still encountered problems. Unsurprisingly, the paid language translation software didn’t have trouble with spelling, rather it had a difficult time with the context of the sentence. Computers, as you know, are not exactly human, so they cannot make the appropriate associations between certain words and sentences that only a human can identify. As Browner so humbly puts it, “A computer simply cannot read context.” Why not make it more simple for everyone? Contact a real translator and get it done correctly. Translators are a great resource, because while they may use translation software to speed up productivity, they have an eye to sift through any mistakes to make the document more readable and exciting so you don’t have to.