Most business owners and operators who require language translation to keep their companies running have likely heard of Google Translate. For those who haven’t, it is a completely free translation service that Google provides that has the ability to translate single words, complete sentences and even web pages between any of the 64 languages the program currently supports. 

Sounds great, doesn’t it? 

The problem (or one of them) is that the “intelligent guesses” Google Translate throws out are often not so intelligent at all. They do admit right on the website that this “statistical machine translation” isn’t always perfect, but using it for your business translations could create a whole lot of problems.

Lost in Translation

With so many different languages, and considering they come up with their answers by “detecting patterns in documents that have already been translated by human translators,” it’s likely mistakes will be made. It also stands to reason that some translations will confuse, alarm or even offend some readers. It’s easy to find dozens of samples of some pretty funny Google Translate translations, but do you really want to risk a mistake like that when your company’s name is attached to it?

Perception is Everything

If reality was always the determining factor when it came to forming opinions and taking actions, the world would be much different. However, perception rules the day much of the time, and if your business puts out web pages, ads, letters or articles that have been inaccurately translated, the perception of your company will be poor.

People will see you as unprofessional, unintelligent, offensive, and the embarrassment may carry on for a long time. In today’s digital marketplace, information is shared in an instant, and if your translation becomes one of the funny and ridiculous Google Translate examples, it could be out there for years.

The Right Way to Do It

If translating text from one language to another is part of how your business operates, being lazy will get you nowhere. It is important that the message you are trying to get across doesn’t lose anything when it is translated, and an automated service can’t always provide that.

Google Translate is free, but a literal translation won’t always equal an accurate translation, and you’ll be the one who suffers in the end. Some translation services will even charge you to translate your documents and then use Google Translate to do it. So, you’re paying for a free service that doesn’t even work properly most of the time.

If your business needs translation services to operate and grow, then make sure you take it seriously. Avoid Google Translate, and when you approach a translation company, ask how they go about translating your work.

Insist on real people who speak both languages fluently and can capture the meaning of your message, without losing a thing. Contact us today and we’ll help point you in the right direction.