Google Translate uses a type of Machine Translation (MT), which is software that translates text from one language to another instantaneously. Simply put, MT substitutes words in one language for another. Oftentimes, MT isn’t enough on its own because language isn’t a simple replacement of words. In fact, Jimmy Fallon of The Tonight Show has taken advantages of this by creating a series of clips with famous people where he and the guest sing snippets of songs that have been run through Google Translate. The result? Hilarious translations! Here’s one clip with Anne Hathaway – enjoy!
Fortunately, not all translations from Google Translate turn out like the fun Tonight Show clips. Businesses can leverage MT only or with some level of editing in certain situations, such as if you need a really quick translation and/or just need to understand the basics of the content. However, for a high-quality result, translation needs context, full phrasing and a database of terminology, which requires using professional human translators with a proofreading step.
Relying on previous experience with the language – this is common for new translators, who have just started work. They can feel confident due to the fact that they have previously worked with the language as teachers, for example, but are not familiar with the best practices or tips of translation
These errors can easily be avoided if you are aware of them. A wonderful trait to have as a translator is curiosity. Learning new things and always developing new and old skills is very important.