Is Google Translate Accurate?

By Atlas LS

In recent years, many people have attempted to use online translators such as Google Translate to save time and money. However, using Google Translate for your professional business can have negative consequences. While machine translation has improved, it is not 100% accurate and causes inaccuracies.

keyboard translate button - Is Google Translate Accurate

How Accurate is Google Translate?

In a recent study, Google Translate had around 85% percent accuracy. That may seem like a high percentage, but imagine if 15% of your work was translated incorrectly.

Google Translate uses an algorithm called Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) or “deep learning”. Google Translate breaks down given input into words or phrases. At that point, it compares those words or phrases to those in its database. Google Translate then uses the most frequently used translation, which can cause inaccuracies.

Translation quality varies based on the chosen language pair. Some of the most accurate translations are the Spanish-English language pair. But, even translations between these languages are not at the level for use by a business. Other languages have a lower level of accuracy. Some of these include Chinese, German, and Portuguese.

Importance of Accuracy for Legal or Conference Translations

Potential clients are likely to have a bad perception of the work quality of a business if there are translation inaccuracies. The bar is set even higher for translation accuracy when discussing legal translation work. Even more so than other fields, it is important that legal work and translations contain no mistakes.

Using Google Translate for a conference translation also poses a problem. Since conference translations are done in real-time from one language to another, if a translation is inaccurate, it can change the entire course of the meeting. It is also likely to give a negative perception of a company’s work quality.

Disadvantages of Google Translate

One disadvantage of Google Translate is that it does not pick up well on cultural context. There is no ability to add context to translations on Google Translate. This means the meaning is often lost in translation, such as sarcasm, jokes, and tone.

Additionally, there are commonly grammatical errors in texts. Google Translate cannot adhere precisely to grammar rules due to its algorithm. It chooses to use the most common translation in its database.

It’s Not All Bad

There are benefits to using Google Translate in some contexts. For example, using it for quick, short translations or trying to get the main idea of a text to assist in communication. However, a business should not use this program if the accuracy of its content is important.

In conclusion, the accuracy of translations is critical to business success. It is dangerous to leave the perception and reputation of a company to Google Translate, especially if a company works with legal translation or conference translation. The importance of using language translation services with human translators should not be underestimated when a business wants to send the correct message. For professional and reliable translation services, contact Atlas Language Services.