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Why Not to Rely On Google Translate

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Google does a great job at many things. Unfortunately, if you want a quick translation, they’re not the folks to trust. Here are just a few reasons why Google translate is bad:

  • Lack of contextual understanding

  • Limited range of languages and dialects

  • Cannot be certified

  • High risk of user error

  • Quality can degrade through multiple translations

Now, this should not be taken to mean that Google translate has no use whatsoever. For example, if you are simply curious about a word or phrase, go ahead and use this simple tool. You may not receive the best accurate translation, but there’s no harm done. Another use is as a traveler in limited situations. For example, let’s say you encounter an unfamiliar sign or wish to know the ingredients of an item you see on a cafe menu. Google translate works well here as well. Otherwise, you are better off using other means to have things translated for you. Here are four ways to obtain quick and accurate translations.


Use Free Translation Programs And Apps


While they are not a substitute for qualified, human translators there are some decent programs and apps that can provide quick and accurate translations. Some even have nifty features such as recording audio and providing translations, or scanning text and then translating it. If you choose to use technology like this, it is imperative to do your due diligence. Research these apps before you download and use them. Check out reviews that other customers have written. Also, be sure the app you plan to use includes your language and region. For example, a program that is able to translate Spanish to English for users in Spain may not function as well for users in Mexico or Central America.

Read also: How Much Do Translators Make in the US and Worldwide?


Work With a Professional Translation Company


If you cannot afford mistakes and if accuracy is truly important to you, online translation companies are the only way to go. While you may associate these firms with big translation projects, a trustworthy translation service should be able to tackle any translation task. This includes small jobs that need to be done quickly. In fact, you should be able to contact any reputable company with your small translation requests and receive your completed work shortly thereafter. Even better, when you use professional translating services, you can opt to have those certified. This means that the translation will be acceptable to local governments and other entities.

We strongly recommend this option above all others. While there may be times when it isn’t necessary, this is truly the only way to get a translation that is guaranteed to be accurate. If that is important to you, take the time to work with a reputable service.


Use Reliable Crowdsourced Translating


A third option you have is relying on crowdsourcing to meet your translation needs. This can work. However, it is imperative that you find the right crowd. You cannot trust crowdsourced translation if you don’t know how the participants are qualified. For example, if you crowdsource a translation project to a discussion forum of language instructors, linguists, and native speakers, you can probably trust your results. Unfortunately, some crowdsourcing websites do not provide any quality control or oversight. This means anyone can weigh in on a translation, and that can cause serious inaccuracies.


Connect With a Native Speaker


Finally, consider connecting with a friend or acquaintance who is a native speaker. You might even try your local bank as they frequently have translators available. While this is not a feasible option for all, it is one to be considered should it be available to you.

Read also: The hardest languages to learn for english speakers.



There are several translation options that outdo Google translate by a wide margin. Still, your best bet for accurate translation will always be a tried and true translation services which you also can find online.