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Translation software: four myths busted

25 November 2015

Technology is a miracle; nothing is impossible. This appears to be the same for translation software. These applications are becoming increasingly better at approaching a translation done by an actual person. At least, that’s what is eagerly promised. Here are a few stubborn tales about translation software that have been debunked.

Myth 1: Translation software no longer translates literally 

If we’re to believe some users, today’s translation software is aware of the many rich layers of a language. At most, that’s a half truth. Some words have multiple meanings, which is the point translation software has reached so far. But whether “langue” is translated as “tongue” or “language” is still always the result of calculated guess work. And even then, it’s still often wrong. 

Myth 2: Google Translate is growing increasingly more reliable

Google’s translation application is immensely popular. Its proponents are growing in numbers every day. And yes, a lot of mistakes have been corrected over the years. However, this doesn’t make Google Translate infallible, much less reliable. Or maybe you missed the translation that an Asian airport did using Google Translate? The toilets at the airport have an extra room, which is now called the “baby diaper exchange” instead of the “baby diaper-changing station”.

Not fully convinced? Last year, ElaN Languages created a promotional video comparing its free translation tool to Google Translate. Both tools were used to translate a Japanese recipe. We’ll give you three guesses as to which recipe fell flat… ;-)

Myth 3: User feedback perfects translation software

Every application is improved by user feedback; we can wholeheartedly agree with this fact. But take it from us that there is no translation software that will ever be infallible. A machine is incapable of detecting the rich variety of nuances in a language. That’s why you shouldn’t trust a robot to translate your texts; from business texts to slogans, it doesn’t matter. Translation software is only meant to be a tool to assist you.

Myth 4: Running a check in a second software program provides a definite answer

Some users are convinced that they can avoid the pitfalls that are inherent to translation software. Step 1: Run your translated text through another translation robot. Step 2: Find the spots where the back translation to the original language doesn’t match your source. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong. Some translation mistakes can be made in both directions, regardless of the translation software.

Do you want a translation that’s guaranteed to be an absolutely perfect fit? Then contact the true translators at ElaN Languages. Request your price quote at no obligation here!

ElaN Languages always has a customised answer for your language question.
Let our language services convince you. Or request a price quote (at no obligation) today.

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