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How effective is Google Translate?

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As far as I know, Google accurately translates most Spanish and Portuguese sentences. For languages involving characters like Mandarin, Japanese and Korean, the device pretty much fails.

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I've tried it with a few German sentences and it worked very well, meaning that the English sentence I got it's a result was very well structured. So much so, in fact, that it was actually kind of scary. I'm guessing that it wasn't that good just a few years ago, so I imagine it would only get a lot better as the years go by, so probably in a few years it will just become a lot more accurate and reliable.

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It's fairly decent for certain languages like Spanish, Italian, English and such. It's pretty much worthless for Asian languages, though. I haven't tried Arabic or Hebrew, so I dunno how it fares with these languages.

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It will give you the general sense of what the text is saying, but the grammar might not come out quite right. I would not use it to translate into a foreign language because I would not be able to tell if they had gotten all the grammar correct and it might look bad/awkward. I use it from time to time just to check and see if I understood something.

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I've used Google Translate for Chinese and the result is laughable. It's barely intelligible for a native speaker.

It's almost a certainty that Google has had more funding to fine tune the translation of primary global languages to English, and from English to Latin or European languages. Eventually they'll get there with Asiatic languages, because while highly nuanced the grammar is not as complicated as English (nowhere near as complicated it seems to me), but as of yet the demand is not there.

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Going to have to agree with the general consensus here- it seems to work reasonably well for languages like Italian, French, Spanish, etc. but Asian ones are a bit harder to pin down. I don't really know about plenty of others, either, like Arabic for instance. I imagine some are just harder for an app like that to translate properly than others.

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My Korean colleagues believe that the vocabulary translations are fairly reliable (English-Korean vv). The sentence translations are a different story though. It gives you a general idea, but not an accurate translation.

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It works "good" for european languages (spanish, french, english, italian, portuguese...) but for asian languages it's a mess. I've translated single words and basic structures ("Hello, my name is X", etc.) from Japanese to Spanish and works fine but it's useless for more.

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I find google to be good with translations but it is not exactly the same as knowing the language. Many of the words get switched as you convert the tense we speak in to the one in the required language. Some of the words get muddled and come out with a different meaning to the one you actually would like to use.

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I would never trust Google Translate for something important. It works fine if the information is just for myself, but I wouldn't consider using it as a real translation to pass on to an employer or someone I want to impress.

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While I do not speak Russian, a friend of mine does and we tried Google Translate. According to him, the sentences Google translates do not make much sense due to lack of sentence structure. Single words are no problem though.

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Yeah it is not that accurate when it comes to translating to or from Urdu, but I use it anyway. Is there any alternative to it?

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Google Translate struggles to translate a sentence as simple as "how are you" from English to Norwegian or vice-versa.

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It is a valuable help but only as a tool, as it is very much imperfect. I find the best method to translate between english and Polish is to insert a big block of text and then work out the odd words and expressions one by one, using a more exact dictionary. It may seem complex but still takes a lot less time than traditional translation, especially since business-oriented vocabulary is quite well developed in the google translator.

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I have to agree that google translate does a better job at translating Latin languages. But I have to say, even though it does a better job, it doesn't do a really good job. So, be careful. If you are trying to translate your own text, you'll get the best results by keeping your sentence structures and wording simple. Stay away from slang and idiomatic expressions as much as possible.

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These translation programs have gotten quite good, but they will likely never be 100 % because of the factor of being unable to convey the emotional intent of the writer in the source language.  In other words a lot still gets lost in translations preformed by these programs.

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As long as you follow the SVO pattern (Subject-Verb-Object), you'll be fine. Most of the languages follow this pattern and then it becomes easier to translate.

Google makes a lot of mistakes for certain types of texts though. It is easier for the machine to translate a straightforward text. Literature becomes a problem, especially with all those metaphors and other devices used. Idiomatic language is definitely not preserved - you have to find dictionaries for this, but collocations are recognised at times. So... I wouldn't risk it for something important, but it's still a fairly useful tool.

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Going to have to agree with the general consensus here- it seems to work reasonably well for languages like Italian, French, Spanish, etc. but Asian ones are a bit harder to pin down. I don't really know about plenty of others, either, like Arabic for instance. I imagine some are just harder for an app like that to translate properly than others.

Yeah, I was really pleasantly surprised at how well it translated German into English and it even had the proper sentence structure in the result but once I tried it out with Japanese phrases I was ultimately reminded again at how far it still is from its greatest potential. I think it would be scary though once it really starts to translate accurately but at least it would be a very useful tool for everyone and it will surely change the world once again when this finally happens.

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I have tried using Google translate before for some words and it usually do well on those. But not if I would be using the site for translating phrases especially for long sentences. It seems that it only translated per word and cannot fully translate a full sentence with its original meaning. Not just sure if this is true for all the languages.

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I have only tried it with Spanish phrases and short sentences, it worked pretty well for me. Have no idea about the other languages though.

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For what it's worth, I have been using Bing translator more than Google...many times I have noticed the translation is different from what the writer wants to relate.

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I use Google translate to translate from English or Malay to Thai. Myself, I can actually read Thai but I am hopeless when it comes to typing in Thai. So I depend on Google to give me a hand.

From my experience, I find that Google has a hard time understanding how Thai works. So if I want to translate from English to Thai, I have to write my English rather like the way Thais would use English. Simple stock phrases are fine but when it comes to anything more than a few words, I find it more fruitful to break up the sentences and translate them, then put the translated parts into a cohesive sentence in Thai.

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I think any language translator is going to fail if the languages don't have similar origins. English to Spanish, and the reverse will do quite well, but English to an African language is probably going to cause some serious issues. Translating programs have been around a long time. I used one in an old online game 15 years ago, but I could tell that the message just wasn't clearly being communicated.

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There is one instance where I found Google Translate working quite well. This is when I ask Google to translate a website. Probably the reason is that there are only that many ways of designing the navigation menu of a website. Plus there are icons to help a non-native understand. Add to that the Google translation, and you are good to go.

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The field of translation is changing due to new technology like the Google translate program.  I doubt that there will be a need for many translators in the future.  The specialist such as in legal, medical or science and engineering translators will probably always have a job since theses areas are so precise and the translation has to be one percent reliable to be of any real use to clients.

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