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How effective is Google Translate?

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Google is only as effective as the users are. Google accepts corrections from users and adds it to its vast dictionary. Later on in the week, the employees that work directly with Google Translate spell check it and see if it makes sense in a sentence. What makes it difficult are a these two factors: whether or not the people who speak the language contribute and whether the sentences or words sent are slang or proper language.

So far, it's been pretty off translating things to Spanish because I do not share that same Spanish as Spain or Argentine. Spain in itself has three divisions in its language called Valenciano, Gallego, and Española. The Argentine have two which I do not recognize. One of them maybe be an adaptation of Castellano. In Puerto Rico we speak Castellano which is a language mainly spoken by sailors that were in direction of the island. These sailors just so happened to have lived on the West coast of Spain, where the tongue "Española" was spoken the most.

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Just as Geko said, Google isn't all that reliable when it comes to certain languages.

My Japanese professor told us to be wary of using it, as well. It can lead to some misleading translations of certain words and characters. What maybe true for one word, doesn't make it true for all. There's so many words in the Japanese language that some may only apply to some objects, counters, or usage of time/counting. You're never suppose to use one form of the number form when counting because the other meaning of the word four means death.

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In my experience, if you translate from English to Danish it is surprisingly accurate. It is at the very least understandable and can work if you need to relay a message in a pinch.

To English on the other hand is nothing short of a horrible mess. I wouldn't use it, I think ever.

That being said I think it has come a long way, and it is definitely a helpful tool (I know this oppinion is frowned upon usually) when it comes to lenguage learning. Obviously it doesn't have all the grammatical rules down, but if you use it as a sort of dictionary it is simply the best, in my oppinion.

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I have had trouble with Google translate especially when trying to get it to translate Chinese. I have failed miserably on many occasions to get what i want out of it and so for me it has become a dormant tool. I am surprised to hear that other people are getting the best out of it. This is good news to be honest.

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I personally wouldn't trust it! I have to laugh at some of the things it comes out with, even with English and French; and it gets worse with my language and English! Most of the time it's gibberish that doesn't make any sense, or it goes off on a tangent altogether. I wouldn't trust it for serious work related stuff at all.

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:laugh: :amazed:

Question about effectiveness of Google Translate is ironical by its nature. Oh, my gosh good old days of literal translation...Well to tell the truth, google translate is a useful tool. It saved me during my 4th course of the study, when we had a teacher that gave no interest to our knowledge, she was just checking if our notebooks were full of ink and our hands trembling.

Neither it helped me to beat that course paper, when i was searching out in the web, for a way to motivate myself at least to start writing it. I found guys, who done it instead of me, that was...God, help me to recall the name of that adress! Yes, finally it came to me : https://essaycool.com/. How could i forgot...it seems like it was yesterday. Anyway, I do denounce this kind of cheating, but at the same time, when you are at risk of being send down from university you dont have a choice.

So, to summ it up...of course if you want to know my opinion, this cannot be taken seriously, especially in the context of profound language learning. So naah, google translate is useful only in translating big texts, so that they can be easily transformed into something more credible.Nothing more, nothing less.

:wink:

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The thing is that Google translate only works for larger languages because there is enough training data. Google uses statistical approach, which means it shows the most probable result based on how many times the phrase you're trying to find appears in their translated data.

Some other companies use different approach. They're trying to combine statistical approach and rule-based approach (knowledge of morphology, syntax, word order...) and with these and enough data they should achieve better results. I know that Lingea does this.

More information about comparison of translators and dictionaries and what they're for: http://dict.com/Info-en (Scroll down)

Sorry for the long post. Does it make sense?

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It does make sense Filipe! It almost looks like you are studying computational linguistics...:=) I do, by the way.

The thing is that Google translate only works for larger languages because there is enough training data. Google uses statistical approach, which means it shows the most probable result based on how many times the phrase you're trying to find appears in their translated data.

That is true as well. So, the more data (parallela corpora), the better the translation. This also means that in 10 years time, the translations will be much better, as google will have much more data than now. The lack of language data is indeed a big problem, especially for exotic, low-resourced-languages.

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I think Google Translate is a big help for tourists like us - we travel at least twice a year to other countries. But it's only now that I learned of Google Translate so for sure we would be using that in September when we go to Vietnam.

With my testing of Google Translate, I found many inaccuracies maybe because the Filipino language has many synonyms like the word GABI to mean evening or night but it can also be a root crop. But still, Google Translate is a positive for me.

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I don't think that it works too well. I think that like you said it works well with Spanish translation. I have used it for that a couple of times, and it seems like it's able to do pretty well. I think that when it comes to the more complicated languages, that Google has a hard time with them. I'm sure that they just didn't put enough work into it.

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I second everyone here who generally stated that 'for Asian languages, Google Translator is quite hopeless.' But who knows? It might get exceptionally better in the future.

Human translation is still the best though B)

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