Many translation companies are often asked if they can edit a Google translation. It is unclear why so many are curious about editing this, but we guess some people think that a partial translation would be easier for us to work with.

That, in fact is the opposite of true. In order to help you understand why VEQTA and other translations companies prefer not to translate from a partial Google translation, this article will explain a bit about what Google translations are and why they are hard to work with.

Technology has come a long way since Google was founded in 1998. Since then, computer technology has become more accessible and the internet has become a place that strives to be all inclusive and provide information that pretty much anyone can understand.

A part of this mission is providing a service called “Google Translate” With this service, users can choose the language of the information they want to translate and the desired language they want to read it in and can enter text to be translated by this service. The only thing is, Google Translate is a direct translation program.

Direct translation programs identify the exact meaning of a word and give a translation based on that, not on the context surrounding it. This can make it just understandable enough for someone to understand the information…most of the time.

The main reason why Google translations are hard to work with lies in the problems associated with direct translations. They can lead to the following problems:

• Confusing sentences: Depending on the language being spoken, the way a sentence is formed may be different. If you simply copy and paste the information you need translated, you may come out with confusing sentences that can be difficult to understand. If you provide this information to a translator, they have no idea what the original text was trying to convey, so they must piece together what the information should say in your desired language.
• Google Translate doesn’t understand idioms: Idioms are little words or phrases that may not be universally understood. When they are translated, they are done so word for word. A popular American idiom is “hit the books” which means to study. Translating this may make your target audience think they should beat up popular literature. If a translator is given this partial translation, they too may not understand that it started out as an idiom in another language before it was translated. This can result in inaccurate translations that can convey incorrect messages.
• Nothing is written in context: Context is key and can reveal why certain words were used in the first place. Direct translations only translate the words and don’t look for the context behind them. This can cause issues that can lead to confusion. Translators can’t work well with this information because the message behind the words might not be clear enough for them to understand.
• Improper dictionary reference. A dictionary may contain half a dozen meanings and definitions of a term, each correct in its context. How does Google’s translation select the right term?
It picks either the first term or the most common term in the dictionary and ignores the rest.

The short answer is never! So called Automated Translation (Machine Translation) is a different story and involves setting up a machine translation engine using AI in part and train it by feeding it human translation in the beginning. It’s a long and technical process and needs to be set up right. A quick Google translation doesn’t know the context of the source and it does not improve the translation over time like a proper Automated Translation solution does.

Providing your translator with the original source and information is always the best course of action. It is a better option because your translator can fully understand the original content and the message it is trying to convey before they begin translating.

It will take the guess work out of the equation so that the final translated document is easy to understand and won’t contain false or misleading information that your customers may need.