Quirks of Google Translate

I know many people who have been using Google translate to get quick answers and gist of articles, and it seems that it is currently the best translation tool out there for the masses.

But of course, getting the gist of an article, and trying to pass it off as professional/expert translation is not the same thing. So your best bet around is still a person of sound knowledge.

On the other hand, quirks of automated non-human translation may also throw you off course into the oblivion of speculation and presumption.

1. My history may be bad, but I don’t think Pakistan even once invaded Malaysia.

2. Google cleverly deems that anything “mental” refers to mental health.

3. And forget about translating cheques.

4. Finally, some enlightenment! Who knows that the letters aliflaamDaad (الض) is abbreviated from a truly meaningful phrase?

So, caveat emptor, even though such service is free of charge.



2 thoughts on “Quirks of Google Translate

  1. Regarding point 1, on several occasions I have seen Google Translate render “Portugal” as “Canada.” Mind-boggling.

    The case I’ve used to convince people here not to rely on Google Translate for public-facing tasks was when it translated “[our school] is a graduate program like no other” into “[our school] is a graduate program like any other.” Precisely the opposite of our intended meaning.

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