Nowadays, we benefit from a huge amount of IT and virtual resources for everything : we can find softwares and apps that offer solutions for every aspect in life, including websites who promise to translate accurately all texts from one language to another in a matter of seconds. They are known as machine translation tools, the most popular being Google Translate, obviously. Nevertheless, is this a reliable tool? In this article we will explain why we do not recommend to rely on machine translation websites and what the disadvantages of these fast but inefficient solutions are.

Why avoiding machine translation ?

Sometimes urgency leads us to use some virtual tools the Internet offers us and, no doubt, they offer quick solutions to our problems. When it comes to translations, Google Translate or even Apertium are the two most popular apps to transfer a message from one language to another. The question that arises with this sort of tool is: Is this really useful? Are they really efficient? To speak the truth, when only one word is to be translated, they can prove themselves useful, but everything is messed up when we seek to create a more complex message or even long sentences, all without missing the author’s intention.
When it comes to work or even an academic context, trusting machine translation to interpret the message can become inefficient and dangerous. Let’s have a look at the main disadvantages of these systems.

They provide literal translations

First things first, above all, and what makes our alert sign activate against these softwares and translation websites has to do with their way of interpreting: considering this is a virtual thing, lacking all human capacities in terms of communication, the only result obtained will be a literal translation that not always understands the right intention of the author. In fact, literal interpretation of the message can lead us to mistakes when facing homograph words that have different definitions that only a professional translator can differentiate.

Mistakes that harm the final result

Machine translation tools are not human, therefore they can commit all sort of mistakes during the translation process in regard of meaning interpreting that only a listening and understanding person can avoid. Also, shall we need to translate academic documents or even professional texts, taking advantage of a website to get the job done instead of us can reflect an unprofessional image of ours to our interlocutor.

The more complex the message, the less efficient.

Among the variety of problems that machine translation can create, we highlight the difficulty of interpreting long and complex messages. We said it, these softwares can prove themselves useful for translating a single words, but if we seek to interpret longer texts the best choice will always be hiring a professional translator.