Google Translate – a tool for a tourist travelling to a foreign country, a student who needs help learning a foreign language and anyone who is in one way or another in contact with a foreign culture and, consequently, its language.

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What is Google Translate and how does it work?

Google Translate is a web translator that was developed in 2006 and initially operated using the statistical method of machine translation. This means that it has saved billions and billions of words in its program. However, when translating, it simply selected the most appropriate or popular equivalents of the two languages and spelt them out. Google used United Nations documents (English, Arabic, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish) to produce the translator, producing a corpus of six world languages with approximately 20 billion words.

Today, Google Translate uses the so-called Deep Learning Method with its particularly important large artificial neural network, which improves the quality of translating and uses a broader context that evolves through millions of examples. As a result, Google Translate is now able to translate entire sentences at a time, not just part by part, which also affects the quality of translations in the system. Today, more than 100 different languages are included in Google Translate, including English.

Google Translate is a very attractive and useful tool, however, it has many positive and negative factors that can affect students, tourists and even everyday users.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE: PLUSES

  • Google Translate is free for all users.
  • Google Translate is fast. It translates as you type.
  • Many translations are created from translations of people who have uploaded their texts or something similar to the web.

GOOGLE TRANSLATE: MINUSES

  • Google Translate makes grammatical, stylistic, and other mistakes and is inconsistent.
  • The quality of the translation depends on the language combination. Google stores many more English, Spanish, or German words than Slovenian, Bulgarian, or Romanian, which makes the translations of these language combinations of less quality with more errors (Example: when translating from English into Slovenian parts of the text remain in English).
  • Google Translate does not provide additional reviews or proofreading.
  • Google Translate works publicly. This means that all texts (including public documents) that you upload to Google Translate are stored in its memory.

Is Google Translate a useful tool?

Yes and no. It depends mainly on what kind of translation you need. If you need a translation for personal use, i.e. for general and rough understanding of the text, it is recommended. However, if you require translations of professional, technical, literary texts, certificates or legal documentation, Google Translate is not recommended. For this type of texts, it is ideal that the text is translated by a translator who is an expert in his / her field and the translation is additionally reviewed by a proofreader.