Google Translate: Basic to Pro

Google Translate: Basic to Pro

Google Translate: Basic to Pro

As the market of machine translation reaches a new peak of fame and utility, the need for an accurate, yet efficient translation aid becomes even more evident. Whether one is a university student, a language rookie, or a full-time translator, having the right word at the right moment is worth more than one might think; it actually saves immense time and wasted effort. For those who are not considered “professional” translators, finding a good machine translator can be quite tricky as to the ease of use, added expenses, and accuracy of results.

Google offered its first machine translation service back in 2006 under the now famous name, Google Translate, including more than 100 languages available for instant translation. Over the past few years, Google Translate has dramatically improved its translation services, as it came to include a portable interface for both Android and iOS Mobile Phones, which in turn gives the user more accessibility and flexibility in day to day translation tasks. One major improvement in the performance of Google Translate is the quality of the text produced in the Target Language; instead of translating separate phrases, the application now handles complete sentences at a time, giving the text more coherence and fluency.

Google Translate has come to offer a wide range of functions and services that appeal to a variety of users, situations, and contexts. For instance, basic written text translation is now offered alongside Document and Website translation, not to mention Image and Handwritten translation. One useful feature that Google has introduced is Speech translation, which allows the user to translate a spoken text from one language into another with ease and speed. In fact, this feature has proven to be most useful for people visiting foreign countries, where they could translate everyday speech into their native language minus all the fuss. For intricate language learning, Google has also added Phonetic transcription, which gives an accurate pronunciation to any given word.

However, machine translation could almost never achieve the accuracy of human translators given the shifting nature of language and the Semantic, Cognitive, and Pragmatic aspects that are prone to personal understanding and case-specific analysis. The complexity of language gives much room for interpretation and different angles of perception, which explains the flawed and sometimes shallow product that machine translators yield out. Taking into consideration the significant improvement in Google Translate “chunk translation”, come difficulty is still noticed when translating uncommon word pairs, jargon, slang and colloquial words. For example, the Arabic proverb “من جد وجد” will be automatically translated by Google into the phrase “Who is serious?” and the word “مشكل” (meaning “mixed”) as “problem”. Instances of Google Fails have become very popular across the Internet, as their naivete can be quite entertaining.

In good effort to further improve the quality of its translation, Google has launched a program that reaches out to the users from all around the world to confirm the correctness of the translated text, whether it be a word or a complete phrase. This initiative goes by the name Google Translate Community and offers the users a chance to contribute to the pool of translation available to public use. By joining this community, users are entitled to make changes to suggested translations or offer new ones of their own and in turn will be awarded a series of badges that vary according to the level of contribution.

In order to match the rapid linguistic integration and the evolving nature of worldwide communication, Google has stepped its game to the next level by offering considerable improvements to its very own system of machine translation, Google Translate. In a relatively short period, it has become a sanctuary to those desperate language learners and the professional translators alike, thanks to its improved features that give it the push it needs to top the list of competitors in the field. 

 

References:

1.      https://www.argotrans.com/blog/accurate-google-translate-2018/

2.      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Translate#History

3.      https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/01/the-shallowness-of-google-translate/551570/