Machine translation has come a long way over the years, and it is useful way to get the general meaning of a document. Tools such as Google Translate and Babelfish can help you understand a website or an email when it is not critical for the exact word for word translation to be known.
However, machine translators should never be used for business critical matters. Some of the errors that can occur are as follows:
- Incomplete or even incomprehensible sentences
- Grammar rules not being followed
- Incorrect meaning of a word used making a sentence appear out of context.
Machine translators work by substituting one word for the other. The programs use a statistical model to work out what should be displayed as the translation. The programs do not use grammatical rules and are only as good as their original programing.
Machine translators have their place, but they should not be used when a translation is critical to your business. A good, human translation will ensure your customers receive your intended message.