A little experiment with Google Translate | Lingua Translations

A little experiment with Google Translate

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We all know that machine translation is everywhere and used by so many. Google Translate is one of the better known, accessible to all machine translation programmes on the internet. Using Google Translate couldn’t be easier. Just insert the word/ sentence or even paragraph into the box and tell Google what language you would like it to be translated into. At times the translation can be spot on, sometimes it couldn’t be further from the truth.


We decided to see how Google Translate with translate a simple idiom from Spanish into English. The translation was supposed to be ‘To bother someone’.

Here are the results! :



By re-translating the answer from Google Translate – the English when from ‘To give a damn’, to ‘it matters a lot’ and to ‘of great importance’, when all it should’ve said was ‘To bother someone’. We have nicknamed this ‘Chinese whisper gone wrong’. This isn’t the only example of when Google Translate has gotten lost in translation.

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While Google Translate can assist in over 100 languages, if it isn’t correct all of the time, then it can’t be reliable. Anyone can join ‘Google Translate Community’ to assist in improving the translations the programme offers. You don’t need to be a professional, experienced linguist or fluent in source and target language. Here at Lingua Translations we only use human translations from professional, experienced linguists, fluent in both languages to ensure that the source text is fully understood (idioms and all) so the target text can be as perfect as it needs to be!


Julia GrahamAuthor posts

I have a BA in French from Swansea University and spent a year in Toulouse studying at the Université de Toulouse. It’s no surprise that I also love languages! I also speak Welsh as my second language ?I am considered the office organiser as I love to keep things just so and I am also considered to be very much a perfectionist – I fit right in with my fellow language geeks.Every day is fascinating and I love working as part of our team, we are well known for being friendly and of course, we know what we are talking about.

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