Have you ever tried an online translator and worried about the accuracy? You are not alone. Many people worry the accuracy of online translators and rightly so. Languages are full of subtle nuances and a quick translator cannot capture all of the features that are needed for complete communication. Even though online translators seem like useful tools, the tools should only be used in specific situations.
Only Use Translators in Small Doses
Online translators should only be used in small doses. This is because no online translator is perfect. Most people use a translator because they do not know how to translate a language on their own, so they have no idea whether the translation is proper. If those people try to use online translators to communicate with native speakers, the native speakers will know immediately because online translators do not use idioms, slang, or dialects; they only use the denotations, which are often not used in spoken languages.
Avoid Doing Classwork with Language Translators
Many students think they can get away with using online translators to complete the language course work. Students should be aware that their teachers and professors know all about the online translators, especially the weaknesses. Students should not ever rely on online translators to complete their assignments, especially if they are long translation assignments. Teachers can easily tell if their students have used translators to complete their essays or other class assignments, because the translations are so literal.
Useful for Small Phrases for Travelers
Online translators are useful when non-native speakers need to know a few short words or phrases. If you know you are visiting a foreign country and you want a few useful phrases, the online translator will be helpful. If you have a smart phone, you can use the translators while you are eating at a restaurant with a menu in a foreign language. You could also use the translator to practice phrases like “Where is the bathroom?” or “Where is the train station?” These quick phrases usually translate accurately on an online translator. Some of the translators actually will pronounce the words you need to learn, so you will be able to hear what the questions sound like.
Have Fun Testing the Accuracy
When you are looking to see whether or not a translator is correct, there are ways to test it. Choose a few different translators; most of the major search engines have them. Select a paragraph that is written in English. Insert the paragraph into the first translator and translate it into Spanish. Then, take the Spanish paragraph and put it into the second translator ad translate it back into English. You can then compare how right the two translators are and if they are not correct, choose a different one for comparison purposes.
Silly Sounding Speakers
Translators are only as good as the people who have planned them and very few people have enough knowledge to write perfect language translation programming. Even if translators work in teams, it is not possible to capture all the changes that occur with languages over time – even short time. It becomes very obvious to native speakers when a non-native speaker tries to use a translator to communicate because the online translations sound too perfect.