Is Google Translator reliable?

I'm just curious because I've heard a lot of people say it's really inaccurate, but on the other hand it seems to be one of the best translation apps. What do you guys think?


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Most Helpful Guy

  • If the languages are closely related, yes. If they are not closely related, not at all.

    Here's some examples from Jefferson's famous sentence from the Declaration of Independence.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

    English to...

    French and back to English
    Nous tenons ces vérités comme évidentes, que tous les hommes sont créés égaux, qu'ils sont dotés par leur Créateur de certains droits inaliénables, parmi lesquels la vie, la liberté et la poursuite du bonheur.
    We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    Now that's spot on. You get similar results for say Spanish and German. Now let's try English to Japanese and back
    我々は、彼らが特定のunalienable権利との創造主によって恵まれていることを、すべての人が同じように作られていることを、自明であることがこれらの真理を保持し、これらの間のそれは幸福追求権があります。(note that it cannot translate "unalienable")
    back to English
    It, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights, that all people are created equal, that it is a self-evident holds these truths, between these it has a right to pursue happiness.

    The syntax of Japanese is quite different from English (generally subject, object, verb, as opposed to the subject verb object in English)

    And now Russian:
    Мы считаем, что эти истины являются самоочевидными, что все люди созданы равными, что они наделены их Творцом определенными неотчуждаемыми правами, к числу которых относятся жизнь, свобода и стремление к счастью.
    back to English
    We believe that these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    That's close, but Russian is Indo-European, Japanese isn't.
    Here's a video that makes a funny point about washing songs through google translate:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRLreV7uVy0

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    • Thanks this really helped

What Guys Said 16

  • If you want to test a translator, take a sentence like this: "The girl is beautiful but she is very preoccupied with material goods." It's not a simple sentence but it's not complex, either. Ask the translator to translate it from English into Spanish, then copy the Spanish translation and ask it to translate that into German, then from German to English. Compare the final result with the sentence you started with. Most translators give a very rough, rudimentary translation.

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  • Here's what you do:
    When you use Google Translate, take the translation and then do the reverse translation to see if you got back what you started with. If you do, then the translation is fairly reliable. If not, then you may need to try something else or study the language a bit. For instance, in some languages, "the" has gender. For instance, in Spanish, "Los Angeles" means the angels, but Los indicates plural male, while "Las Cruces" means the crosses, but Las indicates plural female. Crosses are feminine, angels are masculine. (El, La for male, female singular) The reason I bring this up is that if you use a pronoun like "they" or "it", the translator doesn't have context to know which gender to use. So, when using a translator, avoid pronouns which are gender-ambiguous in English.

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  • I use it to read languages which are completely unknown to me. It might not be completely correct but reading a few writings about the same subject will clear errors up.
    Only use it to write if you know enough of the target language to correct it (that goes for all automatic translation sites)

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  • Don't rely on it translating entire sentences correctly. Best to use it for individual words. Here is a sentence in my language, ''Es vakar biju netālu aizbraucis pa mežu pastaigāt ar mazo brāli.''

    And here's what google puked out, ''Yesterday I was near gone through the forest walk with little brother.'' You can kind of vaguely guess what I meant to say but still, it sucks.

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  • No. Get a Babblefish.

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  • It's reliable when it's one word or a small sentence of about 5-6 words, but when it comes to long sentences and paragraphs, it's awful.

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  • well, it's like a robot langauge, the only way it won't bother to ruffle you work is you're using it to communicate with a robot.

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  • It's okay, but it's not meant for long, complicated phrases, and it obviously sucks at slang.

    Every once in a while I'll just Google "how to say (xxxxxxxxx) in (xxxxxxxxxxx)" and it works pretty well that way.

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    • Check out the video I posted in my opinion. It's really funny!

  • Nope, some person had a profile in different language and i tried to translate and
    it did not help me one bit ,

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  • I tried it for German out of curiosity and it's very inaccurate for German !

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  • It is somewhat accurate. It also depends on the language. For German it's better for single words. For Russian and Irish, it's good for short phrases

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  • Use it for single words.

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  • No its doesn't work it sucks

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  • For Russian no, a lot of the times it makes no sense

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  • It's highly inaccurate.

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  • I used google translate for my GCSE french course all the time, and ended up getting an A, so I reckon it's pretty good.

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What Girls Said 9

  • I don't really think it's that reliable. I visit the Turkish version of GAG sometimes and use Google translate and it does not translate well to English. I have not tried it with other languages though.

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    • it is not good for Turkish language.
      it is not Latin; word origins are different so it does not work properly

    • @findingdreamland yeah, I know the languages are so different. I have actually tried Spanish too which I forgot to mention in my opinion. It seemed to work slightly better with Spanish but still not 100%. Spanish is probably more closely related to English.

    • yeah true
      for example works better between french , English
      not super good but works at basic level
      i guess same with Spanish, basic sentences are alright

  • It's super inaccurate lol

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  • It's only accurate if you want to make pranks such as typing a few sentences in a funny language, giving your friend a call and as soon as they answer push play XD.
    That's accurate haha!

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  • depends on the languages you converting between; it can work quite well.

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  • It's not reliable but it can help.

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  • No its not

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  • use word reference

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  • no it really isn't

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  • No, it doesn't know context

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    • I see... thanks for your opinion

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