The Pros and Cons of Google Translate | Language Connections

Any translation agency wishing to provide high-quality translations must apply a common basic rule: the target language must be identical to the translator’s mother tongue. In other words, it is highly recommended to use translators native and living in their country of origin. Translations in the opposite direction, that is to say from his mother tongue into another language, are to be avoided at all costs. Let us take a closer look at the elements justifying this sacred rule.

Translations by Non-natives Rhyme with Problems in Sight

First of all, there is a high risk of distortion of the translated language, like in the of Cambodian translation (รับแปลภาษากัมพูชา, which is the term in Thai). This means that the reader will not enjoy reading it, and worse, may be put off reading the entire text.

The translator will also not be able, or very difficult, to translate for example local words varying according to regions. Indeed, these are unlikely to appear in dictionaries.

On the other hand, it is also crucial to note that a poorly translated word can cause a whole range of inconveniences, from annoyances, to misunderstandings, and which can lead to catastrophes. These include, for example, device manuals that are poorly translated, or even incomprehensible to the user, or that make the use of the product dangerous. The consequences can also be a degradation of human or commercial relations.

Finally, speaking a language perfectly and knowing how to be understood in any situation does not mean translating perfectly. Very good command of a language orally can support certain approximations, while translating requires precision, finesse and getting into the skin of the text editor, in order to transcribe the exact same message or, failing that, , to get as close as possible. Translating is an art, a skill that cannot be improvised and a taste for minute precision. This requires constant training.

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By Genaro Martin

Linda Martin: Linda, a renowned management consultant, offers strategies for leadership, team building, and performance management in her blog.