One of my favorite activities is to test out Google Translate to get a good laugh.

I should have been working this morning and answering the hundreds of emails in my inbox, but instead I was sidetracked by Mr. Google Translate. Oops. But I did get a good laugh!

I love the great example of “my nose is running.” Native English speakers know this doesn’t literally mean that my nose is out for a jog. Or that my nose is working like a machine would be working. (That would be just weird and make you think that I was a robot of some sort.)

I love to use this example when talking about how humans will never be replaced by machines when it comes to translation. Language is a living, breathing entity that ebbs and flows just like the tide. It’s constantly changing and evolving and our understanding of words and their meaning evolves as well. Machines as they stand today just cannot do that. To prove my point, I asked Google Translate how to say “my nose is running” in Spanish.

 

Google Translate "My nose is running"

Oops.

This time my nose is like a robot and working. Just like a machine. Google Translate is a great tool for certain purposes, but not for a professional translation. To achieve better accuracy and a greater ability to capture the tone and style of the original documents, humans are where it’s at.

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