Online automatic translators translate word for word a lot of the time. And if you have ever taken a language course, you know that sentence structure differs from language to language, therefore, word-for-word translations are seldom correct. Although, they may be able to translate “manzana verde” to “green apple” correctly, they fall short if translations get just a bit more complicated. Take a look at this Spanish to English translation of a segment of a children’s short story:
Originally written in Spanish:
Había una vez una niña chiquita llamada Natalie. Solo tenía tres años, y todo el mundo que la veía, se caía enamorada de ella. Un día, su madre afectuosa la llevó de compras para comprarle unas pijamas nuevas. ¡Sin embargo, mientras que estaban en la tienda, Natalie vio su amor verdadero, una muñeca! No dejó que su madre le comprara las pijamas nuevas, diciendo que ya tenía unas en la casa de su abuela.
Automatic translation to English:
There was once a very small girl called Natalie. Only it was three years old, and everybody saw that it, fell enamored with her. A day, her mother took affectionate it of purchases to buy new pajamas to him. Nevertheless, whereas they were in the store, Natalie saw its true love, a wrist! It did not leave his mother bought the new pajamas to him, saying that already she had in the house of his grandmother.
Human translation to English:
Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Natalie. She was just three years old, and everyone who saw her fell in love with her. One day, her loving mother took her shopping for a new pair pajamas. However, while in the store, Natalie spotted her true love, a baby doll! She refused to let her mother buy her new pajamas, stating that she already had pajamas at her Mimi’s.
So you can see from this short children’s story translation that the automatic translator bombed it’s task as a good translator. I might add to that I used one of the most well-known and used online automatic translators. I won’t say which because I don’t want to down anyone’s business, but this one is on the first page of Google when searching for an online translator. So, in other words, it’s a really “reliable” one.
You may be thinking that automatic translators work better from English to another language and not the other way around. Let’s look at an example of a business email originally written in English and translated to Spanish using a popular online automatic translator.
Originally written in English:
Dear Mr. White,
I am emailing you concerning your daughter’s grade in her Spanish class. She has consistently scored low on all of her homework and tests. I recommend that she stay after school for at least an hour, three days a week to meet with a Spanish tutor. I feel this is necessary in order for her to have a chance at passing this course.
Vice Principle at Jordan High
Automatic translation to Spanish:
Estimado Sr. blanco,
Le estoy enviando por correo electrónico referente a su daughter’ grado de s en su clase española. Ella ha anotado constantemente punto bajo en todas su preparación y pruebas. Recomiendo que ella permanece después de escuela por lo menos una hora tres días a la semana para encontrar con a un professor particular español. Siento que esto es necesario para que ella tenga una ocasión en el paso de este curso.
Graneros de Amilia
Vice principio en la High School secundaria de Jordania
Human translation to Spanish:
Estimado Sr. White,
Le mando un correo electrónico referente a la calificación de su hija en su clase de español. Ella ha sacado consecuentemente puntos bajos en todas las tareas y exámenes. Recomiendo que ella se quede después de la escuela por lo menos una hora, tres días a la semana para reunirse con un professor particular de español. Creo que es necesario para que ella tenga oportunidad de aprobar este curso.
Sub-Directora de Jordan High School
If you are using an automatic translator for school or business, you should really reconsider. Using an automatic translator can negatively affect your grade and your income! If you are trying to communicate with foreign clients using an automatic translator, maybe now you know why they didn’t respond or they were confused as ever!