Should I use a free, online translation program?
Yes, the internet is amazing. To think how many forms of business and technology are now ancient and obsolete due to the everything that can be done online. Television, phone directories , advertising, have been revolutionized in a way that would have appeared absurd ten years ago. As Bob Dylan said, “Times they are a changin”, and it appears to be just as apparent now as it did in Dylan’s time.
Translations have been affected by the internet as well. Google Translate and Babelfish, are only a couple of the many different online translation software programs that can be found online. The advantages to using these programs are first and foremost the fact that they are free. In addition, they are quick and easy to do. Within a couple of seconds you can get a translation for how to say “Supersize me” in Vietnamese. Which according to Google Translate is “siêu lớn tôi”.Wow! Who new?!
Yet the caveat to online translation programs should be rather obvious. Let’s face it. Human dialogue is full of double meanings, sarcasm and all sorts of subtleties that a computer can easily miss. For example, if I say “I got it”, the word “got” could be interpreted in a variety of ways. It could be “I got it”, as in I caught it as if I was catching a ball. It could be “I got it!” as in the lightbulb finally went off in my head and I understand a certain concept. It to be “Okay….I got it” as in something a teenager may say to their parents who keep telling him to clean up his room. This could be easily detected by a human; however, a computer would most likely be unable to catch the difference and may just give a literal translation.
Literal translation are how online computer software normally do a translation. Since it is unable to pick up on the actual context, it instead just translates word by word. For this reason, we here at Kepo Inc. are fighting against these online translation services and working to inform people that a human translator still beats a computer. If you are in need of a translation for a PowerPoint, tattoo, or a newsletter, it can be tempting to take the cheap and easy route. Nevertheless, we advise you to reflect for just a little bit on how people communicate, and then ask yourself if a computer could really pick up on that in an accurate manner.
If you are in need of a translation, please always use a human. At Kepo Inc. we have a small, select team of professional translators who are ready at a moments notice for an translation need you may have. We may not be as fast a Google Translate, but we’re pretty close. We are located in Denver, Colorado and are available nationwide. Please don’t hesitate to call or email us. We look forward to speaking with you!
Below are a few videos we made of online translation mishaps. Enjoy!