The worst mistakes in the history of Google Translator I (or some of them)

It’s been ten years since the creation of Google Translator, that Frankenstein’s monster which was defined as an automatic translation tool. Actually, this could be said to be a euphemism, for it is automatic, but it’s not a good tool and does not provide quality translations. The reasons are obvious: it can’t think, it can’t feel, and it’s unable to ponder the best adjective for a name or the nuances of a text – among other things – like human translation professionals do. In the same way as the main character in Mary Shelley’s novel lost in his struggle with nature, Mr Google Translator will never be able to provide quality translations, as so far it has not gone to university, has no interest in language, and doesn’t upgrade its knowledge.

But every cloud has a silver lining. This terrible tool constantly gives us linguistic gems that at least make us laugh. In fact, it has gone from trying to compete against professional translation services to unwittingly rival top comedians, as we will now see.

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Let’s start with medical translation, where Google Translator’s mistakes not only destroy language but can also mess with someone’s health. Let’s use as an example two words with it still continues to misuse.

Firstly, there is the Spanish adjective intoxicado (poisoned), which Google blithely translates as intoxicated. The medical protocol for someone who has food poisoning is probably not the same as someone who has overindulged in alcohol and drugs, that is, who is intoxicated. Let’s hope that, when in doubt, customers and patients ask professional translators such as the ones you will find in Okodia.

No less dangerous is the automatic translation of “El niño se cortó” (“The boy cut himself”) – which makes it clear that the boy had a regrettable accident with a sharp item. However, when processed by Mr Google, we get “The child was cut”. This translation can raise the alarm in a medical report… CONTINUE READING HERE