Using Google Translate Effectively

Using Google Translate for automatic document translation is good, as long as two rules are followed:

  • Google translate is all about the context. The phrase “I would like a crib” gets translated into Italian as “Vorrei un presepe”, yet “I would like a crib for the baby” gets translated as “Vorrei una culla per il bambino”. “Culla” in this case is the correct word, which gets detected by the “…for the baby” phrase. So, for clarity, one should include several auxillary words in cases where a word has multiple translations.
  • Avoid expressions. “It was raining cats and dogs” gets translated as “Pioveva cani e gatti” which is an expression that does not translate well into Italian. Coincidentally, “Sta piovendo a catinelle” gets correctly translated as “It was raining cats and dogs”, which is correct. Also, “tocca ferro” gets correctly translated into “Knock on wood”. This phenomenon could be due to the fact that more Italian is translated into English than English into Italian.
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