The internet has brought us into a new era, an era with advanced communication and information sharing. People from all over the world can now connect to one another and share information that they have gathered, and as such the internet has pretty much become the world’s single largest knowledge base. One of the main issues with this set up however, is that not all knowledge is being distributed in the same language. Since it is a world wide web of interconnectivity, that means that people from different corners of the globe, that speak different languages, contribute to it, and as such there are a multitude of different languages present. It would be brutally inefficient to have a translator standing by at all times to help you translate information you find in a foreign language into your mother tongue. That’s where services like Google’s Translate come into play. They are automated translation services, you input the information you want translated, and presto, and it’s translated into your language of choice.
Since Google was created all those many years ago, it has continued to bring new and improved functionality to the internet that we use every day. In the last decade they have introduced numerous features and services to make the lives of its users easier and more productive. One of these services is Google Translator. In comparison to many other Google services, Translator is fairly recent, having been conceived in late 2005. The Google Translator of then and the Google Translator of now however are two very different services. When it first hit the scene, there were only four language options in total to choose from, English, French, Spanish, and German. You could translate English text to any of the other three languages, and you could translate any of those languages to English. While this may not seem like a very functional service, that was only the beginning. Over the next 7 years, 27 major updates, termed stages, where added to the Translate platform. This added a whole bunch of new functionality as well as roughly 60 new language options to choose from. Some of which are not very commonly spoken anymore. They also have an intuitive speech feature; witch for most languages it is available in speaks the language in an almost natural voice, unlike the robotic voice that was present when they unveiled the feature. Another of the features that has helped bring Translator to the fore front in this field is its language auto detect feature. This feature enables the user to input text, and it will automatically detect witch language it is and translate it to the predetermined language you chose for it to be translated too. While for most users this will be a seemingly useless feature, it does save time by not having to scroll through the 60 languages that you can choose from. And for the users that aren’t sure what language it is, it saves time by not having to go through the possible candidates in a process of trial and error.
There is one major downfall however with Translator, and this flaw is ever present in all types of automated translators. The translations that it provides will almost never be completely accurate. While in some cases the translations can be very close to the intended meaning, there will always be some flaws. This is due in part to the nature of languages themselves. Many words have multiple implied meanings, and this is further aided by the use of uncommon meanings and slang language. What the translator will do is pick the most common use for the word and translate it that way, as it translate the text word by word, not by the phrase. What can sometimes happen when translating a text from another language to English is the text will come out with reversed. That is why automated translating shouldn’t be relied on wholly, and you should always go over any text you translate to make sure it makes coherent sense. What it is good for is getting the translation of different words, and in many cases getting a somewhat better view of what it would be in your mother tongue, but it should never be relied on fully. Google Translate however, is more accurate than many of the competitor’s products because of the type of translation it does. It does not utilize standard rule based translation as most services do. It instead uses a statistical machine translation system to achieve better and more accurate results. Most systems translate directly from one language to another, and this is where quite a bit of error arises, what Translate does is different, for most languages, it takes the originating language, and then translates that to English, once that is done it translate the English version to the language witch you chose for the text to be translated too. It does not do this for all languages, but for most languages this is the system it follows.
Translate is a powerful piece of software, no one can deny or smear that. It has undoubtedly helped millions of people over the globe on multiple occasions. And do to its advanced accuracy and quick turnaround; it has actually become the most commonly used language translator on the net, surpassing services like Babel fish for the top spot. The inclusions of more than sixty languages as well as the added features like speech and language auto-detection make it a real force to be reckoned with. Even with the downside of not being completely accurate, it is still more accurate than most of its competitors and that is something that most users want when using a service like this. As long as you don’t rely on it for complete accuracy, and you understand that you have to go over anything it translates to make sure it was done properly, it can be an extremely powerful and productive tool to help you get any translating task you need done accomplished in record time.