Preply, which specializes in online language courses, has now taken a closer look at this. For the study, literary texts, commercial websites, and vernacular were translated from English into German, Italian, and Spanish and vice versa. The study authors then compared the results with the knowledge of bilingual language experts.
In principle, Google Translate is getting better and better, also thanks to the continuous improvement of artificial intelligence. The more complex the language and the more slang is spoken, the more frequently using Google Translate can lead to major misunderstandings. Idioms can also cause problems for the program: if, for example, “neck and broken leg” appear in a sentence, then approximately three errors occurred in the ten analyzed words.
Google Translate does best when it comes to translating literary assets. In this category there are 0.36 errors in every ten words. For business websites it is 0.56 error, for colloquial 2.77.
When it comes to languages, Italian and German are the biggest challenges for the programme. On average, there is 0.59 errors for every 10 words translated into Italian and a low reading rating of 4.5 out of 10, which is attributed to the poor sentence structure.
In German, the average number of errors is 0.54, and the readability score is 6.8 out of 10.
On the other hand, it is relatively easy to translate languages like Spanish or English in Google Translate. This is because the algorithm has greater access to English and Spanish documents from the Internet and thus learns more quickly. Besides Chinese and Hindi, English and Spanish are among the most widely spoken languages in the world.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”