Everyone has had to use the Google Translate online translator. This makes sense, given that this platform is free and automatic. Using this platform saves time and money for people seeking quick and easy translation. Although, like every website, it has its flaws. There are circumstances where the use of Google Translate is totally inappropriate and can cause funny or horrible mistakes. If you are looking to have a professional and correct translation, it’s not the best way to go. In the packaging industry, translation mistakes are commonly found that are caused by companies using sources like Google Translate. This can do a lot of harm while selling products to people who don’t speak the main national language of the country in which the product is being sold. For example, Canada has to translate packaging from English to French on the opposite side of the product. If you want to better understand the reasons for this warning, here is some information that will show you the complications of using this so-called “miracle” internet application.
Lack of Linguistic Knowledge
To start, the main problem with Google Translate is that it has no linguistic expertise or knowledge. This translator is clearly only designed to translate a few words at a time or even just a single word. Things get complicated and messy when it comes to translating an entire text, or even a single paragraph. With Google Translate, words are translated, but you are not sure what the translated paragraph means. To clarify this point, words used in any language, when combined in a sentence, create a special meaning. It will therefore be extremely difficult to translate these words into another expression while keeping the same context. This makes Google Translate ineffective. The platform was created to give the direct translation of a single word so that the consumer doesn’t need to look in a dictionary. The problem with the use of this website is that consumers think that Google Translate will translate multiple sentences in perfect order in other languages. Consumers seem to forget that their native language does not have the same grammar rules or sentence structure as the languages they want to translate into paragraphs. This creates completely different meaning for the translated product, as Google Translate was not designed for this purpose. Here is a funny Google-translated sign gone wrong: “Bagno guasto” is the Italian sentence for “Bathroom out of order”, but Google Translate translates directly to “failure bathroom”. Google Translate does not identify the different sentence structures of the languages it’s translating, therefore, it gives our sentence a completely different meaning. It’s funny how the placement of words can completely change the meaning of a translated sentence.
Why It’s Important to Properly Translate Packaging
Costly translation errors can ruin the plans of businesses looking to expand into international markets. What may seem like a harmless mistake on the packaging of a product can lead to a serious PR disaster which can cause offense to others. This also does damage to the graphic design portion as the translated text will be a different length than the original text. This impacts the packaging layout, potentially ruining the appeal of the original graphic design. Translation errors can cause bad effects to a group and can cause confusion/product misuse, offending audiences from improperly structured translation, legal action, and a damaged reputation for the companies. An example of this is the “anti-calculus” toothpaste. The Korean toothpaste brand used a translation platform like Google Translate to try to write “anti-plaque toothpaste” but ended up hilariously failing.
To conclude, it is very important for the public and companies to properly translate text to avoid severe consequences. In the future, it is important to do research on more reliable sources of translation on the internet, specific for your intended translation. Using translation companies can also help companies avoid these tricky situations so that everyone has the opportunity to know that they will be able to receive service in a language they understand.