I have a love-hate relationship with Google Translate.
To me, Google Translate is much like an “ex” that I have convinced myself is “the one.” Despite flaws that everyone else can see from outer space, I keep returning for more.
Google Translate is not all bad, though. At times, it is even accurate. As a language learner, however, I am always looking for more out of a “machine” translator.
The Linguistic Society of America published an excellent article on Machine translation. Among the many factors it listed that contribute to the difficulty of machine translation were:
- words with multiple meanings,
- sentences with multiple grammatical structures,
- uncertainty about what a pronoun refers to, etc.
Concerning Chinese, machine translation also has difficulty with cultural distinctions, slang, idioms, measure words, and contextual clues.
While searching for something else entirely, I accidentally fell on LingoCloud’s online translator. While it is new to me, I am completely convinced that it is superior to Google Translate. Here is an example translation:
All I can say is, wow!
Perhaps the secret to LingoCloud’s superiority in Chinese machine translation is that it was created by Chinese natives. Whatever the reason for its greatness is, I am so happy to have found it! I hope you, dear friend, will benefit from having found it as well.
As always, take care!