You may have missed this news and I missed it as well, until today: Wen Jiabao was visitng Malaysia in April and of course he got a red carpet and a nice banner welcoming him. But then something went terribly wrong. The text in Malaysian was all fine, but the part in Chinese wasn’t. I didn’t decipher the faulty banner myself, so I’m basing my writing on this article by Want China Times.
The article says, that the people in charge for the banner relied on Google Translate. This makes me wonder. How can anyone possibly rely on Google Translate? Everyone knows Google Translate can only translate the most simple text. But then I think, that the guy who made this decision is probably monolingual. I sometimes translate text from English to German. And every time I deal with people who are monolingual it can become really painful.
I remember one customer who asked my how much the translation of a text costs. So I told him and it was to expensive for him. Guess what he suggested then…. He said that he could use Google Translate and then I only need to proofread it for a cheaper price. I first considered writing some offensive words, but then realized it was not worth my time typing any more text for this person and I just quit my Skype.
When do people realize, Google Translate does not work for anything more complicated than “Hello! How are you?” … Wait a moment…. Google Translate even fails this one.