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Google Translate: Human vs machine

Earlier this year Google introduced a number of enhancements to its Translate service. As well as written text this now makes it able to transcribe and translate audio.

But how does it compare to a human? Translation service Verbal Ink has done a head-to-head comparison and released the results as an infographic.

The tests show that Google Translate has come a long way since its 2001 launch. It does a pretty good job of getting the gist of a text or recording, certainly enough for basic understanding.

In fact, I had Google Translate as a saved bookmark throughout the year of my French GSCE exam and it did a pretty good job for me then.

However, it still struggles with capturing nuance and its translated texts suffer from poor word choices that harm readability.

So whilst it's a good choice for day-to-day tasks where you need a translation fast, it seems Google has some way to go before it can be relied on for commercial documents, which was probably to be expected.

The infographic is reproduced below. You can find out more and access the text files and recordings used in the test on the Verbal Ink website.


Image Credit: Cienpies Design / Shutterstock