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Google Translate waves goodbye to top translation tool

There have been mixed reactions from the web as Google Translate announces the closure of one of its most-used web translation tools due to ‘extensive abuse’.

The Google Translate application programming interface (API) allows coders to build Google’s translation technology directly into a website, automatically machine translating web pages into any desired language.

A quiet message on the Google Translate API Code page states that the service is going to be gradually reduced, and eventually cancelled on 1st December 2011.

While this is bad news for those developers who have spent time and effort incorporating the tool into their multilingual websites, at Lingo24 we hope that Google’s removal of the free tool will highlight the value of professional human translators.

Here are a few reasons why we love our professional translators:

  • Unlike Google Translate, they don’t translate literally, meaning you get grammatically perfect sentences… and no chance of dodgy ‘Spanglish’ or ‘non-translations’ issues
  • Working in-country means they’re up to date with any linguistic changes as the language evolves
  • They can pick up on subtle nuances, slang or technical terms
  • They can help you brainstorm new ideas for your multilingual project, e.g. when choosing SEO keywords
  • They understand the importance of style and tone, so your translations will always be appropriate for their audience
  • If you want to talk to them to offer advice or feedback on a translation, then you can!

While Google is keen to reassure the web that this doesn’t signal the total demise of Google Translate, for those with an interest in the foreign language internet this news is a valuable reminder of the on-going value of human translation – technology may make our lives easier in some respects, but you can’t place everything in the hands of free online tools!

Christian Arno, Founder and President, Lingo24

Christian Arno is Founder and President of Lingo24. He started the company in 2001 after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in languages. He has won numerous awards including HSBC Business Thinking and International Trade Awards (2010), and TAUS Excellence Award (2012) for innovative technology. He contributes to leading industry publications and has been featured on the BBC, in the Financial Times and other media around the world.

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