The Welsh Assembly got itself into hot water this week after admitting it used Google Translate to translate assembly proceedings.
The move has sparked outrage from cross Welsh translators, branding it ‘ridiculous’.
A recent report stated a 5000-word passage (known as a ‘cofnod’) was copied into Google Translate and was ‘quality assured’ by a member of staff as part of a pilot project.
As most translators could tell you, while Google Translate is a handy free tool, using it to translate large passages of text—especially official government documentation—is certainly not their wisest move. Not least because it’s prone to errors, mistranslations and contextual mistakes.
Geraint Wyn Parry, chief executive of the Association of Welsh Translators and Interpreters, said: ‘It’s a ridiculous idea that they can even consider translating an official document like this using machine translation that is recognised as having failings. The only satisfactory way of producing a Welsh-language cofnod is to use a recognised translator.’
Thankfully, the Welsh Assembly also recognise this fact, admitting that using machine translation in conjunction with human translation would indeed be a ‘risky strategy’.
Here at Lingo, our unique Heart technology has the capacity to combine sophisticated machine translation with quality human translators, ensuring a higher turnaround at a more cost-effective price. We wouldn’t, however, recommend it for official government documents!
For that, nothing will beat the quality and accuracy of a human speaker. Let’s hope the Welsh Assembly take note!