aNewDomain — Here’s some creative thinking for you. Now that Google has released the long-awaited upgrade of its Google Translate application, folks at the Verbal Ink language translation firm wondered how Google Translate compares with human translation now, in 2015.
Big changes in Google Translate include visual and audio translation functions in addition to the “type anything” function it has become famous for. Verbal Ink, for its part, doesn’t offer image translation but it does do audio translation and document translation — by humans. Humans of course do a better job getting to the bottom of idioms and various cultural and linguistic nuances, but how much better? Admittedly, this wasn’t a completely objective test run by a completely uninterested party, but the test is still awfully intriguing.
For the test, Verbal Ink pitted two human Spanish translators (Adriana and Gaby) against the latest version of Google Translate in a two-part test. The first test involved translating a promotional Argentinian document about beekeeping from Spanish to English. The second test required translating one minute of Spanish audio into English. Scroll below the fold to test yourself and your company with the original test files and to enter in your results. Click to enlarge.
Google Translate vs. human translation infographic: ConnectTheory.com
Want to try this out yourself? Here are the links you’ll need to do it:
- Verbal Ink’s test file for document translation
- Verbal Ink’s test recording for audio translation. You’ll also hear Google Translate’s translation at the end of the file.
- The complete document translations from both Google Translate and the human translators
- The complete audio translations from both Google Translate and the human translators
Bottom line: Human translators won’t fit in your pocket, it’s true, but this test showed humans were still the better translators, which is kind of what we would have expected. Will Google Translate someday be able to replace professional human translation?
Share your thoughts on this and your experience with Google Translate and experienced human translators for business in the comments below or on aNewDomain’s Facebook page or @anewdomain.