Google Translate vs Human Translation

19 June 2023

We all love Google Translate! With the click of a button, you can instantly translate your document into dozens of different languages. But is it really that good, or are we just amazed by how much it can speed up the translation process?


While it may seem like an attractive alternative to human translation services, Google Translate, which is an automated translation solution, still falls short when compared to the skills offered by professional translators. How? We’ll explain.

Going Beyond Words

Machine translation systems like Google Translation rely heavily on statistical analysis and pattern recognition. However, they often struggle with context, idiomatic expressions, cultural nuances, and linguistic subtleties that require unique knowledge. 

Copy and paste this sentence on Google Translate; “His family told him to break a leg right before he went up on stage”. What was the translation for the idiom “break a leg”?

Professional human translators possess the cultural and contextual knowledge necessary to accurately convey the intended meaning, ensuring translations resonate with the target audience.

Cultural Sensitivity and Localisation

Language is inherently intertwined with culture, and accurate translation requires an understanding of the cultural context. Google Translate isn’t skilled in the cultural game. On the other hand, translators are well-versed in the intricacies of culture-specific references, idioms, and social norms. 

They can adapt translations to suit the target audience, ensuring that messages are conveyed appropriately and respectfully.

Evolving Language and Expressions

Language is dynamic; it constantly evolves with time. New words, expressions, and cultural references emerge regularly, often leaving machine translation systems struggling to keep up. 

Human translators, through continuous learning and engagement, stay up-to-date with the ever-changing linguistic landscape. They are better equipped to accurately interpret and adapt to the nuances of new vocabulary, colloquialisms, and slang.

Tailored Translations for Specific Industries

Different industries have their own unique terminologies and jargon. Can Google Translate provide accurate results for such terms? Not quite. Professional translators with subject-matter expertise can adeptly navigate the intricate language nuances specific to fields such as legal, medical, engineering, and marketing translations. 


They possess the abilities to accurately convey complex concepts, ensuring accuracy and coherence in specialised content that may be crucial for legal contracts, medical reports, user manuals, or marketing campaigns.

Speed and Efficiency

One of the advantages of machine translation that present it as a good alternative to human translation is speed and efficiency. With its instant translation capabilities, Google Translate can rapidly process and translate large volumes of text in a matter of seconds. 

However, when it comes to documents of utmost importance, such as legal contracts or medical records, where accuracy is the priority, translators' meticulous approach cannot be replaced.

But what if there is a way to capitalise on this advantage, while maintaining accuracy? 

Striking a Balance

Combining human translation with machine translation can yield the best results in terms of accuracy and efficiency. 

By integrating the strengths of both approaches, the final translation becomes a powerful blend of precision and speed. Professional translators can refine and polish the machine-generated output, ensuring accurate interpretation of idiomatic expressions, cultural references, and subtle nuances that require a deep understanding of the language.

At e-Arabization, we offer the perfect blend to facilitate your global expansion and prevail in every language. Contact us to learn more.