Modern technologies can easily convince you that you can translate anything online, without the help of a professional translator or translation agency. A number of instant translators are on the market with Google Translate and Bing Translator being the most popular online translation tools. Such translating tools are now embedded into online communication apps making people believe they can communicate effortlessly in any language. However, these are all algorithms that use already translated texts to provide translation to any of the supported languages and are not appropriate for official translations or translation of any document.
If you try to copy and paste a complex document into Google Translate, you will always get odd results since the translation tool lacks context and translates literary. If you use Google Translate, you must have good knowledge of the target language to get best results that can be achieved after carefully editing the machine translation. Moreover, there are languages for which Google Translate lacks data and cannot translate even simple phrases and idioms.
That said, you can use Google Translate only for unofficial communication in your everyday life. The algorithm of Google Translate is not corrupt but is still a machine that cannot get the context of a text and its meaning. The algorithm will rarely understand professional slang or nuances of a more complex text where metaphors and idioms are used. Many professional translators have tried Google Translate and Bing Translator only to find that it is better to translate from scratch rather than edit a text that is often completely unnatural and lacks important points of meaning.
You must also know that even off-the-shelf translation software used by translation agencies and professional translators lack functionality to translate automatically. Human translation and editing is always required to translate correctly and to edit the text in accordance with the document context. Google Translate is not a professional translation tool, thus it should be used only when no other translation methods are available and only for casual translations.
How should you use Google Translate then? The algorithm can be very useful if you do not know the exact language of a source document, Google Translate can determine the language for you. Use the translating machine for unofficial translations when you have solid grasp of the target language, you will find it can translate e few simple sentences that would require minimum editing. Nonetheless, never use Google Translate for official documentation since the results could be quite misleading and inaccurate.
Many software companies are developing tools like Google Translate but you will always need a professional translator or an agency for your official documents. No algorithm is able to understand the natural flow of a language or its nuanced meanings that are hidden behind idioms, metaphors, or expressions that are specific for an industry. Sure, you can use Google Translate to navigate through a site in a foreign language but you cannot read an online encyclopedia using this machine tool since you will loss half of the meaning and will get messy results that will not read naturally.
In fact, we will always need human translation to get the real meaning of a text which human translation cannot be replaced by any algorithm.