“Public dangerously misled by online translation services,” reads the article from the L&L translation agency. In response to Microsoft launching their latest free online translation, the agency put out the usual examples of how translation software doesn’t always get it right. Yet these voices seem to be missing the whole point of these tools; they are not designed and offered as accurate translations that can be relied upon. Even Kwintessential’s free online translation tool comes with a warning that the wording will never be 100% accurate.
The point of the translation tools is to simply offer the user a rough or “gist” translation of a source text, nothing else. By doing so these free tools at least help people understand the meaning of an email, a web page or any anything else in a foreign language they can’t understand. It is for this reason that such online translation tools should be seen as a positive addition to the world wide web.