If only Google Translator were the answer!
When people ask about my work as a translator, and I tell them a little about the challenges of understanding a text (ie as the writer intended it to be understood) and then rendering that text into comparable English, I am sometimes regaled with the following startlingly “new” revelation: “Why don’t you use Google Translator?” After all, you’ve only to copy and paste the text, and Google will do the rest for you………….
In response, let me use a little bit of archaic English grammar to express an exhortation: “Would that it were that easy!”. If it were, every translator would be out of work in a trice. Google Translator is an excellent tool for a casual, superficial understanding of a text. I use it for languages that are completely outside my spectrum of understanding. But to make use of it as a professional translator……….well, let me demonstrate some of its limitations with a few short texts that I have recently translated.
(My version) Through personal pride, minor faults that affect others are blown out of proportion; whereas, by
contrast, more grievous personal faults tend to be played down and justified.
(Google version) We pride staff, smaller faults that affect others are increased, whereas, by contrast, tend to own larger defects decreased and justified
(My version) While it is certainly true that doubt is a human trait that dogs our heels
(Google version) While that certainly is a human element that accompanies us
(My version) Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones.
(Google version) For only he who is faithful in Petite things can be big things
I think you might agree, there is still room for professional translators on this planet!