A new study from online language learning platform Preply has shown how accurately Google can translate the most popular European languages by 2022. […]
According to the study of preply is Google translate The world’s most popular translation software with over 338 million searches per month. The software might be a useful option for users, but how accurate is Google Translate really?
To answer this question, preply conducted an experiment together with his professional bilingual language teachers. Google’s ability to correctly translate different types of text was put to the test for English, Italian, German, and Spanish languages (and vice versa).
Each language was then ranked by number of misspelled words, readability and accuracy to identify the most difficult European languages for Google to translate.
Europe: English the easiest to translate, Italian the hardest
Preply’s research shows that Italian is the biggest challenge for Google when it comes to translation, with an accuracy of 94 percent. On average, there are 0.59 errors per 10 words translated into Italian and a low readability score of 4.5 out of 10, which is attributed to poor sentence structure.
German followed with 95 percent accuracy, with an average of 0.54 translation errors per 10 words. Like many European languages, German requires an excellent understanding of the context in which it is spoken, which is sometimes not understood well enough by the Google algorithm.
Spanish was the second easiest language to translate for Google with a high hit rate of 97 percent. There were only 0.34 errors per 10 words translated and the translations were rated with an impressive readability score of 7.4 out of 10.
The study also found that Google Translate performs better when translating content from other languages into English: only 0.28 out of 10 words translated are wrong. Despite the lack of bugs, the average readability was not that good, scoring only 5.74 out of 10 in terms of accuracy and clarity.
Google Translate is probably so good at English because it is the most widely used language on the web. As a result, Google’s algorithm has access to more English documents than other languages and can learn from this content.
Informal expressions the hardest to translate
Preply research found that colloquial language is the most difficult for Google to translate (72 percent accuracy), followed by business (96 percent) and literary texts (94 percent).
This is probably because Google Translate, as an AI tool, finds it difficult to understand the uniquely human nuances needed to translate the meaning of region-specific words and phrases into the target language.
Of the four languages studied, translating literary texts into English was easiest for Google Translate, with a hit rate of 97 percent. In contrast, translating informal English into other languages proved to be the most difficult, with an accuracy of only 72 percent.
Amy Pritchett, Student Success Manager at Preply, commented on the survey findings: “Google Translate can be a great platform for basic translation. However, as our research shows, it is not always accurate due to its limitations as a machine learning tool. This is especially true for more complex languages such as Spanish and German.”
*Elisa Krisper is Junior Project Manager at the communication agency MOMENTUM Vienna and editor of the specialized media portal INTERNET WORLD Austria and com!professional.