Google Translate is an easily accessible and free translation tool which, I must admit, is quite useful at times. Sometimes it can even be very useful. But you shouldn’t trust it to translate anything, and here’s why.

Online machine translation services (such as Google Translate) “learn” from translations available on the Internet. The more there are, say, webpages with English and Russian language options, the more “learning” content there is. When you copy and paste something into the translation window, the program spits out something like that from its memory. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The problem, though, is that you can only know when the translation is f***** or stupidly funny if you speak both the source and the target languages. If you don’t, well…

If you do decide to use Google Translate, just know that everything that you paste into the translation window automatically becomes the property of Google and they can use that however they want. Sounds horrible, but it’s almost the same as writing something into the search bar. This information, too, they save and offer you later. Yes, we do kind of know that our data is actively being collected and manipulated, but it does make our lives more comfortable, in a certain way.

When we enter something into Google Translate, we don’t think about it like the data that Google collects. But it is just that. That, too, is done to improve this service.

Google usually doesn’t let us find personal info, at least in the EU. But that most certainly doesn’t mean that Google doesn’t have this data. One of the ways this data is collected is through Google Translate. Every time you use it to translate something, Google saves the entirety of it, like it or not.

You’re in deep s*** if, for example, the document you’re translating using Google Translate has a point about confidentiality. And so, if you do translate such a document using GT, you’re inadvertently breaking that point. Yes, most likely no one will notice, but you never know. The entirety of that document is now the property of Google, AI will analyse it to no end and so on… quite scary, isn’t it?

Without everything mentioned beforehand, you must understand that it is EXTREMELY dangerous to use a machine translator to translate anything related to health, medicine, security, or other sensitive topics. Google Translate is, at best, a fancy calculator. It simply cannot know what you want to say and you can’t explain that to it. It doesn’t know specific terminology. Of course, human translators often don’t know the terminology, but a human would, in this case, do his research, search, and ask until he finds out what’s what and what to call something. A human will do that because he understands the risks that arise from an incorrect translation. A machine doesn’t care.

The idea of a machine translation isn’t altogether bad, even professionals use various tools which make their job easier. It may be useful, for example, when you have to translate a large amount of technical information. In that case, you can “train” the program and get to a complete translation faster and more efficiently. However, a good result can only be achieved when these programs are used in conjunction with professionals. Using Google Translate is like searching for health tips on the internet – you can find something and sometimes it helps, but it’s best to just go to a doctor.