When I talk and meet with heads and groups of head teachers they always ask me about the accuracy of the digital translation. My answer is always the same that, as every language is different, the syntax varies, and the way we explain sentences changes, no translator can ever translate word for word, or you end up with a sentence that means nothing. Every translator uses their intellectual knowledge of the language to paraphrase and re-order according to the needs of the audience, but sometimes they dont get it right.
When we first started using translators to translate our books we chose our translators carefully. We knew they could speak the language, what we didnt realise (as so many other teachers dont) was that many were not aware of the technical language used in education. They all knew that cirumference was the distance around the circle but very few knew the technical word for it, and this caused us great issues in producing books that helped bridge the gap between English language knowledge and home language understanding.
Our digital translation is around 95% accurate and when we talk about understanding we actually talk about communication not translation, as if the text is formal rather than informal or vice versa it doesn’t change the meaning but it does get over the point. The following blog picks up on this but is a little bit more dramatic in the way they describe translators as being traitors. The examples are in Spanish but they could relate to any language.
It is said that every translator is a traitor, as it is impossible to prepare a perfect translation, which would mean literally the same, while keeps every shade of the text of the source language. Not to mention the occasions when the translator simply makes a mistake resulting in something odd or even senseless. The following link analyses the translation errors made while the popular science fiction movie ‘Blade runner’ has been dubbed into Spanish: Blade Runner traducción