Besides being free, online translators software slash time and effort expended in translating foreign words manually. With a few mouse clicks, you\’ll get instant translations of words, sentences or even whole paragraphs and web pages. However, like all free stuff serving up instant products, online translators come with disclaimers. With the inexact translations that they often deliver, they tend to mislead users, especially language learners at the beginning level.
That is not to say that online translators should not exist. They can be useful in translating words and will broaden your vocabulary in the language you want to learn (target language). Also, as opposed to conventional dictionaries, online translators typically store a greater selection of words.
Some online translators transcend the complexities exclusive to translating a specific language, for example French to English. Most French to English dictionaries only include the base form of a verb, and do not have the past tense. This presents a huge challenge in translating French to English because the former has a wealth of irregular verbs. Since online translators have a greater record of words, even French irregular verbs are likely to be included.
However, if you need to translate phrases, sentences and paragraphs, you have to practice caution. You should never rely solely on online translators. Instead, they should serve as tools for you to gain a better idea of the meaning of a word or phrase.
The main reason why online translators should not be recommended as main translation tools is the fact that they only depend on their record of individual words. For this reason, they usually translate sentences and paragraphs word for word. As a result, an English translation for example of a French text is literal.
You can test this idea by entering an English text and translating it to French. Then, let online translators translate the French translation back to English. Chances are, you\’ll get translations that range from insensible to funny. That is why it\’s always best to work with a language teacher or a good human translator for French into English Translation, and vice verse, particularly one who is a native speaker of your target language.