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Google Translate – Its Limitations as an English Interpreter of Afrikaans

Updated on January 8, 2012
MartieCoetser profile image

Martie Coetser is a freelance writer from South Africa. She has a keen interest in a variety of topics.

Credit to photostock @ freedigitalphotos,net
Credit to photostock @ freedigitalphotos,net

Google Translate

What a wonderful privilege to have an interpreter permanently on duty in Cyberspace, named Google Translator. It is what they call a free statistical machine translator, provided by Google Inc.

Google Translator came into being on 28 April 2006, but was announced deprecated and to be ceased functioning on 1 December 2011. On June 3, 2011 Google announced that it is no longer to be terminated, but to be released also as a paid version.

Google admitted that the Translator, like any other automatic translation tool, has its limitations. But at least it helps the reader to understand the general content of a foreign language text. They boast about ‘a very good’ French to English translation, which I am not in the position to confirm as true. I can but only stress my strong concern for readers who are obliged to use the tool for translations from my native language – Afrikaans – to English.

To explain my concern I’m going to ask Google Translate to translate above paragraphs to Afrikaans.

Credit to Stuart Miles @
Credit to Stuart Miles @

In English it will be the following ridiculous script -

What an interpreter a wonderful privilege to permanently on duty in the cyberspace with the name Google Translator. This is what they call a freestatistics machine translator, provide by Google Inc.

Google Translator come to state on 28 April 2006, is anounced deprecated and to be on 1 Desember 2011 ceased functioning, announced because there no more end to be on 3 Junie 2011 and to also as a paid version released to be.

Google had admit that the translater, as any other automatic translate tool, has his limitations. But at least help the reader to the general content of a language text to understand. They boast about a very good "French in English” translation, which I not in the position to confirm as the truth. I can only but stress my strong concern for readers what oblige is to the instrument to use for translations out my native tongue – Afrikaans – in English.

To explain my concern what I’m going to a translation of mentioned paragraphs on the correct way to Afrikaans to do. Then go I to the translations to alter according the Afrikaans grammar rules and it with Google Translator back in Engels to translate.

This is Google’s English translation (of Afrikaans text).

Credit to Stuart Miles @
Credit to Stuart Miles @

A second experiment:

I’ve written above paragraphs in perfect Afrikaans, and coming up is an even worse translation in English by Google Translater -

Google Translation - What a wonderful privilege to be a translator, called GoogleTranslator, full time service in cyberspace. It is right to a statistical machine translation provided by Google Inc.. provided.

Google Translator came into effect on 28 April 2006. However, it is rejected and would be on 1 December 2011 at the end of its existence came. On June 3, 2011, Google announced that it will be withdrawn, and that even a version for sale will be presented.

Google acknowledged that the translator, like any other machine translators, many shortcomings. But at least it helps readers to the general content of a text written in a foreign language to understand. Google boasts an excellent French-to-English translator. I'm not in a position to not confirmed. I can only sympathize with my English language - Afrikaans - English to be translated.

To substantiate my sympathies go to Google Translator I ask my African paragraphs in English translation.


Google Translate not only brings disgrace to Google Inc., but also to all who are proud of their native language.

Nevertheless, it does give a reader an idea of the general content of a text written in a foreign language.

A tree pruned by giraffes in Klerksdorp, South Africa

Credit to Dave Williams
Credit to Dave Williams

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