French Translation – Google Translate or Certified Translation?

Translating to and from French has become extremely difficult, not because of the actual translation, but because of making a choice between Google Translate and Certified Translation. Over the years Google Translate has become so highly efficient in translating text between languages that most official translators use Google Translate to translate French text into other languages available in the Google Translate tool.

Thus one might ask why countless certified translation services bother to provide French translation. The answer is simple. Nobody has ever found an automated translation tool that can surpass an actual human translator’s intelligence, not even Google.

There are various drawbacks to using Google Translate. A primary concern is grammatical correctness and punctuation conventions, both of which may influence interpretation and an ultimate court ruling. Furthermore, translating complex legal passages from or to the French language using Google Translate is extremely difficult without distorting the meaning and/or intent of the source language. Part of the explanation for this difficulty is the necessity to negotiate between completely different legal systems, which share few precedents and histories. These problems may all provide reasons for Google Translate’s disclaimer that because the tool is intended for informational purposes only, the company cannot vouch for the accuracy of translations.

As long as the user recognizes the limits of electronic translation, he should know to avoid using non-human translator services to translate official documents to or from French. Because every official document requires a notarization and an end note that describes and validates the proficiency of the translator in both of the translating media, only human translators can fulfill this requirement. For instance, a French translator is supposed add the following sentence as a footnote to all official documents to be submitted to US authorities:

“I, (Name), residing in (Address), hereby declare that I have a sufficient knowledge of English and French languages, and certify the above translation of the (Document) from France as true and correct in all respects.”
Furthermore, the end note must be notarized.

To authenticate the translation, the translator should either be certified or able to convince the investigating authorities that the translator is indeed proficient in both French and the translated language. Google Translate cannot provide this guarantee. When using the French electronic translation tool for translating text into languages not available from Google, translators will have a hard time locating an automated tool that supports the desired output language. And once translators find such a tool, they cannot ascertain whether the output text is indeed grammatically or theoretically correct or adequate in any of the other aspects of accurate, effective translation.

In such instances, certified translators are required for French translation.  These translators can assure the integrity of the translation as well as provide notarization for all the translated documents so that the applicant can proceed with his application or business application without worries.

To its credit, Google Translate provides a useful, expedient tool for French translation if you don’t need an official translation or if you are just wanting to learn the French language. In other situations Google Translate can also be immensely useful. For example, if you want to get around with minimal assistance during your travels, you can use the tool to enhance your communication while visiting France or any other places where French is the official language.

Leave a Reply