Is Your Translation Vendor Using Unreliable Online Translation Engines?

 In CAT Tools, Translation

online translationYour organization pays translation services providers good money to ensure accurate and high-quality translation. There’s no reason to think that they would allow their translators to use free online translation engines like Google Translate… right?

Then you remember the correction requests that have come in after publishing translated content…

… the PANIC from the urgency to fix it

… and the HASSLE of submitting corrections through the translation process ALL OVER AGAIN.

Not to mention that translation mistakes could potentially damage the organization’s reputation, delay deadlines, and cause financial loss. What a nightmare!

You know where the mistakes came from (your translation vendor), but do you know why?


What you and most users of translation services may not know is that many translation providers ALLOW their translators access to online translation engines—like Google Translate—during the translation process, which can lead to inaccurate translation, financial loss, breached confidentiality, and unfortunately—PANIC MODE.

How does my vendor allow access to online translation engines?

When your provider sends your content to language professionals to be translated, reviewed, and checked for quality assurance, they work inside a software environment called Computer Assisted Translation (CAT tool).

What is a CAT tool?

Without getting too technical, a CAT tool takes all your previously translated content from your organization, compares it to newly submitted content, and makes suggestions to the translator based on similarities found in the previously translated material.

Basically… this tool speeds up translation and can save you money.

But… your translation vendor controls what CAT tool is used, and the features that are activated within it.

Features like—wait for it— allowing translators access to online translation engines (like Google Translate) within the tool!


Is using free online translation REALLY that bad?

YES—YES—a thousand times YES! Why?


Online translation engines operate entirely differently than human translators. These engines base their translation solely on statistical methods (the most frequently used translated replacement for each word) instead of considering the context of the content.

And context is key.

Qualified, educated, and creative human translators use cultural context combined with subject matter knowledge to produce accurate and quality translations. Therefore, they should be highly favored over translation engines EVERY time.

Using online translation engines puts your organization at high risk of inaccurate, embarrassing, and costly errors within your content.


To think that translation services providers would even allow translators the option to utilize tools like Google Translate is entirely counter-intuitive and totally boggles the mind.


But there is another, very real danger to using free online translation engines during the translation process.

Breach of Confidentiality

ANY information put through an online translation engine could be accessible to anyone!

In 2017, a massive breach at (a translation engine powered by Microsoft Translator) led to thousands of people’s highly sensitive data exposed on the internet, within Google searches!

Many online translation engines don’t keep the possibility of information exposure a secret.

Google puts it right in their Terms of Service:

Terms of Service Public

Cue panic mode…

If your translation vendor allows their translators access to online translation engines, then your organization’s content is already at risk of exposure.

How do I find out if my vendor uses online translation engines?

There is a very simple solution to finding out if your translation services providers allow the use of translation engines in their CAT tool…

… just ask!

If you regularly use translation services or are in charge of coordinating translation services in your organization, ask your vendors if they allow the use of online translation engines within their CAT tool. And if they tell you they do… then tell them to STOP.

Protect your organization’s information, reduce costly corrections, and take control.

Tell your vendors to turn off features that allow translators access to online translation engines in their CAT tool.

Your peace of mind will thank you for it.

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