I’ll just throw it into Google Translate

Ever wonder if you should save some money by using Google Translate instead of a professional human translator? If the text is anything important, then you probably shouldn’t.

The technology is impressive, but it’s not yet ready to replace humans. As a fun example of why I say this, consider what happens when you use Google Translate to translate the lyrics of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Takin’ Care of Business into Russian and then back into English.

Original lyrics in English

English to Russian and back (via Google Translate)

You get up every morning from your alarm clock’s warning
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle up above and people pushin’, people shovin’
And the girls, who try to look pretty

You get up every morning with a warning on the Service in
Take the 8:15 into the city
There’s a whistle at the top and the people pushin ‘people shovin’
And girls who try to look pretty

And if your train’s on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get your pay
If you ever get annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love to work at nothing all day

And if your train is on time, you can get to work by nine
And start your slaving job to get their salaries
If you ever annoyed, look at me, I’m self-employed
I love working for the whole day nothing

And I’ll be takin’ care of business every day
Takin’ care of business every way
I’ve been takin’ care of business, it’s all mine
Takin’ care of business and working overtime, work out

And I’ll be takin care of business every day
Care Takin ‘business in all respects
I’m taking care of business, it’s all mine
Care Takin ‘business and working overtime, work out

If it were easy as fishin’, you could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a second-hand guitar, chances are you’ll go far
If you get in with the right bunch of fellows

If it were easy, like Fishin ‘, you could be a musician
If you could make sounds loud or mellow
Get a used guitar, chances are you will go far
If you get the right bunch of fellows

This is taken a bit further with Adele’s “Hello” in the following video by Malinda Kathleen Reese.

Here’s her description of the process of generating the lyrics.

Please comment below if you have any funny examples of Google Translate falling short.