Three weeks ago, I added a translation module to this blog as an experiment with automated translation software.
The technology worked although thanks to some readers of different nationalities, it quickly became clear that the translations were not great – and in some cases barely comprehensible. Part of the reason is that I write in a very chatty fashion in English, complete with slang, odd sentence construction and often an idiosyncratic style. There’s no way a computer can accurately translate that sort of material. And it would seem that Google has decided not to bother at all.
Click on any of the flags on the right-hand column and I have just noticed you are informed that Google considers that your action “looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application” and that you may want to run a virus checker on your computer. There is no manual override. Google simply refuses to translate the page. So much for Google translation. I’m shifting to a different one that hopefully will be able to do the most basic job or telling a click on a website to a virus.
And people wonder why we shouldn’t get too caught up with Google software.