We’ve been using Google Translate for our automated translation feature for more than a year now. While it’s always been OK, recently, it’s gotten much, much better. If you want to understand why, you can read this great NYTimes article on the subject. Or you can just look at the example below, which came from an actual emergency alert.
“Este es un mensaje importante de la oficina del sheriff. Se buscan a dos hombres blancos, uno de ellos está calvo, que fueron vistos por última vez en Upper Hollow Road. Estos hombres están actualmente siendo buscados por las fuerzas de la ley por robo. Por favor, mantenga sus vehículos seguros quitando la llave y bloqueándolos. Si ve algo sospechoso llame al 9 1 1.”
English Option 1
“This is an important message from the sheriff’s department. Be on the look out for two white males, one of which is bald headed, last seen on Upper Hollow Road. These men are currently being pursued by law enforcement for theft. Please secure your vehicles by removing the keys and locking them. If you see anything suspicious call 9 1 1.”
English Option 2
“This is an important message from the sheriff’s office. They look for two white men, one of them is bald, who were last seen on Upper Hollow Road. These men are currently being sought by law enforcement for theft. Please keep your vehicles safe by removing the key and locking them. If you see something suspicious call 9 1 1.”
To make it easy for you to compare, we used a Spanish message and showed you two English translations. One comes from a human and the other from Google Translate. You can probably guess the Google one, but not by much. And both of them are probably just as effective at getting your citizens to understand what to do.
To find out more, give us a call at 877-2-Notify or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.