As Jedward fans, we request their music be played on radio stations all around the world, often in languages we don’t have a clue about. Sometimes we don’t have a native speaker handy to be able to write up a tweet for us – so we turn to Google Translate…often with (to the native speaker) hilarious consequences.
Google Translate has improved over the years, but it’s still not perfect. It can however be made to work FOR you rather than AGAINST you – again, not faultlessly, but in a way that the recipient will understand.
Let’s for the purposes of this article, say we’re requesting “Free Spirit” to be played on a Dutch radio station, and we translate from English to Dutch.
Keep your phrasing as simple as possible:
Select the Dutch phrase, and have it translated back into English:
Seems simple enough! But what if your phrase doesn’t translate back into something intelligible?
Each translated word can be clicked for alternatives (when available):
Choose a word, select the whole phrase, and run it back through translate again. If it still doesn’t make sense, choose another, and so on.
As previously said, it’s not a faultless method. If in any doubt about what you’re saying, it’s always preferable to ask a native speaker to write a request you can use. But you *can* make Google Translate work for you. And often, it’s appreciated that you’ve made the effort to request a song in the recipient’s language. So give it a go!
Have you tried any other online translators? What has been your experience of them? Let us know!