A Comparative Study of Google Translate Translations: An Error Analysis of English-to-Persian and Persian-to-English Translations

  •  Hadis Ghasemi    
  •  Mahmood Hashemian    


Both lack of time and the need to translate texts for numerous reasons brought about an increase in studying machine translation with a history spanning over 65 years. During the last decades, Google Translate, as a statistical machine translation (SMT), was in the center of attention for supporting 90 languages. Although there are many studies on Google Translate, few researchers have considered Persian-English translation pairs. This study used Keshavarzʼs (1999) model of error analysis to carry out a comparison study between the raw English-Persian translations and Persian-English translations from Google Translate. Based on the criteria presented in the model, 100 systematically selected sentences from an interpreter app called Motarjem Hamrah were translated by Google Translate and then evaluated and brought in different tables. Results of analyzing and tabulating the frequencies of the errors together with conducting a chi-square test showed no significant differences between the qualities of Google Translate from English to Persian and Persian to English. In addition, lexicosemantic and active/passive voice errors were the most and least frequent errors, respectively. Directions for future research are recognized in the paper for the improvements of the system.

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