Photo by KOBY Agency @Unsplash
Put crottin de chèvre into Google Translate, and you’ll be told it means goat dung. So, if it appeared on a menu, you might pass. Alas, you would be ruling out a delicious cheese made of goat’s milk that is often served as a starter in France. Such misunderstandings are why Google admits that its free tool, used by about 500 million people, is not intended to replace human translators.
Tourists might accept a few misunderstandings because the technology is cheap and convenient. But when the stakes are higher, perhaps in business, law or medicine, these services often fall short.