Why can’t Google Translate do the trick?
Machine Translation can be useful. Devices such as Google Translate or Reverso do have a very complete repertory of words and phrases, and they offer a fast, convenient, and most of all, cheap solution to some translation needs. But they do not always offer the best results.
Let’s give an example: you need to put a notice in the elevator in English and Spanish. You write your notice in English, copy, paste, hit the “Translate” button, and that will do the trick: fast, convenient and cheap. Off you go to hang this note in the elevator:
More often than not, your translated text will really sound confusing. See the word “paracaídas”? It means “parachute”, not trash chute. Even if you know a little Spanish, you may not realize it, because the words will seem all right. But any Spanish speaker will have a hard time trying to figure out your message on the notice, because it technically says: “the parachute will be professionally cleaned…”. The same thing happens in clothes tags: they may need to be ironed with a “cool iron”, which is wrongly translated (aka. machine translated) as “hierro fresco” instead of “planchar a baja temperatura”. See the trouble there?
Machine translation often makes a word by word match between two languages, when the correct thing would be to take the context into account to figure out the best way to convey the message.
Other times, the translated text may sound like written by Yoda, because Google may know the words, but the machine does not always understand the meaning of a sentence. Feel free to roam through more than 5,000 real life examples on this Bad Translations Flickr album.
In a nutshell: in many cases, machines just do not get it right! If you want to avoid these issues, if you really want your message to be correctly conveyed to another language, please trust a human translator like me!
Food for thought:
There is no such thing as the perfect word, but one can always strive to find it, in any language.