Why not just use Google Translate?

Google Translate allows you to feed text or a few different file types, select the languages you want to translate into, and ta-dam! All translated for free.Why bother paying Bureau Works?
Gabriel Fairman
2 min

Kids often ask the best questions. My daughter asked me the other day:

"Why do your clients pay you to get their things translated when they can just Google Translate for free?”

That’s a great question. And here is the answer: Google Translate allows you to feed text or a few different file types, select the languages you want to translate into, and ta-dam! All translated for free.Why bother paying Bureau Works? If all you are trying to do is get the gist of a simple, or short document, then the answer is: you shouldn’t. Bureau Works is not worth your while.

But if you need to use the document for personal or business reasons this is where Google Translate falls short and Bureau Works doesn’t.

  1. PrivacyWhen you use Google Translate for free you are giving up on the privacy of your content. Here is Google’s privacy statement regarding Google Translate:
  1. You are essentially surrendering your content to Google. If there is anything sensitive in your document, it is not advisable to use Google Translate. With Bureau Works, our strict privacy and confidentiality clauses (under our SOC 2 Type 2 Governance) ensure that your content and data will remain private throughout its life.
  2. Google Translate has no liabilityIf Google Translate mis-translates up for down or anything that results in a bad judgment call or decision, Google has no responsibility. It’s a free service with all kinds of disclaimers. When you use Bureau Works not only are we insured for Errors and Omissions but our clauses allow our clients to know that they can rely on translated content.
  3. Few extensionsGoogle Translate only handles a few file extensions:Google translate handles 11 extensions: .doc, .docx, .odf, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx, .ps, .rtf, .txt, .xls, .xlsxBureau Works natively handles 22 extensions: .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, .htm, .html, .idml, .json, .pdf, .php, .po, .ppt, .pptx, .properties, . srt, .strings, .xlf, .xliff, .xls, .xlsx, xml, .yamlOur team can also handle other file-types that require prep work for translation such as Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captivate, or Premiere.
  4. Google Translate has no Workflow ManagementYou feed text or documents in and you are done. You can’t sequence events such as first translate with Google Translate and then have a human review. Anything that will be done must be managed manually. This is feasible for a random file here or there but unsustainable in a program with any kind of continuity. Good translation workflow management software accomplishes more than just the shuffle from point A to point B.
  5. Google Translate does not preserve formattingOnce you feed text or a document into Google Translate you don’t get as an output a formatted file ready for the next editing steps. All you see is a rendering in plain text without any formatting.If you intend on using the document, you will have is a plain text rendering of your original Word File or presentation. If you plan on using the content, you will have to reformat it entirely, copying and pasting each sentence into the right place and formatting it correctly. That’s very hard to do with languages that you do not understand. Bureau Works can ensure the basic formatting of any document is preserved when using our machine translation engines (including Google Cloud Translation API). In addition for more complex file types, Bureau Works offers expert design services so that you get turn-key files ready for printing, your LMS (learning management system), or digital publishing.
  6. Google Translate has no knowledge managementIf you feed a document onto Google Translate and then make changes to those translations, those changes will not be recorded anywhere. Google Translate will not learn from your changes.With Bureau Works, any change you make to your translations will be stored in your unique translation library (Translation Memory) and if you process the same or a similar document, your previous changes will be leveraged to your benefit. That is, the more you translate, the more Bureau Works has the ability to learn your desired translation preferences and you don’t have to make the same edits every time.
  7. Google Translate has no Terminology ManagementYou can’t teach Google Translate to call certain things in pre-determined ways. For example, let’s say you don’t translate a Product Name or a Title, you can’t teach this to Google Translate. Using Bureau Works you can create a glossary or terminology management that belongs exclusively to you or your organization ensuring that key brand terms and preferences are preserved.
  8. Google Translate has no connector/automation capabilitiesMany of our clients use Bureau Works through connectors to repositories such as Adobe Experience Manager, WordPress, or Oracle Eloqua for instance. This allows them to create projects at the click of a button or based on certain conditions being met. Nothing needs to be copied and pasted. The translation cycle flows automatically.
  9. Google Translate does not have integrated servicesIt will provide you with a rough draft of your translations but it will not allow you to integrate that with human editors or decided how many layers of editing you need to reach your expected output quality. With Bureau Works, you can decide if you want to have a human just glance and intervene occasionally with the machine-translation output or you can have a human review each and every sentence and then have another expert reviewer assess each of those sentences again resulting in superior translation quality and effectiveness.


Google Translate is an amazing service but it works only in limited circumstances and is not meant for business use. For business use, you need a robust framework that allows you to turn translation headaches into solutions, easily and effectively.

Gabriel Fairman
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