The UX of Google Translate API

I made this page as a proof-of-concept for the Google Translate API.  The Google Translate developer page was helpful, as was the jQuery wrapper for it.  It was easy to implement and works very quickly.  Unfortunately, the results stink.

Sarah, who sites next to me, speaks Chinese.  She says the results made no sense.  Pavel, across from me, speaks Russian.  He was also baffled by the results.  It’s really neat when the character set changes so quickly, but if the sentence is mangled in translation, then it’s ultimately worthless.

I thought by 2010, that we would have flying cars and free energy.  I figured we would have computers that translate in real time and get it closer than this.  Where are my flying cars?!?

The whole system is so close.  So very close to being amazing.  But right now, it’s just broken.  As a UX feature, the ability to speak the native language of the user is wonderful.  However, if we sound like idiots, we are doing more harm than good.

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