Evaluation of google translate in rendering english covid-19 texts into arabic

Zakaryia Almahasees, Samah Meqdadi, Yousef Albudairi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Machine Translation (MT) has the potential to provide instant translation in times of crisis. MT provides real solutions that can remove borders between people and COVID-19 information. The widespread of MT system makes it worthy of scrutinizing the capacity of the most prominent MT system, Google Translate, to deal with COVID-19 texts into Arabic. The study adopted (Costa et al., 2015a) framework in analysing the output of Google Translate output service in terms of orography, grammar, lexis, and semantics. The study's corpus was extracted from World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). The paper reveals that Google Translate committed a set of errors: Semantic, grammatical, lexical, and punctuation. Such errors inhibit the intelligibility of the translated texts. It also indicates that MT might work as an aid to translate general information about COVID-19, but it is still incapable of dealing with critical information about COVID-19. The paper concludes that MT can be an effective tool, but it can never replace human translators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2065-2080
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Language and Linguistic Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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