Which is worse incompetent translators and interpreters or Statistical Machine Translation?

Following from the legal story last week here is another


Well worth the debate especially if this is true.  Interestingly they say Google was used but don’t say if it achieved its objective, although they criticised it yet haven’t backed it up.

Which is worse the stories below or a comparatively crude and time-consuming online translation service?

Standards were allegedly so lax at the firm that  a director of another translation company was able to sign up his cat Masha as  an ALS translator – and the cat was offered jobs.

Magistrates have lodged more than 5,000  complaints against the firm after it failed to send interpreters to a fifth of  trials, sent people speaking the wrong language, or translators who are simply  incompetent. In one case the defendant’s wife acted as an interpreter.

In another, ALS sent a Romanian to translate  instead of a Roma speaker. The full depth of the scandal emerged in submissions  to a justice select committee inquiry.

MPs were told that a murder trial went ahead  with a beautician translating, even though she did not understand the words  ‘friction’ or ‘deterioration’.

In one case in Ipswich in March, the failure of  a Lithuanian interpreter to appear meant that Google Translate, a comparatively  crude and time-consuming online translation service, had to be used.