This recent survey from goo Research, reported on by japan.internet.com, into online automatic translation services found Google on top in both usage and satisfaction, a quite amazing change from just a year ago when Google was nowhere to be seen.
Between the 8th and 12th of June 2011 1,082 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.0% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 18.0% in their twenties, 21.3% in their thirties, 16.4% in their forties, 15.8% in their fifties, and 12.1% aged sixty or older.
I must agree that Google does produce the best results, but Japanese to English is always a tricky task due in no small part to subjects or objects often being dropped from sentences, the present and future tenses being identical, singular versus plural often not distinguished, etc, etc. As Google Translate says japan.internet.com (or is that comb the Internet?) summed up:
Q1: How often do you use an automatic translation service to translate a web page in a foreign language? (Sample size=1,082)
Always (to SQ) 5.0% Not always, but frequently (to SQ) 7.5% Sometimes (to SQ) 29.7% Rarely, never (to SQ) 57.9%
The question above doesn’t distinguish between people hitting the back button on coming across foreign languages and those who can read foreign languages.
When asked about which services they used, the 456 people who used them at least sometimes said Google Translate was top, with 265 users or 58.1%, next Yahoo! Translate with 253 users or 55.5%, and Excite Translate with 240 users or 52.6%.
Q1SQ: How satisfied are you with the accuracy of the following automatic translation services? (Sample size=456, multiple answer)
Votes Percentage Google Translate 115 25.2% Yahoo! Translate 90 19.7% Excite Translate 88 19.3% Infoseek Multi-Translate 10 2.2% @nifty Translate 7 1.5% livedoor Translate 7 1.5% Fresh Eye Translate 3 0.7% Other translation service 7 1.5% Don’t know 70 15.4% Not satisfied with any 153 33.6%