Language barriers hinder the interaction with patients and relatives. The use of language services increases knowledge, satisfaction and the use of medical care and thus improves patient s clinical outcome. The recommended use of professional interpreters (PI) is not always feasible. We tested an online translation tool as an alternative for PI for the transla-tion of standardized sentences from a neonatal doctor-/nurse-relative-interview.Translation of 20 sentences from a German neonatal intensive care unit parent information brochure to English, Portuguese and Arabic, using Google Translate (GT). Assessment of accuracy concerning grammar and content, in a second step simplification of all incorrect sentences, translation by GT and critical re-assessment and evaluation.An average of 42 of the sentences was correctly translated concerning grammar and content. The proportion of incorrectly translated sentences varied between 45-70 . By simpli-fication another 23 were translated correctly.Translations by GT were often incorrect in content and grammar. We suppose that the design of GT, which is a statistical translation engine, might be an explanation for this phenomenon. Presently, GT cannot guarantee unambiguous translations and cannot substitute PIs, only in particular circumstances, the use of GT or similar engines may be justified. For future use of electronic translation services, we suggest to compile a catalogue of sentences containing central information, which can be translated into defined foreign languages without misinterpretation or loss of information.