A big question we get asked by consumers is why do we need a language translation service. If you go online, you’ll often find the search engine offers to translate the page for you. Google in particular offer what might seem like a brilliant translation service. The best news? It’s completely free, and you don’t even have to set it up. When a consumer or user views your site they’ll get the chance to translate it themselves. But that might not be the best idea if you want your site to be successful online and here’s why.
Lost In Translation
First, you might think that a free search engine translator is doing a fantastic job, converting your site into any language. Well, for a free, automatic service it is. But you should understand that that piece of software will be converting your site at a basic level. While it might be possible to understand what your site is about from the translation, important details might be lost. If you think about it, there is a basic structure to most languages. But underneath that structure, there’s a subtext. For instance, in Italian, there are male and female genders for nouns. These simply don’t exist in the English language. A free language translator isn’t going to pick up details like this through the conversion. But there could be bigger issues as well.
Often when you use a translator like this on your site, you will find a blind spot. This is an area of your site that the translator hasn’t been able to convert. This could be due to the wording or a fault in the subtext. It might be because you’ve written in an accent that the software could not translate. For instance, in China, there are a number of different written accents. Not all of these will be translated for free by a search engine.
That’s Not What I Meant
If you use a free translation tool on a search engine like Google, you’d be amazed how many times it’s reversed the meaning of the words completely. The best way to test this is to get a bilingual native speaker of the language to check it. They will often find your website isn’t saying what it should. That’s a problem, particularly if you’re looking to attract new foreign customers. This brings us to another point.
Your site might look fantastic in your native language. It’s a clear site that tells the customer what they need to know. But after a free language conversion, it’s a different story. Due to blindspots, incorrect translations or details lost your site now looks a mess. It might not be somewhere an international customer would want to buy a product from.
Can You Rely On It?
The last issue is the problem of reliability. Despite all these flaws you might still think you can count on a free translation service for your site. You might be able to…if they always worked. But the fact is some search engines have them; others don’t. It depends if the specific user has the plug in plugged in. Then there’s the issue of phones. On many phones, these free translators don’t work at all. It’s for this reason that a professional translation service could be the best option for your website.