A tempting solution is to use the instant translation tools available on the web but don’t be beguiled by the beautiful simplicity of automatic translation systems. Having your website instantly translated by a machine into 30 different languages may sound too good to be true because it is. No machine, no matter how sophisticated, could translate with total accuracy the subtlety of your message. Let’s take a simple example…
We wrote in English this sentence “I would like to keep chickens” and then we used Google Translate to convert it into various languages, returning to English each time.
|Original English Text:||"I would like to keep chickens"|
|Translated to French:||Je voudrais garder des poulets|
|Translated back to English:||I would like to keep chickens|
|Translated to German:||Ich möchte Hühner halten|
|Translated back to English:||I would like to hold chickens|
|Translated to Italian:||Vorrei tenere i polli|
|Translated back to English:||I would want to hold the chickens|
|Translated to Portuguese:||Eu quereria prender as galinhas|
|Translated back to English:||I would want to arrest the hens|
So we start with “I would like to keep chickens” and end up with “I would want to arrest the hens”. As you can see our original meaning has become something so completely removed from the original as to make no sense at all. The problem is none of us can speak Portuguese and would have no idea what the resulting translated web page said. Can you imagine how mangled your business message could get and what that would do to your visitor’s perception of your company?
Our advice is that if it’s important enough for you to need your website in a different language then get a professional translation company to make sure that your message doesn’t get lost in translation!