Web site translation tutorial


Free Website translation

Free Web site translation services provided by automatic web site translation and text translation online tools: are they really effective ?

  Free Web site translation is available through several online tools, but is it really an effective way to translate your Web site content ? Of course, the answer is NO. Machine Translation (MT) is a technology that automatically translates text from one human language into another. Machine Translation may be useful for translating Web pages, email, and chat when you need to have a "gist" of what is written in a source text, whose content you couldn't otherwise understand at all.

  Do not confuse this with effective, professional Website translation and localization, which should be performed by human translators.

Why human translation is superior to machine translation

  People having used the crude output of Machine Translation systems can easily realise the higher quality of professionally produced translations. Human translation is superior to machine translation because human translators understand the context of the work being translated, recognize idioms and understand cultural differences, thus helping clients avoid embarrassing mistakes.

  Do you want to send garbage to your clients ? Of course NOT ! You will jeopardize your public image if you send or publish automatically translated texts. Thinking about using machine translation for a professional Web site is simply a good way to deter your potential clients and show them that you are not able to conduct business in a professional way.

  Companies wishing to publish alternative-language versions of their websites should therefore seriously consider looking forprofessional Website translation.

Does automatic translation programs work well ?

  Several people claim that automatic translation programs work very well in all contexts, producing high-quality translations that you can use to build up a multilingual version of your Web site and present it to the public. This is not true! Machine Translation programs and free online Web site translation tools try to define the context of the words arbitrarily, and produce outputs that usually contain many mistranslations and grammatical mistakes.

  If you don't believe it, test one of these translation tools yourself: here's Systran-powered AltaVista free online translation tool. Just select the language, type or paste some text or a Web address and press the "translate" button. The results speak for themselves!

  Web site translation and localization is a very difficult task requiring much feeling and understanding of cultural aspects, which is not available - and will hardly be available in the near future - in a computer program. When will a computer be able to think and to interpret the environment (social and cultural) as a human being ? You may therefore want to look at our suggestions for a professional web site translation service, and be ast ease with translation and localization pros who will translate your website.

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