Free automated website translation online – they’re out there and it’s tempting to use them – but are they any good?
We have provided translations of Accutranslate’s major pages into other languages, and our “Sectors” page is translated into Spanish https://accutranslate.co.uk/sectors/es so we ran a comparative test of the English version of that page in a free website translator.
1. First thing you notice is – only the first 500 words are free. Well, if you only have 1 page to translate, maybe it’s still worth it. But if you have a decent-sized website, then this is no longer a “free website translation” service.
2. Second thing you notice, the way to choose languages is not exactly helpful – the target language is shown in its own script. If you can’t recognise the word “Japanese” in the Japanese script, this is awkward!
3. Let’s run our page through the translator and see the results!
The original English:
The automated free website translation:
Well, not even the basics like “Contact us” are correct, and on a website that’s a key piece of text. And “search” is also a well-used term in websites. What we have here is a dictionary that is not adjusted to the particular needs of people translating their website, despite the claim to be a “website translator”.
A professional translation from la Academia:
More about the free translation:Before the bottom of 1 page our 500 words runs out and we are asked (in Spanish, which is awkward if you don’t speak it!) to click to continue. You then end up on a YouTube page which has no relation to your translation, and there is no indication of how to get your lovely automated translation off the page and into your website.
The translation on screen mirrors the look and feel of our website, and attempts to put the words in the right place, but it’s not something you can take away – the only way to get the text off the screen and into your website is by cut-pasting into the back end of your website.
This process may be “free” but it’s time-consuming and tedious, and that’s without factoring in the accuracy and quality of the translation itself!
We all know the phrase “you get what you pay for”. If you get something for free, from a business you know nothing about, and that knows nothing about you, you are likely to get a poor result.
Don’t risk it, consult professionals who are experience in website translation, and who will take the trouble to understand your business and its aims. It’s not free, but the end result will reflect on your business much better than 500 free words of potentially terrible translation!