There are two concepts to translating websites: Machine Translation & Professional Manual Translation.
What is Machine Translation (MT)?
Machine translation is technology available for free on the Internet. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft provide free translation of any text at any length using their computer based translation technology.
The Concept of automated translation have existed since the Renaissance, modern MT’s roots began in the 1950s with a joint project between Georgetown University and IBM. Although initial optimism faded in the wake of a 1966 report by a U.S. Government commission that found MT to be too
expensive, inaccurate and slow to warrant further funding, research and development continued in Europe, Russia and Japan until picking up again in the U.S. in the late 1970s. Skyrocketing globalization and the development of increasingly robust and powerful computers in the 1980s then paved the way for a resurgence in MT usage. MT is now a critical component for meeting the language demands of the 21st century, enabling applications that human translators cannot handle and enhancing their performance
in other settings.
Google announced this week that documents stored in Google Docs can now be translated and shared with others. Microsoft also announced that you can integrate its translation technology into Office 2007 to translate whole documents.
What is Professional Manual Translation?
I Professional Manual Translation is the process of having a staffed office of bilingual professionals sitting and reworking your text/writings.
Why should I use your professional translation service when I can translate online for free and get the results on the spot?
Using a website translator on your site is important if you’re trying to reach an international audience. If you’re a business seeking to expand into foreign language markets, the only way to do so is to cater to your potential clients’/customers’ needs. If visitors can’t understand and easily navigate through your site, they’re obviously less likely to purchase your products or services.
Website translator programs allow visitors to view your website in their native language. Website translators are one tool that helps you break down the language barrier and enable your business to reach people that you would never be able to reach otherwise. However, despite the fact that they’re becoming more sophisticated as technology improves, most website translators are not flawless. In fact, far from it, most website translator won’t translate languages with anything close to 100% accuracy.
One of the biggest difficulties with website translators is that they run into trouble when trying to translate between symbolic languages (like Chinese) and languages with letter alphabets (English, Spanish, all Greek and Latin based languages, etc.). But even when translating between letter-based languages, website translators often mess up the syntax and flow of the original text in the translated version. So before you choose a website translator, make sure to read reviews to determine exactly how accurate it can be, and also make sure that it includes all the languages spoken by the foreign markets you’re looking to target.
In the technical end of things, website translators can run into problems as well. Some of them, for example, might not work on certain platforms like PHP. Translators that work on all platforms come at a steep price. However, their value might be worth it if you want to avoid issues in the future. Check to see that a translator supports the platforms you’re planning to use before you buy it.
Another technical issue is that some website translator, while working just fine on standard HTML sites, can make a mess out of other templates, like WordPress. Trying to use a website translator that does not support WordPress on your WordPress blog might result in one huge mess of jumbled text. Once again, the best policy is to do your research before making the buy.