Whether you are a marketing director of a large multinational company looking to expand to a new market or a small business owner searching for ways to translate your website into English or other commonly spoken languages, you probably have heard about or experienced the benefits of translating your website into new languages. Even when you do not have the budget for other marketing efforts, by just translating your website you can gain access to millions of new customers, greatly increase your earning potential, raise brand awareness, or assess customer demand before entering a new market. For other benefits of localizing your website and detailed information about how it works, you can read this blog post.
Of course, translating your content is never as easy as it sounds. Especially when it comes to website translation, there are many challenges you need to consider. First of all, even though it can be more cost-effective than other marketing strategies, you still need to allocate a significant amount of your budget for translation. You also need to establish a good business relationship with a translation firm that you can trust, or if you want a more direct approach, you need to vet translators to make sure that your translations are high-quality. If you prefer, you may also choose to provide glossaries, give support during the translation process to clear up any confusion the translators may have, and check the quality of the service you receive. We should also consider the scheduling work involved in translation. Especially if you want to publish your content simultaneously in multiple languages, you need to prepare your source text in advance, check to confirm that your source text is free from any errors before sending it to translation and make sure that translations are done without any delays. All of this work may take significant amount of time and money that you might not be able to afford or rather see spent elsewhere.
Advantages of using website translator plugins
With all these questions in mind, you might start considering other website translation methods and think "Hey, I saw some websites translated automatically by Google Translate. Should I also embed Google Translate into my website to save myself all the trouble?" Sure, you may have seen odd translations here and there; however, you think that the benefits might just outweigh the shortcomings of machine translation.
Whether you use free website translators or choose to try paid options, the costs are bound to be significantly lower than traditional translation methods. When the costs are low, you may gain access to great opportunities that you would not otherwise. For example, you can expand to new markets or target new audiences in your current market even when you don't have the necessary resources such as money, time, or workforce. Below, we will discuss other unique advantages that automatic translation tools offer so that you can find the translation solution which best fit your needs. If you would like to read more about the ways you can cuts costs without sacrificing quality, you can refer to this blog post.
Unlock powerful insights with website analytics
People say that knowledge is power and this is even more true in online spaces. When it comes to having a prominent and successful online presence, analytics is your friends. By translating your whole website into other languages, you greatly increase the amount of data you can analyze. This data will inform your success metrics, which in turn can help determine the main areas you need to focus on. For example, you may find that your service appeals to a younger audience in another country when you are mostly focusing on middle-aged population in your main market. If this is the case, you can tweak your messaging to better target your new audience. Moreover, when you are not sure if the audience you are planning to target even wants the products or services you are offering, you can simply automatically translate your website to assess the demand before going all in with your marketing efforts. In many ways, broadening your dataset by translating your website into multiple languages can help you determine which business endeavors are worth pursuing and which are potential money sinks that you are better steering clear of.
Update your website whenever you want
You may have already translated your whole website into many languages but what will you do when you realize there are critical errors in your source text, significantly change your product or service so that old information no longer applies, or your legal department warns you about potential legal issues a little too late? When you have a multilingual website, having to change your content can seem daunting. If you find yourself constantly making changes to your website and starting the translation process all over again, automatic website translation tools can lift a huge burden off your shoulders. When you have a language translation tool in place, all you have to do is to change the original content and the machine will handle the rest.
Publish time-critical content instantly
Even if you work with the fastest team of translators, people are not machines and translation will still take some time. Sometimes, time might not be an issue and you can have all the time to spare but other times, being just a little faster than your competitor might be the edge your business needs to achieve your goals. By using automatic translation tools, you can publish your new content simultaneously in multiple languages as soon as your original content is ready. For example, let's say that you are a jewelry retailer and a popular content creator posts a picture wearing a necklace which is very similar to a product you are selling. You know that these kinds of posts create short-living trends which you can capitalize on if you can react fast. With machine translation, you can quickly write an article featuring your products and have it translated into many languages to take advantage of this trend in multiple markets. Translation plugins can also help you minimize the downtime of your website when unexpected significant changes make your current website unusable. For example, if your mode of operation completely changes due to unforeseen events, such as a world-wide pandemic, you can edit the relevant pages to reflect the current circumstances and then instantly have them translated into multiple languages.
Shortcomings of website translation tools and in particular, Google Translate
After seeing me listing the advantages of machine translation you may think to yourself "All that is well but have you ever actually seen an automatically translated website? Obviously, the quality isn't there."
Being a translator and a curious person who frequently ends up browsing foreign content, I can understand your concerns all too well. Machine translation stopped being a novelty a long time ago and as time passes by, more and more people are getting used to using Google Translate to gain access to foreign content and interact with people whose language they cannot speak. It's not rare that I see some random internet argument where people are participating in their own language. Prevalence of machine translation make its shortcomings even more visible and it is very understandable if some people are hesitant to try machine-based solutions when translating a website into a different language.
The first concern that I see people have is about the "naturalness" of translation. No matter how intelligent, AI does not understand the intricacies of human languages. As a result, important aspects of written content such as implications, tone, register, intended style, and sometimes even meaning can be lost in translation in a more disruptive way compared to traditional translation. Also, I often see Google Translate doing great in certain language pairs and certain topics but failing miserably when it comes to other languages or topics. It can be a very helpful tool if you are translating between commonly spoken languages in the same language family such as English and German, and if your content is on the technical side. However, if these conditions are not true for you, Google Translate can also leave you scratching your head wondering how it managed to get it so wrong.
If you have any experience with translation, you have probably seen the emphasis translators and clients put on consistency. This is rightly so; having consistently translated content shows your customers and business partners that you are professional, give attention to detail, and it can also help with your branding. However, free translation tools will most likely use a different word each time they come across a term or a subject that you would prefer to be consistently translated, and to put it simply, consistency and its benefits will be thrown out the window.
Even if you are willing to accept the drop in quality, you still cannot fully translate your website with Google Translate. It is far from being all-encompassing. For example, you will not be able to search the website using search terms in the target language. Moreover, if you have live chat widgets on your website, the conversations won't be translated either. Let's say a potential customer from Mexico uses Google Translate to view your website and they decide to talk to your customer support team after spending some time browsing your products. What will you do if no one in your team speaks Spanish? All the previous effort you put in reaching that potential customer will be in vain when you fail to help them in this stage.
If you are still trying to figure out how to implement google translate on your website, I should mention that Google does not support its translation widget anymore. As is, the only way your visitors can access the translated version of your website using Google's services is to use the translation feature in Google Chrome. This means there is not much you can do to help visitors view your website in their native language. Also, as the translations of your website won't be indexed by Google, the chance of these potential visitors finding your page while using search terms in their own language is slim to none.
Of course, the fact that there are some downsides to free website translation tools like Google Translate, does not mean that you should give up hope and wait until you have the budget to have your website translated through traditional means.
You don't need to end up missing the opportunity to capitalize on the benefits of having your whole website translated. You just need to look for alternatives to Google Translate for websites. There are many companies offering paid solutions to achieve what Google Translate has failed to do: create adequate translations automatically through cost-effective means. However, if you want to avoid the pitfalls of using low quality translations and to maximize the benefits of using a machine translation solution, you need to be careful about choosing your translation partner and the tool they are offering. It can be beneficial to consider the experience they have in the field of translation, quality of their automatically translated content, comprehensiveness of their service, customer support they offer, and whether they can fulfill your needs and expectations with their offering. In this light, I want to introduce you to a new language translation tool which I think just might be the solution you are looking for: MotaWord Active.
Why MotaWord Active
MotaWord Active is an automatic language translation service which can help you achieve your translation goals in a quality-focused and cost-effective way. It offers many unique features and solutions which will help you translate your website into 65 languages with ease, while avoiding the common pitfalls of machine translation. To aid you in your decision, I compiled some of those great features and the reasons why it is one of the best website translation software there is.
Extensive translation memory
The quality of the translation memory is the most important factor that can make or break machine translation tools. For those who are unfamiliar with translation terminology, translation memory is a database consisting of previously translated content (you can watch this video for more detailed information). These databases create the basis for machine translation and are used to train the AI. When this database is very large, the likelihood of similar content already having been translated by human translators increases. To give you an example, let's say you want to translate this string: "Quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." If there is a very similar version of this sentence in translation memory in which it is a brown rabbit doing all the jumping, machine translation tool can just replace "fox" with "rabbit". As a result, you can basically get human-level quality without involving any human translators. When you have access to an extensive translation memory you don't need to worry as much about unnatural translations and stylistic errors because there probably is a similar translation in the database. So, as a general rule, the bigger the translation memory the better machine translation becomes.
MotaWord is one step ahead in this regard as it has served thousands of customers with 100+ language options and 20,000+ vetted translators. All this competent work has enabled MotaWord to create a very strong and extensive translation memory which will help you achieve the translation quality you seek. If you want to see more information about why MotaWord is a better choice when it comes to both traditional and machine translation you can check this quick comparison.
Comprehensive solution including live chat translation
Translating your webpages is only one part of the puzzle. To get a more complete translation, you also need to translate other content such as images, videos, customer emails and interactively appearing content. If your business requires your customer support team to frequently talk to customers, you might need to consider how you are going to make this conversation possible. Are you planning to employ people who speaks your target languages or are you going to depend on your translation tool to facilitate this interaction? Furthermore, it can be beneficial to give the option to search your website in other languages to create a more seamless experience for your visitors. If you go for MotaWord Active, you will find that it offers solutions to these problems and many more. It automatically manages everything on your website and has great features like live chat translator to make sure your communication never gets disrupted.
Add glossaries to achieve consistency
Although consistency is very important for the reasons I have mentioned, it is difficult to achieve with automatic website translators. In traditional translation, people usually create termbases, terminology databases, which is then accessed by translators to help them during the translation. Thanks to these termbases, important words such as brand, product or process names can be translated consistently even when multiple translators are working on the same project. MotaWord Active offers a very similar solution for machine translation. You can create glossaries which include important words for your brand and MotaWord's website translator will use the given translations when it comes across these words.
Easy to implement
You don't need to be a programmer to add MotaWord Active to your website.
It has a very simple implementation process: you just add a code snippet to your website and you're done. Moreover, it can integrate with every website builder, CMS, web platform, server, or programming language. No matter which solution you use to create and manage your website, MotaWord Active is there to aid with translation.
Helps with SEO
If you want to reach these people, you would be better off looking for another solution, like MotaWord Active. For every webpage you translate with MotaWord's translation tool, a new indexable webpage will be created to help you optimize your website for search engines. That way, your website will be shown in searches done in your target languages and your target audiences will be able to reach you. To read more about how SEO can help you and why it should be one of your priorities, you can refer to this article.
MotaWord Active's easy-to-use dashboard allows you to customize the localization service you receive to your heart's content. You can exclude pages or sections from translation, translate your website to new languages, and add new features with just a couple of clicks.
Experienced team offering 24/7 support
We all know how frustrating it is when something goes wrong at the wrong time. With MotaWord Active, you won't need to worry if you are having issues during critical periods; no matter what time it is you can contact MotaWord's team who will gladly help you with any issues you may have.
After translating your entire website with MotaWord Active, you may see some of your pages getting very high number of visits and decide that ift would be beneficial to further improve the quality of translation. Alternatively, if you are unsure whether you should enter a new market, you can use machine translation tools to translate your whole website and track your metrics for a while. If you are happy with the results, you can decide to get help from professional translators to review and edit your automatically translated content. In translation jargon, this process is called "post-editing" and it is getting more common each day. If, from the start or along the line, you decide post-editing would be a better fit for your needs, you can get help from thousands of competent translators working with MotaWord. You can choose to have your whole website or only your most popular pages post-edited.
Pay only once for the same content
Whether you use MotaWord's website translation tool or decide to work with professional translators, you will not be charged twice for translating the same content. The translated content will be kept in a translation memory created for you and will be served to your website when it is detected. No additional pay required.
Traditional translation services vs MotaWord Active
If you are currently working with MotaWord or using other solutions for traditional translation and considering whether an automatic translation tool might be a better fit for you, you can refer to the table below. For a more detailed comparison, you can also read this article.
|Traditional translation services||MotaWord Active|
|Need to have a bigger budget||Significantly cheaper|
|Need to wait||Translate your website instantly|
|Only already created content can be translated||Offers real time translation (eg. chat translation)|
|Human-quality translation||Based on translations made by professional translators; however, quality might be lower|
|Can also offer transcreation or rewriting (may be especially important for marketing content)||Translation only|
How to start
If you would like to learn more about MotaWord Active and how it can help you reach your website translation goals, you can visit the main information page of MotaWord Active.
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