When your business needs to translate website content quickly in preparation for a global launch, one of the first places you may turn to is an automated online translator. Though technology has given everyone the ability to translate words and phrases with relative accuracy, using this type of translator isn’t a good choice for your business. Though content created with these generators can produce text that is readable, it often includes errors that can instantly turn off locals. Even though Google offers such a translation tool, consider what the search experts at Google have to say about the importance of a high-quality user experience and the impact on SEO:
“Global expansion doesn’t mean just translate new content and publish new pages. It’s about creating a great experience for your new users. An experience tailored to their language, market, and culture.” — Maile Ohye, Developer Programs Tech Lead at Google
Translation software platforms offer an alternative option for businesses looking to focus on market penetration and expand their global web presence and outperform automated translators in the following three key areas:
1. Preventing Grammatical Issues
Automated translators can detect and correct simple grammatical concepts such as subject-verb agreement, past and future tenses, and plurals and possessives. However, aspects such as homonyms, passive and active sentence structure, and abbreviations can trip up automatic translators and create errors locals will easily spot. Though simple grammatical errors may not seem like a big deal, the BBC estimates a single spelling or grammatical error on a web page can slash online sales in half and cut revenue potential by millions. Your audience may be able to read and understand the text generated by an online translator, but any mistakes that are introduced could be devastating.
Translation software platforms can prevent these types of issues from arising by leveraging human translators’ knowledge with adaptive software that ensures your website translation has flawless grammar and usage for the market you are trying to reach.
2. Factoring in Local Language Dialects
Automated online translators also fail to factor in language variation in local markets due to varying dialects. This is especially important if you are trying to reach a specific subsection of a market economy that speaks in a different dialect tied to a specific area. For instance, you may be targeting metropolitan consumers or consumers located in the more suburban or rural areas of a given country. Though consumers in these regions likely understand different dialects, you can encourage trust by speaking to them in a way that feels familiar.
3. Avoiding Cultural Hangups
Language is often much more than just words, especially in global markets. Online translator programs can translate literal words into other literal words, but they may miss key cultural subtleties and create massive errors that could embarrass the company. For example, one company’s “Assume Nothing” campaign was translated in such a way that it colloquially meant “Do Nothing” in several markets. Though the literal translation was correct, many consumers misunderstood it. A common English parallel might be the difference between reading “That’s great” in print versus “That’s great.” The italicized version could portray sarcasm, which might be negatively received in American culture.
Creating Custom Experiences
A key way translation software platforms differ from automated translation programs is that they can help businesses navigate the complex world of linguistic variation and enable them to zero in on their target audience and connect with them in a way that truly resonates. While online translators can provide a bare bones, readable translation, if you are looking for something that will build your worldwide reputation and increase sales, a translation software platform provides a higher-quality translation that will reach your intended market with much better results.
If you are ready to expand your global presence and speak to an international audience, learn more about how translation software can present your business with unique opportunities for growth.
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