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Google Releases Website Translator Gadget

Makes English sites accessible to global audiences

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There are all sorts of reasons for English speakers to view foreign websites (for info on the latest performance car parts available in Japan, for example, or for local coverage of any news event), and presumably a few people who don’t speak English would like to see our sites, too.  Google’s introduced a translation gadget to help them.

A post on the Official Google Blog explained that the "new website translator gadget powered by Google Translate . . . enables you to make your site’s content available in 51 languages.  Now, when people visit your page, if their language (as determined by their browser settings) is different than the language of your page, they’ll be prompted to automatically translate the page into their own language." 

It’s difficult to imagine a much simpler option from a user’s point of view.  Google’s not making things too hard on sites’ owners, either.  They only need to copy and paste a snippet of code that’s about 300 characters in length into the blog or site.

It’s important to note, of course, that Google isn’t promising perfect translations.  If the subject of a site is highly technical, the translation gadget might not do anyone except the most rabid disciples (see the car parts example above) much good.

Still, since Google’s making it so easy to cater to a global audience, there seems to be little reason not to give its new gadget a chance.

Google Releases Website Translator Gadget
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  • Jim

    But for perfect results you need a dedicated translator and not someone who passed by and is not committed to the translation project. How do you know that what he did is good enouhg? I prefer paid services like OneHourTranslation.com so that I know who translates my website.

  • http://hubpages.com/profile/dame+scribe Gin

    I think it’s great that G added this widget as there are many visitors from non–minimal-english countries that visit or searching for answers. It’s a great tool to add.

  • http://www.worldaccent.com Jim Making Sense

    Without a doubt this is an interesting feature, but how does the translation actually read to a speaker of that language?

    Presumably the translation is handled by the same engine as Google Translate. I recently blogged about this kind of machine translation at “Making Sense” (worldaccent.com/blog) and, more importantly, its dangers. It can be great for getting the gist of something, but is also often way off beam.

    If a user runs your website through Google translate, they know its at their own risk. If you have “provided” a translation, aren’t you more responsible for what it says? As Bing Translator warns you every time you use it: “Automatic translation can help you understand the gist of the translated text but is no substitute for a professional human translator.”

    And, unless you speak the target language, how do you know if your website is being rendered in perfect prose or as unintelligible gibberish? If you care about what “you” are saying in translation, you’re still best off sticking to a human translator.

  • http://soundscapes.mine.nu XTC

    I will certainly use this gadget but only on simpler websites that are not too technical – automatic translations certainly are off target at times and can give a completly wrong (sometimes reverse) suggestion, but perhaps for navigation links and simple descriptions this should be ok.

  • http://www.globinch.com Globinch

    Nice post. Read more about how to Use Google website translation gadget

  • http://www.langjobs.com Amitabh

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  • http://www.tonightschedule.com/ Aliza Shehpatii

    does this have any effect on SEO? I have seen some translation plugins for wordpress etc and wonder how effective they may be. Is this simply just translation on the fly and for the spiders that come along they do not run the translation therefore no translated pages are indexed?

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