Posts Tagged ‘Language Translation’

The Joy of Translating

Throughout history, translation has generally been viewed as the identification of equivalent words in other languages (also known as nomenclaturism). This has disappointed some literary critics in the loss of emotion that results. David Bellos would like to change this. A professor of French and Comparative Literature and the director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton, his new book, “Is That a Fish in Your Ear?” explores the history and sociology of translation and challenges the conventional wisdom around its practice. Rather than strictly and literally interpreting a text, Bellos proposes interpreting the style and context so that the reader gains more insight into the artistry of the literature. This stance could have great impact as the earth’s population, aided very heavily by the Internet, becomes more interconnected and more people speak English as a second language.

While the Wall Street Journal questions the validity of this anti-nomenclaturist stance and the weight of Bell’s theory, The New York Times reviewer of this book sees this as a great opportunity for Google Translate, with its pattern matching algorithm. However, one may disagree with Thirlwell that machine translation as it stands today can accurately provide the context and flavor of colloquialism and idiom in most literature and poetry. Dr Bellos himself wrote an editorial a year and a half before his latest release in the New York Times stating that machine translation can get the job done in a pinch; he acknowledges the limitations of human interpretation yet still finds it preferable to the often clumsy and unreadable output from Google Translate and other computerized services.

SpeakLike recognizes the value of “the human touch” in its on-demand translation service. Not only are translations routed to people, the completed work is reviewed and monitored to ensure smoothness and elegance in flow, with potential machine translations being flagged. In an increasingly globalized world, being able to understand one another is fundamental. SpeakLike’s aim is to make that process easier while still preserving the lingustic flavor and creativity of the text itself.

Survey Says: Website Localization Makes the Difference

Common Sense Advisory, a research and consulting firm that provides independent research to help companies profitably grow their businesses across borders, languages and cultures, recently published their December 2010 report, Gaining Global Web Presence. One of the most important sections discussed the relationship between website localization, converting sales, and why, where, and when visitors leave their websites. The data, based on an eight-country survey of more than 2,400 consumers, focused on their preferences for buying in English or in their native language, having products supported in one or the other language, and why they decided to leave websites.

Key Takeaways:

People who buy online need to provide personal details and their payment info. If a site’s data form isn’t formatted for their country, they may encounter problems like including their phone number or postal code. If the structure or function of the site isn’t translated correctly, problems can arise on the back-end, such as finding out the site won’t ship to their country or accept their credit card.

Global online consumers don’t have the accessibility of a store clerk or salesman like they would in a store. Their only means of finding more information about the questions they have is to search your website. A poor website translation will be confusing and hard to deal with, leading those users away from your site and on to another.

“People won’t buy what they can’t understand. And they can’t buy if you haven’t enabled transactions supporting local buying practices and credit cards.” – Don DePalma, Chief Strategy Officer and Founder of Common Sense Advisory.

To read a full summary of the section, “Going from Simple Translation to Successful Transactions on Global Websites,” go ahead and click this link.

Website Localization: Why you should be using SpeakLike

There are many reasons why SpeakLike should be your central translation hub for website localization. Hiring your own translators or working with traditional language service providers produces significant project overhead. You just spend too much time on administrating and micro-managing translations.

Machine translations, on the other hand, are free, and not having to deal with other people or companies can save you from a lot of headaches. So why shouldn’t you take the easy route and let Google do its thing? It sounds great right? Well, not exactly.

To begin with, it’s a known fact that human translation is more accurate and provides a higher quality of translation than machines. As you can see from the examples, machine translations are more literal and done word-by-word, while SpeakLike’s human translators look at the message as a whole, figuring out the meaning of the message before translating it.


A more troubling issue, and one that is less known, is the effects of automated translation tools creating auto-generated content. Because of the poor quality of automatic translations, a website built on translated auto-generated content gives very limited value to users. Sending users to a poorly translated page is not what a search engine wants. And in Google’s case, it’s even against their Webmaster Guidelines.

Here’s a revealing quote from Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller:

“In general, when we determine that a page contains only auto-generated content, we may remove it from our index. If we determine that the largest part of a site consists of auto-generated content (such as when it’s automatically translated and crawled & indexed like that for several languages), then we may opt to remove the whole site from the index. This may sound a bit harsh, but auto-generated content that is created for search engines is a really bad idea and a waste of our resources.”

For all of those reasons and more, SpeakLike stands out as the leader in translation services, promising fast, quality, and effective language translation. Our 6,000-person team of translators are available whenever you need them, letting you decide your schedule. Our 24/7 self-service access to the translation interface eliminates wait times, redundancies, micromanagement, and administrative burdens, allowing employees to maximize their ability to engage in higher value activities. And our suite of products, including an iPhone Photo Translator, a self-service tool for translating websites, software, or app content, and connectors for WordPress, Twitter, and your API, leaves you in good hands with whatever you’re looking to do.