So what’s wrong with Google translate? Well actually it’s great…depending on what you use it for.
We recently had to completely re-translate a local food company’s packaging due to them using Google to translate their ingredients, etc into Dutch. However, in the Netherlands they were scratching their heads wondering why the packaging stated that “May contain crazy”. The English original was “May contain nuts”. Yes this is 100% true….a real life example of what happens when you entrust your translation to a machine.
And here is a very basic, illustrated example, of why you should never entrust translations to a machine [no matter how good].
Let’s say I am a British manufacturer of men’s underwear – what we would call “pants”. I excitedly set up a little e-commerce site for the Shanghai market and use Google translate [because I am either trying to save money or I really don't know what I am doing]. I do my keyword translations using Google and voila – my keyword is 男装裤! I get traffic but absolutely no sales! Why? Because Google is telling Shanghai you sell trousers!
Did you really think a machine is going to know if you are British or American or Australian or South African? No! It’s a machine!
So if you are serious about whatever it is you want to sell abroad, have a human being who comes from that country, speaks the lingo and knows the shopping habits/terminology translate it for you.
by +Ben Lewis
I have used a tame example above as I didn’t want to shock anyone I could have chosen some funny ones (but they would have been a touch rude)