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Thread: Website tip: Translating your site

  1. #1

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    Website tip: Translating your site

    Translating your site into another language need not involve any expense of hiring a translator. There's a quick and free way to translate your site using Google's automatic translation service, and reach a much larger audience.

    First, visit Google at http://translate.google.com and enter your webpage's address in the box under the "Translate a Web Page" heading. Select the language you want your site to be translated into (ie: from English to French)

    Once you click on the translate button, Google will present the translated version of your site in a frame. You can remove the top frame by click on the "Remove frame" link.

    Now, to allow visitors to view your site in the new language, all you have to do is place a link to this translated page from your website. Just copy the web address of the translated page and use it to construct a hyperlink on your site. Typically, this link involves a little flag that you can place somewhere on your website where it is visible without scrolling down, but is not obtrusive.

    Here's a little twist for those who are careful web designers: the Google link may not validate. Since it would be a shame for a website to fail HTML validation just because of this reason, you'll have to find an easy way around the issue. The answer: simply convert the Google link using the service at TinyURL.com into a new address. This new tinyurl address will validate.

    Why would you want to do any this? Well, the fact is that there are equal numbers of Chinese-speakers on the Web right now as there are Americans, and soon there will be more. And considering that this type of translation costs nothing, why NOT do it?

    And now, to see all this in French, click here
    Ensuite, Viola! un nouveau site Web pour vous.


    Interestingly, once Google translates your site, all your linked pages are also translated. In other words, starting from the Google-translated version of your site, if you click on a link to another page in your website, it too will be shown in the translated language.

    Also, all your Adsense advertisements will continue to be displayed, however some images may not be displayed and there may be some other minor design issues.

    But what's the point of offering a French version of your site, if French-speaking visitors are not likely to visit your site in the first place because your site is never indexed by French-language search engines? Well, there's an easy way to fix that too: use the Google translation service to create a whole new page on your site in the chosen new language. Simply cut and paste the translated text into a new page on your site (call it French.html, for example) and then fill it full of links to the rest of your site. This page can then be indexed by search engines and presented to French-speaking visitors as a landing page made specially for them, and from there your visitors can see the rest of your site too.

  2. #2

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Translating your site into another language need not involve any expense of hiring a translator.
    You're right. Google does a great job. It put all of the translators out of business years ago. Everyone would know this, but there is a conspiracy to keep it a secret.

    Myself, I mostly use Google to translate French/English so that I can amuse myself with the gaffs. It's funny to see how it turns a perfectly ordinary sentence into complete nonsense.

    This week, there is a mini-scandal involving an important French winemaker named Bernard Magrez, and his buddy, the French actor, and fellow winemaker, Gerard Depardieu. Here is a paragraph from the web site (bakchich.info) that first ran the story:

    "Le problème avec Depardieu, c’est que c’est le début de sa carrière de maître de chai : dans un pays où on trouve des vins formidables, l’Anjou et ses Savenières, Layon, Bonnezeau, il a réussi à produire un truc rouge qui fait rigoler les vignerons du coin. Moralité : si vous lisez un texte ne disant pas tout le bien que méritent les 35 vignobles du couple Magrez-Depardieu dans le monde, c’est que l’auteur est un amateur de courses contre la montre. Pour lui, pas de Cartier."

    Here is the Google translation:

    "The problem with Depardieu, is that it is the beginning of his career as a cellar master: in a country where there are great wines, Anjou and its Savenières, Layon, Bonnezeau, he managed to produce something red laugh that makes the wine corner. The moral: if you read a text does not say all the good that deserve the 35 vineyards couple Magrez-Depardieu in the world is that the author is an amateur racing against the clock. For him, not Cartier."

    So, Cyrus, you're right. You don't need to hire a translator to translate your website, especially if you don't mind making a complete fool of yourself.

  3. #3

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    You're right. Google does a great job. It put all of the translators out of business years ago. Everyone would know this, but there is a conspiracy to keep it a secret.

    Myself, I mostly use Google to translate French/English so that I can amuse myself with the gaffs. It's funny to see how it turns a perfectly ordinary sentence into complete nonsense.."
    eh, I never liked Depardieu. And I never said you don't "need" a translator or that this is a secret.

    Sure this is an automatic translation - you get what you pay for.
    How many gaffes did you spot in the translation of the original post? The gist more than comes through anyway.


    If the french translation was gibberish, the retranslation into English should be even more gibberish. Here's the re-translation of my original post back into English from the French:

    Translation of your site in another language does not necessarily entail costs of hiring a translator. There's a quick and free way to translate your site using Google's automatic translation service, and reach a much larger audience. There is a fast and free way to translate your site using Google's automatic translation service, and reach a much larger audience.

    First, visit http://translate.google.com at Google and enter your webpage's address in the box under the "Translate a Web Page" heading. First, visit Google at http://translate.google.com and enter your Web page address in the "Translate a Web page." Select the language you want your site to be translated into (ie: from English to French) Select the language you want your site to be translated into (ie: from English into french)
    not bad for a machine...and for free.

  4. #4

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Sure this is an automatic translation - you get what you pay for.
    Indeed. That's what a few people, myself among them, tried to tell you about publishing a book via Lulu, but you weren't much interested in listening

    So here you go again. And no, the gist of the French in the example that I gave does not come through. In fact, the English is pretty much gibberish.

    But hey, if it's cheap, and better yet free, who cares whether it works, right?

  5. #5

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Indeed. That's what a few people, myself among them, tried to tell you about publishing a book via Lulu, but you weren't much interested in listening

    So here you go again. And no, the gist of the French in the example that I gave does not come through. In fact, the English is pretty much gibberish.

    But hey, if it's cheap, and better yet free, who cares whether it works, right?
    Right. Exactly. And as for "making a complete fool" of one self, frankly I am of a certain age when I really could not give a shit what someone else thinks. I never did, really. The fools are the ones who don't enjoy life by trying out new things IMHO but instead sit around complaining. If I was worried about appearing the fool, I wouldn't be hauling an 8x10 camera around on my back.

    Man, another negative nanny. yes I didn';t listen re: lulu because there was no harm in trying it, and I generally don't listen to people who only come up with reasons why things won't work out rather than people who have constructive suggestions.

    I just don't get people like this. Haven't you heard of "nothing ventured, nothing gained"? Or that "Life's a journey, not a destination"?

    Listen son, life is short and no one is handing out medals at the end. You'll have to take risk and have to settle for less than perfection. C'est la vie. If you don't like it, DON'T DO IT. No one is forcing you "make a complete fool". Stay in your nice little perfect world, secure in the knowledge that everyone else is a fool but you. Meanwhile, people from China can be visiting my site and reading what I have to say. I think that's cool, errors and all.

    And the lulu book wasn't so bad. Next time, it will be better. In the meantime, we all participated in a creative project and had some fun, and at no cost to anyone. Why is that a bad thing? 'Course, the grumpy uptight self-important folks who started out with "It will never work out" kinda missed the point of it all.

    Ideas, see, have to evolve. The point isn't to do things right or not do them at all. The point is to try out different things, show a little creativity and persistence. Like I said, whats the harm? So the translation has some errors. BIG DEAL! Your site visitor will understand. They'll appreciate the effort despite the errors. And if they don't, F**k 'em.

    (Incidentally, this is the exact sentence I erased from my post thinking it would be too negative: "There may be mistakes in translation. If this bothers you then don't try this...and don't complain to me either.")

    PS: speaking of making a fool of one's self, so you really use the google translator just to laugh at the computer's errors in translation? Isn't that sorta like laughing at a toaster when it burns the toast? You do realize that it is a machine, right?

  6. #6

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    It is very fine example of useless technology.
    I am amazed that some may even think about using this type of products.

  7. #7

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by cyrus View Post
    Why would you want to do any this? Well, the fact is that there are equal numbers of Chinese-speakers on the Web right now as there are Americans, and soon there will be more. And considering that this type of translation costs nothing, why NOT do it?
    How much Chinese do you know when the people email you with questions about your products or there is a dispute of not receiving a print do to a shipping snafu? To me having a web page in a certain language indicates you are willing to do business in that language with all that entails.

    -Darren

  8. #8

    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    I do translations for a living. I once had the pleasure to review an automatic translation one of my clients had waved under my nose while complaining about my fees. Among other gems, I remember this one: The CD reproducer will ejaculate the CD.
    I might have to find another job one day, but not quite yet.

  9. #9

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Kruger View Post
    How much Chinese do you know when the people email you with questions about your products or there is a dispute of not receiving a print do to a shipping snafu? To me having a web page in a certain language indicates you are willing to do business in that language with all that entails.

    -Darren
    The web is more than just making money.
    Life is more than just making money.
    For god's sakes this is way for someone to break through barriers, have his thoughts and views and creativity exposed to the world and attempt to communicate with people living thousands of miles away, and all you can think about is print returns?

  10. #10

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    Re: Website tip: Translating your site

    Quote Originally Posted by Miguel Curbelo View Post
    I do translations for a living. I once had the pleasure to review an automatic translation one of my clients had waved under my nose while complaining about my fees. Among other gems, I remember this one: The CD reproducer will ejaculate the CD.
    I might have to find another job one day, but not quite yet.
    Clients, Business, money money money....

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