|Not all Language Service Providers (LSPs) are equal, and neither is the technology they leverage to satisfy (or not satisfy) their customers. Potential clients of any product or service are in a nonstop cycle of balancing costs, quality, time and effort. However, when it comes to working with an LSP to represent your business’ image, the entire company’s reputation is on the line, making quality a factor of priority.|
|Example: Machine Translation isn’t everything
Recently, an independent statutory office focused on the Fair Work Act in Australia, Fair Work Ombudsman, translated their website in 40 languages to expand their reach to the many migrant workers in the area. The site offers comprehensive information on employee/employer rights and covers topics such as pay, leave, redundancy and taxes. Important information, right?
|As Lance Ng covered in Slator, soon after launching, it appeared that the quality of the translations had been overlooked as the site was quickly criticized for incorrect and misleading translations. Several local LSPs voiced concern about using machine translation for such a large and important government resource.
CEO of Melbourne-based EthnoLink Language Services, Costa Vasili, stated, “The implementation of machine translation on such a high profile Australian Federal Government website is unprecedented and worrying. Predictably, the results of this machine translation are poor and feedback from our professional translators is that for many languages the translation is nonsensical. We stand firm in the view that implementation of machine translation on such a high-profile government website, dealing with workplace rights of Australians is inappropriate and dangerous.”
Ng noted that Fair Work was relying on Microsoft Translator to communicate with its audience, with a Help Hotline and “Language Help” section of the website as an afterthought. Wouldn’t it make sense to have the site translated correctly from the get-go? (Yes, the answer is yes).
|Tips for you, the customer
Translating a site, let alone many sites, can be incredibly complex. It’s of the utmost importance to translate content correctly AND ensure your message stays intact. On top of that, all imagery, files, media and associated credentials must be converted and accessible. That is a lot for a mere machine translator to take on (if it can) and relying on solely that can leave your business susceptible to incorrect translations and messaging, along with mismatched languages and confused prospects.
|When translating your online content, it’s good to take the following factors into account:
How US Translation Company can help
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- Backlash Against Australia’s Workplace Regulator for Machine Translating Its Website
- Letter Blocks Image by Pixabay
- Laptop Image by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash