Can Google Translate Replace WordPress Translation Plugins?

October 6, 2009 | By | 8 Replies More

Reading time: 3 – 5 minutes

Optimizing your site for a wider audience would definitely need translation gadgets or plugins to carry out the job. While this seems as a good idea, it cannot in any way replace human translations.

Although this can help increase your website traffic, this is generally not the total solution to a perfect translation. Gadgets such as Google Translate, Transposh Translation Filter, and N2H are just there to provide the gist on what a certain page has but could also make it seem gibberish unless the reader is a native speaker of the language.

When I came across this information, I can’t resist myself not to make a comparison of both translation apps and here are my findings.

Webpage Translation by Google Translate

Webpage Translation by Google Translate

The image above shows the page translation done by Google Translate. Notice that the top of the page shows a slider from Google with a drop down option of all 51 languages available for translation.

If you hover over the paragraphs, they become highlighted in light yellow and show a dialogue box of the actual translated text.

Based on my test, after translating the home page of this blog, I went ahead to my “contact” page and it was also translated successfully. One notable thing though is the permalink of the translated page which was not that very attractive like this one,
http://softwarecritics.info/contact-us/#googtrans(en|es).

Notice the translated texts compared to the succeeding plug-in’s translation with some slight differences.

Web page translation by Transposh Translation Filter Plugin for WordPress

Web page translation by Transposh Translation Filter Plugin for WordPress

With Transposh Translation Filter, translation is carried out by choosing from either the drop down option or small flag images on a page utilizing the plugin (which is configurable via the plugin’s settings in admin).

Transposh Translation filter does not have the hover effect unlike Google Translate but they clearly outwitted Google via this pretty permalink generated on a particular translated page like this, http://softwarecritics.info/es/contact-us/ via its rewrite URL functionality.

Note that Google Translate API was used to run the former with an added option to utilize Bing (MSN) Translation using a key since the service is still in Beta.

The advantage of Google Translate however, is that the codes are embeddable on web pages capable of javascript (see code below).

<div id=”google_translate_element”></div><script>
function googleTranslateElementInit() {
new google.translate.TranslateElement({
pageLanguage: ‘en’
}, ‘google_translate_element’);
}
</script><script src=”http://translate.google.com/translate_a/element.js?cb=googleTranslateElementInit”></script>

Translation-wise, Google Translate slightly wins over Transposh Translation Filter plugin for rendering the localized version of this blog’s pages at least in my own native language, the Filipino.

The latter however is not adaptive to WordPress.com and Blogspot.com blogs but like I said, the pretty permalink gives them the edge over the other.

If you were to choose between the two, which one to do you think is better? Would you go after an SEO-friendly translated URL or a well-translated page?

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Category: apps

Comments (8)

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  1. Ofer Wald says:

    Hello,

    The main purpose of Transposh is to allow you (and your users) to create a better translation. So the question is not really better translation vs. better SEO because Transposh does both.

    It’s more about how deep you want translation integrated within your site, and we will keep on improving our plugin, suggestions are welcomed.

  2. Mathdelane says:

    Translation scripts thou can help but still has its lapses. The major challenge is coming up with a more natural voice on translated web pages. I have proved it in our native tongue. I cannot speak in behalf of other languages. Your plugin (which I use on this site) is incomparable to other plugins while Google Translate is also promising.

    More improvements in the future will definitely spell the difference and you can count me in for support suggestions as a part of the WordPress Community.

    It’s nice to have the plugin developer drop by and comment.
    Thank you.

  3. Sire says:

    Being of Italian decent and knowing a little Italian, but not exceptionally proficient at it, I have used several free internet sites to translate certain texts, both from Italian to English and the reverse. I’ve even paid for software to translate text, and I must admit they don’t do the best job. I sure wouldn’t use them for anything of importance.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..A Poem For Halloween The Night Of Frights =-.

  4. Mathdelane says:

    We all have our fair share of sentiments when it comes to faulty translations and other things associated with it. It’s nice to know from an Italian perspective that these services came out short to please a native tongue.

  5. Sire says:

    Don’t get me wrong, you still get the gist of the translation so it does help, and I suppose that’s all you can expect from a non human translation. I still use them for non professional translations, but if I needed to translate a will or legal document or something I would definitely pay to get it professionally done.
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..A Step By Step Guide Of Hosting Your WordPress Blog =-.

  6. Mathdelane says:

    Absolutely not. These applications help a little to increase readership (which I have proven) but it cannot be relied on for something as legal and complicated like the one you’ve mentioned.

  7. Sire says:

    I know that, you know that, but I’m sure there would be some out there who would give it a try. I’m just trying to save them some time. 😉

  8. Mathdelane says:

    I wish them good luck then. 😀

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