Presenting a website to a new target audience in their native language can prove invaluable to a company’s success. And, translation from one language to another plays a significant role in the localization process. However, with automated translation services, things can sometimes go wrong. Anyone who has used Google Translate to translate a page to their native language will have noticed how sometimes the translated words don’t make sense, thus proofreading automatically localized websites becomes a necessity.
What’s Wrong with Automated Translation?
Automated translations of website content are quick but the problem is that they lack the human element. The fact that the target audience is made up of human beings is something that should not be overlooked. Therefore, it is essential that a human being with the right skills and knowledge proofreads a localized website before it is launched. Not proofreading a localized website can have consequences ranging from embarrassing the launching company to downright insulting the target audience.
Why Proofreading Automatically Localized Websites is Essential
Proofreading is the process of checking for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, syntax, punctuation errors, etc. If proofreading a localized website is left solely to machines, the same errors can keep coming up time and time again because computers are incapable of understanding context and nuance. On the other hand, a human reader might notice that the context is not right and make corrections. Here’s what you need to check when proofreading the content of a localized website:
Checking spellings is especially important when proper nouns are involved. For example, a name could be similar to a common noun in the target language and get autocorrected to that word. When this happens, it could completely change the meaning of the sentence and even the whole content.
Grammatically correct sentences are a must when localizing a website’s content — no one likes to see their language butchered by incorrect grammar. Poorly constructed sentences are enough to put anyone off reading further. Also, as any English speaker who has tried to learn French knows, some languages assign genders to inanimate objects and it is vital that this is done correctly in the translation.
While the way a sentence is punctuated is fairly standard across many languages, there are some languages, like Chinese, that don’t use punctuation. Other languages like Spanish and Greek have different symbols that are used in different places. In Spanish for example, a question is opened with an inverted question mark and closed with an upright question mark like in English. Making sure that sentences are punctuated correctly makes a world of difference to how the content is received.
Anyone with a basic knowledge of two or more languages knows that words are arranged differently in different languages to form a sentence with the same meaning. For example, in English, words like aunt and uncle are used before the name of the person they refer to, but in other languages the relationship is placed after. Content needs to be proofread to ensure correct syntax; otherwise, the meaning of the sentence could change or make no sense at all.
Typos could happen before translation and change the meaning of words which then get translated wrongly as well. For example, our products could be typed as out products and that could make a complete mess of your message. Proofreading would help to spot these errors.
Why use Localize?
Launching a localized website without proofreading could cause a lot of errors and could potentially spell total disaster for marketing campaigns. Proofreading a localized website can help make your campaign succeed. At Localize we have collaboration tools built into our platform so that experts can proofread your content or make use of our built-in integrations with our LSP partners. Contact us for more information.