Here at Zoom Creates we’ve been asked a few times if we can set up websites in multiple languages. “Yes” is our answer, but it’s always quickly followed up by a question about the page content. We ask, “Who is going to translate your content into these other languages? Would you like us to provide you with a translator?” Often, we get asked about automatic translation services, such as Google Translate.
“Google Translate is amazing. It can translate from your native language into (currently) 64 other supported languages, but how are you going to error proof it?” See, when you translate your copy into another language, you are trusting that bi-lingual person or service to get it right. If they botch your translation, you could suffer from looking like a fool to all the people who read your website in the new language, or you could even insult them without knowing. How are you to know exactly what the site says unless you are fluent in that other language?
So when you put that little flag icon on your site that implies “You can read all our pages in Italian”, people who speak Italian could be upset when all of your grammar is wrong, and your syntax is a mess. Your best bet is to hire a copy writer that can help you speak directly to your target demographic. Below is a fun little video that is pretty far removed for a real world example, but is still worth watching. Take it away Fresh Prince!