A few days ago, I was navigating the web looking for some earplugs for better sleep (having a light sleep and living in a condo is a bad combination), when I bumped into an interesting Facebook advertising.
It showed exactly the product I was looking for, so I clicked on the link and was readdressed to the website.
Smartly, the web page opened in my native language, Italian. What a pleasant surprise!
The only problem was that the content had been machine-translated from English. Without a post-editing.
So it turned out that the “sleeping earplugs” I was looking for were in fact “ASLEEP earplugs” (tappi auricolari DORMIENTI). Well, I’m glad they can enjoy a night of deep sleep.
This is hilarious, no doubt, but the actual issue came when I read the technical features: they were simply unintelligible. I couldn’t understand if the product had the characteristics I was looking for, so I had to change the language into English to decide whether to buy it.
You need to talk to your clients
But what if I didn’t know English? Or what if I were too lazy to read a long, technical text in English?
It is proved that most people won’t buy a product if they can’t find the description in their language. But that doesn’t mean that you can just google-translate all your contents into all the languages you like.
You need to talk to your audience, and to do so you need to have good contents into their languages.
If the translation is bad, or difficult to understand, people will just leave your website and search for another brand.
Except for translators, maybe, who will stare at your website for hours, shaking their heads and silently crying.
People want to talk to people
So, please, don’t make a translator suffer, and don’t make your business suffer too: hire a “real” translator. You will see the difference in your selling, and in your leads.
People want to talk to people, not to machines.
The machine translation (like Google Translate) is not Beelzebub, but you must know how and when to use it.
Besides, Google knows many things, but it surely doesn’t know what you want to tell your audience and how you want to speak to them.
If you want to sell your products, you need to describe them with your voice, in your way, but in the languages of your clients.
And you need someone (not something) who can do this for you. A machine won’t be able to express your view, your emotions, your essence in the translated content.
For all this, you need a human who understands what you want to say and knows how to express it in your own words, but in another language.
In other words, you need a translator.