Member Perspective: The Perils of Using Automated Translation on Your Website

Myriam Siftar
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These days all kinds of companies are rolling out multilingual websites either to attract foreign customers or as part of a multicultural marketing campaign. For many small and mid-sized
companies, though, the cost of translating a website—not to mention future maintenance of the site—is daunting. Depending on the size and functionality of the website, translation and localization easily can cost thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars.

Cost is one reason that many companies and organizations are turning to automated translation tools to convert their websites into various languages. It seems like a good idea: "It may not be perfect, but it's cheap and updates aren't a problem. What can I lose?" Well, the answer is that you could be losing a good deal—and without ever knowing it. Here are just a few reasons why the automated translation of websites usually is not a good idea.

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Author Bio:

 
Myriam Siftar
<font face="Helvetica-Oblique" size="2"><font face="Helvetica-Oblique" size="2"> <p align="left">Myriam Siftar is president of MTM LinguaSoft, a language services company in Philadelphia, Pa., that specializes in the translation of websites and interactive applications. She also is a former board member of the </font></font><b><font face="Helvetica-BoldOblique" size="2"><font face="Helvetica-BoldOblique" size="2">AMA</b></font></font><font face="Helvetica-Oblique" size="2"><font face="Helvetica-Oblique" size="2">’s Philadelphia chapter.</p></font></font>
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