TopRank Marketing Editor

Blogging in Different Languages

TopRank Marketing Editor     Blog Marketing, Blogging Strategy, Online Marketing

World - FlagsThere are millions of people around the world that speak languages other than English, yet most blogs I see offer up only English posts. The thought of posting in other languages doesn’t work well with many bloggers as they only know a few languages at most and the time it would take to re-post each post isn’t something we all have the time to do. So what about automatic translation?

Having a plugin to automatically translate your blog into Spanish, Chinese or other languages would be a great way to help gain exposure and readers from other parts of the world. Not only that, but it may also help increase the authority level of your blog.

In doing a bit of research, here are four plugins to help you automatically translate your WordPress blog.

Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro Р$30
– Available in 9 languages and creates nice clean URLs with each language in it’s own two letter directory. IE: site.com/sp/ It even comes with code to insert for any areas that you want to skip translation.

GG_Translate – Free –
– Uses Google and Altavista Babel translation engines. I haven’t seen this in action so I’m unsure how it works but it sounds like it sends all your traffic to external sources.

Global Translator Plugin – Free –
– Available in 10 languages and uses the Google translation engine. The downside to this one is is makes your URLs long and ugly. http://site.com/wp-content/plugins/global-translator/
translator.php?l=de&u=http://site.com/

WordPress Translate – Free –
11 languages and it uses BabelFish for translations. Unfortunately, when you click on any link it sends you to Bablefish’s site so any incoming links won’t be credited to your site.

Out of the four I came across, Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro for $30 is the best option as it creates the cleanest URLs. All plugins seem to do the trick, but keeping visitors at your site and keeping search engines happy is important.

There are both good and bad sides to a translation plugin. The good is that you offer up content to visitors that may not understand English. The bad is that any automatic translation service is ok at best. You also have to keep search engines in mind as you could easy create 5x as many pages on your site. That is if you offered up five different languages.

So what are your thoughts on translations? Is it something bloggers should be offering up? If you are already offering up translation, what option are you using?

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Comments

  1. Aaron Pratt says:

    Don’t forget Trevor’s Translate Widget for WordPress, the kids got skillz.

  2. Tina Lang-Stuart says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with John. Anybody who knows anything about translations knows these tools are just tools but not more. Blogs live from well-written posts. Bloggers who have a gift for writing do prevail.

    Unless you’re a multi-lingual blogger, blog in your native tongue and concentrate on great writing. Simply forget about translations!

  3. John Wesley says:

    How good are the translations? In my experience all those computer translators seem to spit out nonsensical gibberish. I’d love to make my posts available in other languages, but I wonder how close it will be to what I actually wrote.

  4. Aaron Pratt says:

    John Wesley – Trevor’s Widget uses Google translate so it is great.

  5. Jordan McCollum says:

    If they’re based on Google and BabelFish, your translations may not be even comprehensible. They both returned the following translation of a reasonably well-constructed, straightforward Spanish paragraph:

    I am of Carolina of the North. I have a son who are going to turn a year in two weeks and a husband who is going to turn twenty-eight years Tuesday that comes. What I am going to buy to him for its birthday? It does not matter. It is going to me to love for always never although it buys a cow to him just by three legs. And you know what? It is well with me. You can discover the errors? I to it doubt. I doubt it.

    (The thing about the cow was “He is going to love me forever and ever even if I buy him a cow with only three legs.”)

    If I came across that in a blog, I’d be tempted to run to report it as spam to any and all authorities.

  6. David Temple says:

    Thomas thanks for the great list as I’ve been planning on doing some research on this very subject. I think there is certainly a place for machine translations but not if you want to “help increase the authority level of your blog.” Maybe to those that can’t see the translation that may think you’re an international man of mystery but you will lose any credibility if you rely on software to do what a human should. Could you imagine only using software to do your seo for you? I didn’t think so.

  7. on my site I use applied languages free tool. its just apiece of html code, pasted in. the quality is better than most I’ve seen. just add it to your template and it translates directly in your site, plus there’s a choice of graphics and shapes to choose from. the site is http://www.appliedlanguage.com

  8. Thomas McMahon says:

    I will agree that language translators aren’t that great, however, someone has a better chance of understanding a bad translation than no translation at all. So, wouldn’t there be some value? 🙂

  9. David Temple says:

    Thomas you’re absolutely right. You can certainly gain a larger audience that you might not otherwise reach. I agree with much of what you said. My only issue was that I don’t believe it will

  10. I appreciate this post very much and the discussion resulting. Our site, YellowstonePark.com is now being translated in German, French and Italian. Automatic translators are not good enough, and based on our research and long conversations with French, German and Italian travelers, bad translation is not better than no translation… some of the translations can be so off that it’s not worth it and results in egg on face. I wish this wasn’t true, but seems like it is. My company used to publish a magazine in English and German. We hired a German professor at an esteemed U.S. university to translate the German version and the German tourists who read our magazine basically offered feedback that indicated it was a terrible translation. I know you’re talking mostly about blogs, and I’m talking websites and magazines, but unfortunately to do it right and in a way that actually benefits the foreign consumer, it’s necessary to hire people who are native to the language they’re translating your copy to. I only know this too well because of our current translation project at YellowstonePark.com. And of course, there’s the issue of words and phrases that simply aren’t straight-away translatable in the first place. Out in the Old West, located on the frontier like our Wyoming company is, there are many of these phrases we use in our promotion that there simply isn’t a translation for, so what results is not just a translation of words, but an interpretation of understanding. Thanks again for your post and your valuable blog. I appreciate it very much!

  11. A TRULY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE!!! WORST $30 EVER SPENT!!! … some languages do not work at all.
    in my case ( http://ferenc.biz ) Arabic and Norwegian does not work – so they were removed.

    so much trouble with Google translation that I had to switch over to BabelFish due to getting a 403 Forbidden error for all translated pages from Google.
    Google viewed my frequent translation requests as spam but setting the Translator Cache to 12 hrs still has not fixed the issue.

    the plugin is $30 per blog!!!! PER BLOG!!! BE AWARE!!!!
    additional plugins are $25.

    the next version will include up to 32 languages per the manufacturer – http://blog.taragana.com – but that just sounds like more headache.

    I think they are pushing a product which is NOT finished and NOT ready to be released yet.

    a japanese friend of mine laughed her ass off at the translation. it is not even close to conversational level not to mention professional.

    I have been feeling like a spammer generating this sea of garbage content just to increase the size of my blog.
    for now I am removing it completely from my site until it becomes more reliable … not holding my breath.

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