As a native English speaker I’m really very fortunate. In the western world, English is the dominant language used for publishing even though globally only about 720 million out of about 6.8 billion people speak English, about 11% of the world population according to WolframAlpha. Every blog I’ve subscribed to publishes in English even though in many cases the bloggers are not native speakers but do a great job nonetheless.
But what about those many millions globally for whom English is not their native language, indeed many of whom can’t speak English at all. Are we reaching them with our blogs or could we do more? Yes I know there are online translation sites such as Jollo which can be used to translate text but should we all be providing an automated translation service on our blogs to help? After all, the net is global and so is our readership.
There are WordPress plugins like the Global Translator WordPress Plugin, widgets like the new Google Translation Widget, Microsoft Translator and others but are they really effective? Surely automated translation will never be as good as a human translation so are they worth it? I’ve always shied away from using one because I just can’t judge how good they are – I only speak English and minor conversational French.
Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration goes into some of the difficulties behind language translation plugins in terms of storing translation results in the blog database and more recently looks at Google Translate.
So I’d really like to know from my readers just what you think of automated translation plugins on blogs. Have you used them to translate blogs into your native language? Do you find any useful and if so which? Is the tech field with its specialized vocabulary just too much for these plugins? Do you prefer to do your own translation into your language? Please add your thoughts below and from the responses I’ll judge whether it’s worth adding this service on this site.