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The translation and localization tools and services have been improved tremendously with higher skilled professionals and machine learning. However, I still find websites with low-quality content due to the translation mistakes on a daily basis. This is a huge problem for the site owners as the majority of them don’t have the resources to review and re-optimize localized content in each language.
The quality of translation and localization work is impacted by the pricing to a certain level, but expensive services do not necessarily mean perfect. Also, certain languages such as Japanese seem to have more difficulties than other languages.
For example, this morning I saw a site with many issues with the translation. It was translated from English to Japanese. Based on the types of issues, it was clear to me that Japanese content was never reviewed by a Japanese native person. The types of issues include:
- Some sentences don’t make any sense.
- Some sentences have a different meaning.
- Some English words are translated into incorrect Japanese words.
- Some texts with important information are left in English.
Unfortunately, all of these issues have a negative impact on SEO performance.
Poorly translated content also have a negative impact on the business as it doesn’t give a clear understanding to the visitors. Often times, the visitors leave the site with un-trustworthy and un-secure feel for the business.
Just because the site is in a different language doesn’t mean it is well localized. If you have a limited budget or resources to invest in all languages and countries, prioritize the market, and add them to the site in multiple stages.