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You’re Losing Sales to Machine Translation

Picture this: you land on an impressive website while searching for a product. The site features an outstanding landing page and a beautiful shop full of products. You are convinced that this is the perfect website to purchase from. However, before you add a product to the cart, you check out their “About us” page. Here you find misused words, unusual terminology and you can tell the whole page is full of translation mistakes. Would you still trust them with your payment information? Do you still see their product as being “high quality”? This seemingly small mistake completely changes your perspective of the company.

Why Your Customers Are Leaving

If you are using machine translation for your website, you are probably losing customers without even knowing it. Today, it's not enough to have an awesome product or service. You have to gain the trust of your target audience in order to make the sale.

If they land on your site and are greeted with language mistakes, they will realize your company can't afford high-quality translation from a human. Your site visitors will wonder if you are cutting corners in other areas of your business as well. This makes it harder for them to believe that you are actually selling premium products and services.

Some of the commonly mistranslated material includes:

     Instruction manuals

A manual translated by machine translation is not accurate and can cause your customers to feel confused and frustrated. Have you ever tried putting together a new piece of furniture by following a confusing manual? It gives the impression that your product is low quality and it can increase the amount of refunds you have to provide your customers.

     Flyers and brochures

Flyers, brochures and promotional materials that are incorrectly translated are not very effective. You create the wrong brand identity by promoting your company as being low quality. Your content needs to be high quality and professional in order for your target audience to follow your call to action.

     Product descriptions

Product descriptions need to be error free so that it helps your customers make a buying decision. If your descriptions are confusing and hard to understand, many of your potential customers will leave and purchase from your competitors. Product descriptions are very important and if you use machine translation, your copywriting won’t be the same in your target languages. You will receive much better conversion rates by using human translation.

     Landing pages and web content

A landing page is the first place your prospects will visit. First impressions are important when it comes to selling. If you walk into a dirty restaurant, do you trust their food? The same applies when it comes to online products and services. If you have mistakes in your translation, it creates a bad first impression. Your web content needs to be accurate in order for your audience to receive value and see you as a trusted source.

The Bottom Line

To sum things up, even though machine translation software can seem like an attractive option, it can hurt your business more than you realize. Once your customers are done laughing at your translation mistakes, they’ll opt to go with your competitor. The best option is to use human translation. This way you will rest assured knowing that all of your content is understandable, clear and professional. Your clients will trust you and this translates into more sales for your business.





Why Machine Translation Doesn’t Live Up to Its Expectations

Machine translation seems like a great idea. You can use a single widget to translate your content into many different languages. It’s quick and there are many free tools you can use to translate and engage your clients internationally. Sounds great, right? The problem is that machine translation has a low level of accuracy and consistency. These mistakes can be detrimental to your business.

Machine Translation Isn’t a Replacement to Human Translation

Even though machine translation is evolving, it will never be able to make the neural connections that a human can make through learned skills and professional experience. Humans can learn about new words, dialects, idioms, and puns. All of these are variations that affect the way we communicate effectively. Machine translation is not able to pick up on these differences, it mostly translates word for word. Which is why machine translation isn’t reliable and often comes with many mistakes.

Why Machine Translation Isn’t Effective

     Language isn’t dead, it's always evolving. A great example of this is the German dictionary DUDEN, which votes on a new youth word every year to add to its next volume. New words are always being added to the dictionary and only humans can keep up with these trends in culture.

     Niche-related topics have their own lingo. Each industry has its own terminology that is only learned through experience. Machine translation doesn’t understand the lingo that applies to each niche. These words can be translated incorrectly, giving the content a completely different meaning.

     Local connotations. Computer software might not know that there are differences in language based on local dialects. An example of a local connotation is the German word “Wellness”, which actually translates into “spa or relaxation and leisure” in English. You can see where this could be translated incorrectly by a computer program.

     Context is key. Machine translation doesn’t consider the way words are used in context to form coherent ideas. When you use software to translate your content, it might not make sense to the reader. Words end up being taken out of context and it can change the meaning of your content.

     Literal translations don’t always make sense. Humans can tweak different parts of your content that might not have the same literal translation in different languages. Machine translation is not able to find alternative phrases in these instances.

Can Machine Translation Really Save You Time and Money?

If you are trying to save money, you might think that you can use free widgets. However, without editing the translated content you can lose out on business. Your clients are going to be put off by unprofessional writing and inaccurate translations. In order to fix this, you will need to hire a human to proofread and edit the content that was machine translated.

Your savings will be minimal after hiring an experienced proofreader, and you will have to wait for them to finish correcting all of the mistakes. Instead of saving money, you could end up losing out because customers leave your site. In the end, it isn’t worth it, especially when you could have paid for a human translation from the start.

Final Takeaway

Machine translation seems to be the next big thing when different tools and widgets boast their free and fast translation services. However, free is not always the best choice. When your business is on the line, you want to use high-quality human translation.

Machine translation comes with many limitations resulting in low-quality and inaccurate results. This makes your business look like a low-budget, unprofessional operation, which customers are more likely to avoid. So even though you think you will save time and money, you can lose out in the long run. If you value your business and care about your brand image, opt for human translation.