The Dangers of Not Proofreading Automatically Localized Websites

Last Updated On: October 26, 2020


Dangers of Not Proofreading

Providing a website in the languages of a new targeted audience may boost marketing success for a business and increase customer base and revenue, as there is clear evidence that customers prefer to buy from websites which provide product information in their own languages.

There are many ways these days that websites can be translated by using automated translation tools. However, rarely is the translation accurate and the language used by the automated translator does not necessarily fit the cultural preferences of the targeted language group. This makes it even more important for the localized translations to be proofread thoroughly before the information is published on the website.


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    Why are automated translations not accurate?

    The main reason is that human beings are not a part of the translation process. This can be improved by a human proofreader who possesses the knowledge and right skills to proofread localized web pages on a website before the localized content it is finally launched. The proofreader should know a bit about the targeted audience so the translation can be adapted when it is proofread. If this does not take place the targeted audience may find the web pages insulting and not buy the brand that is being marketed.

    What can a proofreader do?

    A proofreader checks for spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, syntax and punctuation mistakes. A human proofreader is more likely to notice if the translated localized content is not right for the context and make some changes when proofreading. Computers have not yet got the potential to make corrections and particularly those related to nuance and context of the translated text.

    Correcting spelling mistakes

    Checking and correcting spellings are especially important particularly in relation to the use of proper nouns. For instance, a name may be quite like a common noun used in the targeted language and so gets autocorrected by the translator to that specific word. If this happens the meaning of the complete sentence could be changed which could affect the whole content of the webpage.

    Correcting grammar mistakes

    Sentences which are grammatically correct are essential when a website is localized. No one wants to look at their language after it has been ruined butchered by poor grammar. Badly constructed sentences will stop the reader from reading the text. 

    Correcting punctuation mistakes

    The way punctuation is used across a lot of languages is fairly consistent but some languages which are popular internationally today like Chinese do not actually use punctuation. Also, Greek and Spanish use different symbols which are placed in different positions. In Spanish when a question is written in a text it is opened using a question mark inverted and it is closed using an upright question mark as happens in English. Improving punctuation makes the translation look more polished and accurate. This is received more favorably by the targeted audience. 

    Correcting syntax

    Anybody who has a basic knowledge of several languages will know that words can be arranged in different ways depending on the language in order to create sentences which have the same meanings. For instance, in the English Language, words such as uncle and aunt are placed in front of the person’s name, but with other languages, these terms follow the person’s name. Therefore, translated localized content must be proofread for the correct syntax. 

    Correcting typos

    Typos can take place before a translation and alter the word’s meaning which when translated is wrong too. For example, the words “our products” could be mistyped as “out products,” which would certainly make the marketing message about a product sound confusing. Proofreading can help with spotting these sorts of errors.

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