I just happened to do a Google search for Google-SM and found not only a page from this site, but also the Google flavour for the tiny country San Marino. Followed by a [Translate this page] link. Since those automated translations are a constant source for good laughs, I immediately clicked it. And sure enough. The result i absolutely worth noting. The actual word-to-word translation isn’t bad. Of course not, and it’s actually quite alright on a phrase level as well, but I doubt if anyone inside or outside of Google would accept this translation if Google.sm presented it with the hl parameter set to en:
Click the image for a larger version in a new window.
This example proves my point to why you should never, ever use automated translation tools. Even when the translations go totally wrong, the result is far (very far in this case) from perfect.
- San Marino is translated as Saint Marino (The tiny country is actually called San Marino in English)
- altro » (which is the more link) has been correctly translated to other but the double arrow » has also been translated, to ”
- Strumenti per le lingue is translated as Instrument for the languages (Language Tools)
- The buttons hasn’t been translated at all (Google Translate never does.)
- Cerca nel Web has been translated to It tries in the Web
- Cerca solo le pagine in Italiano has become It tries only the pages in Italian
- Pubblicità is a link to the Press pages but has been translated to Publicity
- All about Google is Tutto su Google in Italian. But Google Translate goes for the alternative All on Google
As you see. All these translations are OK. But the all feel a bit… should we say translated? Now, if Google does this to their own site, imagine what they would do to your site?