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Blog Translation Plugin for WordPress

Josh just sent me an email asking if I’d seen the Angsuman’s Translator Plugin Pro For WordPress. I hadn’t but now that I have I’m intrigued.

I’ve talked here numerous times about how I’d love to find ways of translating blogs into different languages so the idea of a plugin that does it into 8 languages (German, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean and Chinese) is very attractive.

Of course the problem with this, and every other automated translation service, is that translation is very difficult with such systems. This plugin uses either the Google or Babelfish translation services which are good for getting the gist of what something in a different language is about but which are by no means fluent (in my experience).

I guess the question for bloggers would be around how high a quality do they want to maintain in terms of what their readers of other languages are reading.

The plugin costs $30 to use (I think it’s reasonably priced) and it seems to be pretty well fitted out in terms of specifications (not that I’ve tried it). You end up with 9 versions of every post on your blog (the original english one and the 8 translations). This means you’re going to be picked up in search engines 9 times which will be very attractive to some.

One note to those using AdSense – read the comments of the post as there does seem to be some problem with getting AdSense ads serviced onto the different translated pages.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone who has tried it. Leave your impressions and experiences in comments below.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Splatty says:

    I visited the homepage of the plugin author and hit the button to translate everything into Chinese and all I saw was a page full of question marks.

  2. Wayne says:

    Splatty,

    Does your browser support showing the Chinese character set (which ever one is used by the plug-in)?

    -Wayne

  3. TDH says:

    Personally I wouldn’t accept this kind of automatic translations – they generally suck and at best gives the reader a slight idea what’s going on. If I where to translate a blog I’d go with the real deal.

    Still, it’s better than nothing I guess.

  4. I’m running a blog right now, and it has a Chinese version. Not the same content though, as it’s directed at different readers.

    I wouldn’t trust an automatic translator, and the grammar for English and Chinese is quite different (and for Japanese as well), and you just end up with words in the wrong positions. Something like, “I very like apples,” for example.

    Nobody wants to read that crap, so why produce it?

    You’re just reducing the quality of your site.

    Now granted, the Chinese on my site is far from perfect, but I make it clear to my audience that I’m a foreigner studying the language. I think they’ll understand, as there aren’t too many Westerners doing that in China.

  5. Funny… I was just thinking about this.

    I don’t have any translation built into my blog but I found it very interesting to see translate.google.com as a frequent referrer. Perhaps, it is because I participate in a discussion group that has members all over the world and I put my blog address in my signature.

  6. Khurrum says:

    I once put something like this on my site and my friend who speaks both Portugese and Japanese fluently told me that it would probably do more harm than good because the translation wasn’t good at all.

    On the other hand, if international search engines just pick these up then that would be a market that english bloggers have never been able to reach before. But the translated pages wouldn’t get bookmarked or revisited. It would only be good for those adclicks.

    I don’t know what to do :’(

  7. I have to agree with pandapassport. The paragraph only even write with sentences like to ‘I very like apples’ confusing would be. I like my writing to be understood and, if ever translations become necessary, I’d prefer a bi-lingual person do the job.

  8. I bought translation gold, which does basically the same thing.

    My plan is to write my own version that works exactly the way that I want it to. As for whether to translate or not, I’m not very worried about it. I would like to have people able to find my blog by searching on other languages; it may not be pretty to read, but I still might be able to help them and they wouldn’t find my site otherwise.

  9. While I like the idea of having multiple languages available, my concern follows along with what others have said that the translation doesn’t always make sense.

    I haven’t tried any of the translators but how do you really know what the translated text is saying. I imagine you would have to translate it back to English and that can really become jumbled after multiple translations.

  10. Automatic Translation Plugin reduced my blog’s Quality. So I’ve stopped using it now

  11. brem says:

    I believe automatic translators are useful, but to translators, not for end-users.

    Automatic translation can somewhat speed up the translation process, mostly when words don’t come to mind right away. I know this because I translate every post I publish. I would never completely trust an automatic translator because it cannot (yet) translate idioms, which is the core of a language. That’s how we use already built phrases. That’s part of how one speaks. That’s part of its culture.

  12. Michael says:

    While not as fancy and advanced as this plugin, I’ve been using the translate widget — http://trevorcreech.com/blog/2006/04/27/translate-widget/ . It still has the same quality issues though

  13. Al says:

    I’ve not used that plugin but I have my own custom script that uses a similar technique (you can get it free at http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=42057). I find the translation is often poor, but it has increased traffic and revenue by at least 25%.

    I do get the odd complaint saying the translation isn’t very good, but if it wasn’t for the translation I wouldn’t of got the visitor in the first place.

  14. jhay says:

    The idea of translating my blog to other languages is very attractive because of all the benefits, wider audience, bigger traffic and more earnings.

    I haven’t use the plugin you mentioned yet, I don’t have the $30 yet, instead I used the free widget from appliedlanguage.com It’s quite easy to use and implement and seems to work basically fine.

  15. Doug says:

    Sounds more and more like a reason that I might need to switch to WordPress from ExpressionEngine.

  16. Tom says:

    The main utility of these translators is to play the following game

    1. Write something in your native language
    2. Translate into language 2
    3. Translate into language 3
    4. Translate into language 4
    5. Translate into your native language.

    Still comprehensible? Usually not. I speak two languages pretty fluently (publish in print in both), so then it starts to get really fun.

  17. Devin says:

    There is a certain magical thinking involved here when considering a language translation tool and thinking it would just work fine. The complexity of most language is enormous and and it grows and changes almost daily. It is hard for native speakers to keep up, so how could I expect a computer to do it perfectly, which is what I would want on my site. Having said that, I would still like the traffic. Still debating.
    Devin

  18. I’ve been using this translator plugin at Small Business Trends ever since converting to WordPress last November. The translator gets regular usage — roughly 5% of my pageviews use it. I’ve had months as high as 10%. And that’s even though it is not necessarily easy to find on my site (I am looking to make it a little more prominent).

    I feel it is well worth it because it expands my audience. My South American audience uses it regularly for Spanish and Portuguese. Chinese is another popular language.

    As to the quality of the translation, the Google translation tool that it’s based on renders what can only be called a “rough” translation. It is not editorial quality. However, it generally is enough to get the gist of an article.

    In fact, separately I jump over to the Google translation tool myself several times a week for my work with the Creative Weblogging network. We have blogs in 3 languages in addition to English. While we do not use the Google translator for the blogs themselves — everything is written originally in the language — still for quality purposes I need to have some idea what they are saying. On top of that we get a ton of email from people in other languages due to the multinational nature of the network. The Google translator has been a lifesaver — I simply could not function without it. A number of our bloggers use it, too.

  19. Jesse says:

    I am intrigued by this plugin, which I purchased….I like the idea that seacrh engines may index your pages in different languages…My problem is that it may also cause Google to penalize you for duplicate content….Has anyone thought of this possibility?

  20. Kelsey Ruger says:

    I personally would be more interested in the ability to enter alternate versions of a post. (e.g. a alternative language panel in the post screen). That way I could control the translated content.

  21. Jesse,
    Translated content are not duplicate content. Several super popular bloggers provide translated content on their site, Gizmodo comes to my mind off the top of my head. You can verify it from Google.

    Best,
    Angsuman

  22. @Darren
    Thanks for the review. I did not understand your concerns about serving ads in translated languages.

    @Kelsey
    In version 4.0 (free upgrade for all customers) we will serve manually translated pages, when available. For pages where no manual translation has been done we will provide automatic translation.

    @Anita
    Thanks for the review.

    Few points I think I should clarify:
    1. The translated pages in Translator Pro, reviewed here, are structurally identical to your untranslated pages. For example german translation of http://anaconda.taragana.net will be available at http://anaconda.taragana.net/de/

    2. You may not at times be able to properly view the characters of the translated pages because you do not have the required character set on your computer.

    3. We provide a wide variety of translation engine and translation modes per language (more engines will be added soon; free upgrade). So you can fine tune the translation for each language to your satisfaction. We will also provide automatic failover support in version 4.0.

    4. At the core translator increases the reach of your audience; people who would have been unable to read your content in the past.

    I would be happy to answer any questions or concerns at angsuman[at]taragana[dot]com

  23. Harry says:

    It’s pretty telling that the comments here which are *for* using it are from people who have actually used it and are getting results from it, while they posts *against* using it are all from people who are just sitting on the fence going, ‘ohh, uhm, I don’t know, this or that might happen, uhhmm, it might not be perfect, I’m debating it’ etc.

    Always go with action and results instead of theorical / intellectual fantasizing BS, I always say.

  24. Dean says:

    Can anyone give me ideas , i might get free time in the future and want to give it for wordpress …
    any idea ?
    i want idea from simple thing to mid … 1-2 hours –> 8-10 hours .
    post your ideas…

  25. Ferenc says:

    I have purchased the plugin and I have used it for a few weeks.

    My findings:
    - Google did spider my translated pages.
    - a japanese friend of mine laughed for 2 minutes straight at one of my translated pages (the original content was not funny so it had to be the translation which was hilarious)
    - BUYER BE AWARE: THIS PLUGIN IS $30 PER BLOG!!!
    I FOUND OUT WHEN I ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO INSTALL IT ON MY SUBDOMAIN WHICH IS CLOSELY RELATED SUBJECT WISE TO THE MAIN DOMAIN!
    I GOT AN OFFER TO PURCHASE THE PLUGIN AGAIN FOR MY SUBDOMAIN FOR $25 – I DECLINED.

    Not saying it is an unfair deal, a greedy company or a rip off – just passing along information.

  26. Zion says:

    What I want to do on my blog, is every few hours take the oldest post and move it to the
    front of the queue, all automatically. Anyone know if there is a plugin that can do this or
    a simple way to set up another plugin to do this (use my own feed perhaps)?
    Thanks.

  27. Big Blogger says:

    Thank you for all of your comments! I have decided to buy the software. Increased traffic and more ad sales, I can not resist trying it out.

  28. Erica says:

    Can any of the flags be removed can someone email me and let me know.

  29. Nikki says:

    Just to say I purchased this about a month ago and have written 4 times to support for some help and haven’t received any replies. Not sure that the 6 months free support actually exists.

  30. The $30 PER BLOG cost really put me off. I like the plugin and I’d be happy to pay for it, but not PER BLOG!

  31. Automated translations are ok for getting the gist of something but are not good to really attract new readers, makes sales, gain additional search engine traffic or gain user trust. There are too many complexities for an automated translation to be coherent. A professional website translator or localization service is best for this if you want to expand your website to a foreign audience. They will make sure that everything is translated correctly and that there are not any bad translations that could make your site look funny, unprofessional or just plain ignorant.

  32. Is there any latest technology for website localization / translation?

    TranslationIndia.com

  33. Sergio says:

    Beware of automated translations – they are great to get an idea of what a text is about, but can be very incorrect. I would never use an automated translation for any business purpose.

  34. Although there are some great translation solutions for “some” languages out there, even those great software programs will choke when fed anything serious. If your content is just “play”, than fine. But (as Sergio also mentioned above) don’t rely on machine translation or you too find yourself featured at http://www.engrish.com :D

  35. brenda says:

    I would like you tell you that your site is marvelous. You have done a brilliant work by making it as a free service to the people. I was looking from a long time for some online translation software for simple translation. I searched over the net and found translators which are paid and highly prices and in response there is no guarantee.

  36. Money Ideas says:

    I am also looking for a good free wordpress translation plugin but I can’t find a good one.

  37. How it is diffirent from Global Translator plugin meant for wordpress users.?

  38. I was thinking of installing a good wordpress translation plugin. Is the Angsuman’s Plugin worth $30? I still doubt whether the translated pages will be worth reading or not.
    I think i should first install a free plugin. If i find my visitors are happy with translated pages, then i may go for the $30 one.

  39. Well… really any automatic translation work properly… you need to use a human professional service unless you want to create pages without good content just for search engines.

    Try to translate anything using any machine translation to language A to language B and then from language B to language A, and see the results.

  40. Keral Patel says:

    I don’t like some plugins that change the permalinks of the existing blog posts. :(

    I found “Kish Translate” very good one in this kind of situation. It doesn’t changes the permalinks of the posts that are already there.

  41. John Burton says:

    Angsuman’s Translator Plugin pro is such a mess. The whole plugin is down now as Google and Yahoo as started banning this plugin and don’t allow translations any more. Huge server overload and much translational errors. I filed support requests for more than a month but not yet got any response. The total company is a fraud and just taking money for bluff. No organization here, only some blogs and cheat plugins. If you see their forums you will find hundreds of people are unsatisfied and still unattended.

    Don’t buy it to get yourself fooled.

    For your Information, Google is banning blogs using this Angsuman’s Translator Plugin, since it sends automated queries to Google at a huge rate and thats a violation to Google’s webmasters guidelines.

  42. I like this plugin,but only a human can make perfect translation.

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