Why Google Translate is Bad for Business Use

Over the years, I often get the same question that goes something like: “I’d like to target the Hispanic audience with a Spanish page on my website… How can Google Translate not be sufficient for just one landing page?”

Throughout my years as a translator, business owners regularly question the use of Google Translate over a professional translator for translating their content to Spanish. Automatic translators like Google Translate are great for quick, one-off translation in casual conversation, such as email or IM. They’re also convenient because they’re typically free, but freeware comes with its own set of downfalls.

In the above example, an owner of a retail store was interested in translating their English web page to Spanish, so they could target the Hispanic audience using Spanish domains they had purchased. While they understood the first piece (the value of Hispanic marketing), they weren’t interested in spending $30-50 for a simple landing page translation, and wanted to run the page through Google Translate, instead.

I can’t stress it enough: A business cannot afford a faulty or inaccurate translation! The ROI from obtaining a proper Spanish translation by a professional, human translator is absolutely imperative for anything other than one-on-one communications or informal, non-business items.

Why is Google Translate unsafe to use for business practices?

Other than the fact that the Spanish-speaking audience is keen on poor translation and will associate that with your brand’s reputation, Spanish is an intricate language that requires a professional to catch all the linguistic nuances. The smallest change in a single letter can cause a drastic change in meaning.

This tweet may look harmless, but the difference made in one letter changes the entire sentence’s meaning.

Papá = Dad / Father
Papa = Potato

Note how the small accent mark above the second “a” changed the word’s meaning – a seemingly trivial difference that automatic translators (i.e. Google Translate) often overlook. Talking about a sack of potatoes when you meant to say your dad is probably not the best impression to make with Hispanic audiences…

The worst part of this example is the second erroneous word.

Años = Years
Anos = [Not something you’d want to say to customers!]

Again, the same letters are being used, but the accent marks are different. This changes a harmless word, “years,” into a vulgar statement.

That’s more than just a faux pas – that’s a serious issue for someone not to buy your products or use your services. Don’t make this mistake. Hire a professional Spanish translator for your translating English to Spanish content.

Contact Your Spanish Translation Company Today

We’re so excited that you are ready to commit to the Spanish-speaking community by offering a professionally translated website! The Spanish-speaking translators of English to Spanish offers two services to help you translate your website:

  1. Our Website Translation service offers a complete professional translation of your website. We will even help you identify and implement the best Spanish SEO tactics to ensure searchability.
  2. We also offer a Website Proofreading service for those who have already used a machine translation service and want to ensure accuracy.

Call us at 919-995-2986 or request a quote online today, below!