Lost in Translation, or Do Articles Make Sense? Looking for Advice from Bilingual/Multilingual Readers

With readers in roughly 130 countries to date, I recognise that a number of you read Exceptional EA in what may be your second or third language. You may also want to share such resources with friends and colleagues who don’t speak English.

Google Translate on Exceptional EA Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

With that in mind, I’ve added a new feature to the site. Google offers a translation service, and you’ll see a drop-down translation option near the top of the right hand sidebar on my site.

Google Translate on Exceptional EA 2 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

 I was excited to learn of this option, and hope it serves readers well. You’ll see at the base of this article the range of languages in which you can read my articles.

However, I’ve read mixed reviews from other writers who have installed this translation option. Some have concerns regarding sentence structure and the grammatical accuracy of some of the translations.

This is where I’m calling on my bilingual and multilingual readers … and those of you who know non-English speakers. Will you please pick a couple of articles, and use the translation option to read them? I’d appreciate your advice as, while I’m delighted to offer translations, I’d also like to ensure they read cleanly.

Please read on in the language of your choice, and then click on the “Leave a comment” option … or click on the “Contact Shelagh” tab above. I’d love to know how effectively articles translate to your other languages, and whether you recommend I keep this option available. Thanks!

Google Translate on Exceptional EA3 Copyright Shelagh Donnelly

10 Comments on “Lost in Translation, or Do Articles Make Sense? Looking for Advice from Bilingual/Multilingual Readers

  1. I checked Google’s German version of the article. It is good enough to give someone who does not speak English a good idea of the content, but is a far cry from the results a real translator would achieve. There are numerous errors regarding grammar and syntax and it is obvious that the German text is based on an English one.

    • Thanks very much, Angela, for taking the time to review the translated version. I appreciate your feedback.

    • Same in Dutch (Nederlands); you can understand most of it, but it isn’t flawless

      • Thank you, Ynske. I appreciate you taking the time to write. I’d prefer clear translation, so will look forward to future iterations of this software and pull this version on the weekend.

  2. I enjoyed the non-sens of the translation in Romanian.
    There are a multitude of errors regarding the content, grammar and syntax. A native Romanian will wonder what are you trying to write about and the intent of the article… :)..

    • Silvia, thanks for taking the time to review some of my work translated to Romanian. Your comments, and Angela’s, are consistent with what other readers have said. I’ll be dropping the feature, even if it does make for entertaining reading and guesswork!

  3. I tried the Google Translate option in German and Finnish. But are not quite accurate grammarwise. Nevertheless, you can get the context of what you are trying to say.

    • Katrin, thank you for checking the translations to Finnish and German; much appreciated. While helpful to get context, I think I’ll watch for future releases of the translation tool in the months ahead.

  4. Hi Shelagh, I do use google translate from time to time, particularly when I am short of time. My advantage is that I know both languages very well, which allows me to edit any non-accurate translation especially when there is use of colloquialism. In other words, Google Translate is not always accurate. Still I find it quite useful.
    Hope this helps. Happy Sunday! (4-Dec-2016)

    • Hi, Paula. Thanks for your comments, and for your Sunday wishes – we had a gorgeous, sunny day today! Your comments are consistent with others’ … am thinking I’ll pull the current translation tool, and watch for future releases. Hope you’ve enjoyed a great weekend, as well.

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