Parlez-vous français? Increase your website’s global reach with the Google Website Translator Gadget

Posted by maggie.hunsucker October 1, 2009

google_logoIf you take a gander at your website’s analytics, you may be surprised to find that many of your visitors come from other countries.   One way to increase your site or blog’s global appeal, is to make it readable in all languages.

Thanks to Google’s Website Translator Gadget, you don’t need to invest in a professional translator or complex multilingual platform.  Simply add a snippet of code to your site, and your site content will be available in over 50 languages.

Here’s how it works.   When a visitor comes to your site, the Translator Gadget looks at their browser settings.  If it’s different than your language (the language your content is written in), a small banner will pop up, prompting the user to push a button.  Voila!  Your site is readable in that user’s language.

google website translator gadget

Google’s been hard at work making the web truly a universal platform (the launch of the Translator Gadget just so happens to correspond with International Translation Day).  This idea is free, easy to install, and doesn’t alter the look or feel or your site.   The Translator banner only appears if a foreign user visits your site – and when they do, your site is ready.

Google also released a Translator Toolkit for translating content (HTML & Word Docs) on the fly. The toolkit includes translation search and a bilingual dictionary and ratings. It's integrated with Wikipedia and Google's own Knol, making it easy to translate published articles. Overtime the system learns from the corrections users make and improves the product.

Google Translator is not perfect, nor a substitute for a professional translator, but it does help foreign visitors get an idea of your site and your offering.

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