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Lost in Translation: WPML vs. Other Translation Services

Bilingual marketing is a fantastic way to bolster your business. Not only will it help you to reach people who are not able to access English-language content, but it also helps your positioning with bilingual individuals as well. The United States is incredibly diverse, with 20% of US households speaking a language other than English. If your brand engages in bilingual marketing, you are demonstrating that you value the diversity in our nation and are willing to go the extra mile for your clients. 

The marketing team at Abogados Now specializes in multilingual marketing. We have tested out dozens of multi-language web tools. In our experience, The WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML) is far and away the best option. It allows you to run a fully multilingual site on WordPress, automatically translating website copy, tags, categories, and themes. The accuracy and authenticity of WPML cannot be matched. When you combine this plugin with a language review from a native speaker, you wind up with a nearly perfect copy that your team can churn out fast and have confidence in. 

Below are some of the other tools we have reviewed:

  • uKit: This is a website builder with a native multilingual option. The multilingual services are free and tech support is readily available. That being said, uKit is a site builder and not a plugin, so you are locked into working within the platform, not affording as much freedom as WordPress.
  • Translate Press: This is another WordPress plugin. It offers both manual and automatic translation through Google Translate. With the premium version, the plug-in will automatically detect the visitor’s language and display the appropriate site. The Translate Press user interface is easy to use, and the plugin is compatible with nearly any WordPress theme. Still, the accuracy and authenticity of the translation do not measure up.
  • Polylang: Another WordPress plugin, the Polylang interface is easy to use, and the translation technology is powerful. The downsides are that the plugin does not come with support, and the default plugin does not come with eCommerce support.
  • Google Translate: This is not a plugin or a website builder, but it is where nearly everyone who wants to build a bilingual website starts. It is a free tool, and many people think they can just copy/paste their marketing copy to receive a viable translation. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. Google Translate will help you to decode meaning, but it will never yield grammatically comfortable text. Any native speaker will immediately be able to tell that you used a free translation service, and it can turn them off to your brand. 

Machine translation is a powerful tool in a bilingual marketer’s hands, but it should never be used on its own. Always have someone with bilingual skills review your machine translations to ensure that the copy reads smoothly and comes off authentic. 

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