Machine Translation Services An Example of Machine Translation Misused

January 15, 2014 by Acclaro
Category: Localization Tips, Machine Translation Services

¿Cómo se dice "disaster" en español? The U.S. national healthcare exchange website launch has been plagued with problems in more than just English.

As thousands found out this winter, “” was considerably less fluent than it needed to be to serve Spanish-only populations in the U.S.

The Spanish version of the enrollment website provides a cautionary tale on the topic of localization, machine translation (MT), and why quality assurance is a must.

Isn't the Future Now? Machine Translation and Global Business Growth


Sometimes when I tell people my company helps companies increase their global reach through language translation services, I’m met with a skeptical grin.

“Is that going to be around much longer?” they say. “I thought Google Translate and other automated translation tools were making that kind of thing obsolete.”

And here’s one of the reasons Machine Translation (MT) is such a complex and contentious topic. Yes, it is can be a powerful tool for businesses rapidly looking to adapt to foreign markets. Yes, it can drive down costs and speed projects along. But applied to the wrong projects in the wrong way, it can have just the opposite effect.

The Future of Machine Translation

machine translation

Machine translation, or MT as we call it around here, has changed the way translation agencies do business. Far from the error-prone technology it once was, MT has recently become a viable way to produce workable translations — though, not without some risk.

Mashable recently published an article about a newly launched translation tool that marries MT technology with speech-recognition technology. Our take on the article follows, and we'd love to hear what you have to say. Read on and let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Retrospective: Machine Translation

As Acclaro gets ready to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we're taking a look back at some trends that have changed the way we do business today.

Throughout the history of the translation industry, human translation has always been the best way to get the best quality. Over the past ten years, however, machine translation has matured into a viable solution for more and more industries. Translation is not just cryptography. Language is often a fluid and illogical medium and good translation requires fluent knowledge and careful attention to detail and nuance, something that computers just don't do very well. However, that doesn't mean they aren't trying...or at least, getting better.

A Six Question Primer on Machine Translation

April 19, 2012 by Acclaro
Category: Technology, Q&A, Machine Translation Services

Machine translation. It sounds simple, right? Rather than use a human translator, you put the burden on a computer. How hard could it be? 

That depends, of course, on how much you value making sense from what you’ve translated. And that depends on what — and how much — you’re translating in the first place.

Machine Translation (MT) is a powerful and evolving solution to the complexities companies face when they must quickly and inexpensively make large amounts of information available to international audiences.

In this six question Q&A we’ll give you the “nuts and bolts” (if you will) about the current state of MT and how it might help you save time and money on your next translation project.

Machine Translation is Changing the Game, Not Ending It

As a translation business owner, I come across a lot of industry colleagues who fear Google's machine translation initiative.

It's a natural, but unfounded, response.

kriz translation quoteOur business thrives on cross-border commerce. A great translation tool — whether Google’s or another — will lower the barrier to communication across borders. This should be good for individuals and business while preserving language diversity as a key ingredient to multiculturalism.

Machine translation tools today can inexpensively produce draft translations that (while often inaccurate and sometimes humorous) are useful for personal and even business communication.

Still, the value that B2B translation service firms provide to businesses goes well beyond this basic draft-quality output. Companies hire translation professionals for many reasons that will not go away anytime soon.

Some examples include:

  • Marketing communications where brands are at stake will require refined, nuanced translations.
  • Content where misunderstandings or mistranslations would be costly require clear and accurate human translations.
  • Proprietary and confidential content where ownership is critical is not suited for the Google site in particular — based on my (perhaps erroneous) understanding that they can reuse this content.

Subscribe to this blog

RSS feed

About this blog

Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


software cost tips technology & localization industry language entertainment southeast asia arabic website marketing mobile acclaro languages of the world acclaro localization and translation services acclaro world language map world language map arts sports & culture europe eastern europe africa french international business north america latin america middle east swedish asia german chinese documents case study localization retail quality transcreation spanish south america italian english ecard networking portuguese romance languages japanese staffing technology machine translation cost savings acclaro games language apps elearning localization multimedia translation multimedia localization elearning translation training translation ecommerce localization bitcoin cryptocurrency global ecommerce bitcoin regulation bitcoin exchanges china chinese translation chinese localization beijing localization cantonese and mandarin translations translation for business in china business translation in chinese top retail markets in the world new retail openings retail markets acclaro black friday cyber monday cyber week cyber monday woche single’s day bachelor’s day holiday shopping online borderfree doorbuster sales global holiday ecommerce healthcare initiative spanish healthcare mt case study mobile apps mobile app translation app store optimization aso mobile app thai translation ecommerce in asia valentine’s day valentines in japan valentines in south korea chinese valentine’s day singles day translation project fitbit visualiq gibson mardi gras food localization globalization consulting localization staffing localization recruiting startups global scalability international ecommerce international payment international order fulfillment global online shopping acclaro april fool’s stories usaapril fool’s stories germany april fool’s stories ecommerce ecommerce design wine translation marketing translation english remains the dominant language in the united states but almost one in five americans speaks a language other than english at home. are you missing out on customers who are more comfortable doing business in languages other than english? read on to learn how your company can profit from translation within the united states. translation myths translation mistakes international translation misconceptions translation errors translation process translating startups marketing translations translation marketing international social media qa quality assurance quality translations global apps app localization app translation app store translation global startups international app launch press release translation international press release global pr global press release press release localization kontax translate news international marketing video localization video translation video translation agency brazil brazilian portuguese english-to-portuguese translation boston translation services boston web translation boston translation agency global branding international branding global brand evaluation lithuanian translation lithuanian language translation adapt to lithuanian translators translation ecommerce in india business travel business travel apps international banking financial services translation marketing transcreation international copywriting website translation website localization japanese translation english-to-japanese translation japanese translation services translation solutions web localization mobile app localization iphone 6 glocal global brands translation services translation agency translation partner global content marketing localization world business case for translation