Global Translator Plugin – Reach out to new audience

global translator wordpress plugin reviewReaching out to people seamlessly is one of the prime goals of Internet and blogging. If the language and disabilities are barriers, there are tools and widgets available to make your blog accessible and readable to many people around the world. The Global Translator plugin is one such wonderful plugin that provides your blog’s translated content to a broader audience around the globe.

We had talked about this plugin during the SEO Challenge ’09 competiton whereby several contestants had used this plugin to improve their search visits from various language specific searches. This time around, I thought of investing some time to write about the pros and cons of using this plugin.

How the Global Translator WordPress plugin works?

The plugin can translate your blog posts and pages to over 40 languages and you have the option of using multiple popular language translation engines (such as Babelfish, Google translator etc). This plugin does not do on-the-fly translations but it actually translates the pages offline and keep them under different language folders on your server. For example, if you have a post written in your default blog language, it’s translated versions are kept in 40 different directories as individual pages if you have opted for all the 40 languages.

The installation is pretty straight forward and so is the settings. There is a language selector (neat one that shows flags of the countries) widget that is available for a visitor to opt for a different language view of the current post. The accessibility and simplicity of this widget is really a plus point.

Pros and Cons

The following are some of the good things about this useful plugin.

  • It creates directories and neat permalinks (for posts and pages) for each language and hence in principle the translated page access is very fast and they SEO optimized as well
  • The plugin can improve your search traffic by 15 to 20 percent based on the topics
  • The plugin does not spoil the theme features like search, layout etc while creating translated pages
  • Media objects (images etc) on the pages are not duplicated on the translated directories
  • Global translator does not make structural changes to any WordPress tables not does it store translated information there in
  • Global translator dramatically increases the number of pages indexed by Google which may be a good plus point in the eyes of blog and site graders

Now here is the trade off :

  • The plugin takes ages to translate all your existing pages as it cannot ping the translator services too often
  • During the translation process it can slow down the server drastically
  • Some of your new posts are not translated readily and hence when use clicks on the translate flags it gives an annoying message ‘This page has not been translated yet’ and then redirects to the translator for on-the-fly translation
  • Just like eating up the server CPU time, it can eat up disk space big time as well
  • If you have custom Google search implemented on your blog, it can show multiple language results which will not really help anybody searching within your blog
  • I am yet to figure out whether the translation will work if older posts are edited for some reason
  • I do not know if Google can mark the translated pages as duplicated content in which case it could affect the page ranks of internal pages as well as the domain

You can download the plugin for free from the WordPress plugin directory.

Those who are already experienced in using the plugin may please provide additional feedback to help the readers here.

Happy Blogging!

Comments

  1. I was going to use it but will wait for some time and see the feedback of other users. If it takes too much Server CPU, then i dont think it will perform well in shared hosting.

    Madhur Kapoor’s last blog post… Convert PowerPoint Presentation To Flash

  2. Richael Neet :

    i had actually tried using this plugin on my previous blog but things did not turn out well. The translation took “forever” and for some reason, the post had no meaning when translated to French. Since I know French, I read the translated version and it looked more like a spinned article (grammatical errors, tense not matching and other simple language syntax errors). Maybe, the developer has improved on this feature (last time I tried this plugin was 4 months ago, I think).

    Nevertheless, my focus for the new blog is English audience so I don’t think I’ll bother to use this plugin for now….

  3. I’m up for this, next time you visit my blog and see this plug in in action give yourself a smile – i dedicate this to you.

  4. But then there is this version :
    this Plugin uses Google’s translation Service to convert pages . Google’s TOS in this regard is :

    “You agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Google, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with Google. You specifically agree not to access (or attempt to access) any of the Services through any automated means (including use of scripts or web crawlers).”

    So its clear from above that you should not use their service through any other mean (third Party).

  5. venkat :

    are there any other plugins avialble for Blogspot blogs except for Google translate

    venkat’s last blog post… How to Fix ”Quick Launch bar missing during Startup”

  6. Harish :

    But Can the visitors comment on their own lang…..?

  7. Nihar :

    I will try using this. Nice review mate.

    Thanks.

    Nihar’s last blog post… Update your site privacy policy, if using Google Adsense

  8. @Madhur, even I am awaiting some more feedback… We should really ask samrat or arun basil lal for more info.

    @Richael, yep, it consumes a lot of time – sometimes months I hear – to complete your initial translation. This is because the plugin cannot continuously ping the translation services fearing an IP ban. As for the translation quality, well, any automated translation will have some limitations… the output can be really funny sometimes 😆

    @Shanker, you are welcome buddy. These translation clients must be using the translation services via defined interfaces only. It may not be any violation, I guess.

    @Venkat, blogspot blogs could use something like conveythis (link at the beginning of this post)

    @Harish, commenting is possible in any language even when your posts are in English (i.e. without translation as well)

    @Nihar, you are welcome buddy…

  9. Ruby Web :

    Whilst English is generally considered to be the “universal” language, there is huge merit in engaging your audience in their native tongue. This is a great way to growing your reader base without language limiting your options.

  10. Thanks for the review. Raju mentioned it in one of my articles and I was wondering how it worked. It seems like it work best if you knew you were going to use it from the moment you started your site so it didn’t have such a backlog of articles to translate.

    I am also considered about the CPU usage and the amount of files that it generates.

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post… Cursebird: A Twitter App to Track Swearing

  11. Raju :

    I am one of those who greatly benefited with this plugin. But after 3 -4 months of usage, I am finding the cons of this plugin. The cache management of the translated URLs are bad, there are some issues with Google ToS wrt storage of translated content and few more. Problem is I can’t get rid of it, as many of them are already indexed on Google and other SEs :(

    Raju’s last blog post… 8 Innovative Ways to Access Blocked Websites

  12. Forest :

    I think this plugin is awesome.. The translations are probably hilarious to the native language speakers but I have seen it improve rankings, visits and adsense clicks on my niche sites.

    Thanks for the post.

    Forest’s last blog post… Big Ben Patton’s Place To Become…

  13. This plugin is really cool, but I Had a small problem with this plugin, Thanks to this plugin I used to get a lot of Visitors from russia, the problem was, the visitors who commented on my blog were using thier native languages to comment. most of the times the comments came from well known bloggers of russia.

  14. I’m using this plugin from almost one month…and honestly I’m not happy with the plugin for many reason…

    1> My Google webmaster is full of 404 not found and such error messages….

    2> Violation of Google translation TOS

    3> To avoid TOS I changed the translator to Babel fish.. and I’m surprised to see the problem of duplicate content.. Coz your meta tags are same..and thus it become a duplicate content…

    How I’m planning to get rid of it?
    I will rather ay sorry to my visitor from other language..and I will manually remove every 404 page using webmaster tool.. I know lots of work…but left with no other option….

    After all blogging is something where you learn after fail…. :(

  15. Ofer :

    Hello There,

    We are developing a somewhat similar plugin. However we don’t suffer from many of the issues that you have mentioned, and actually I believe that most of them can be properly handled.

    An example would be the fact that we put less strain on the servers as pages are translated only on as needed basis.

    We are actively developing it now, if you give it a try and give some feedback – we’ll be more than happy to get it done.

    Ofer

    Ofer’s last blog post… 0.1.1

  16. Simon | Teenius :

    Whilst I think the idea of having a translated blog is good, I don’t think this plugin would make a positive enough change to combat the poor grammar you’ll receive. Even the best programs will struggle immensley to change the tenses and things like that because they just translate the actual words, thus giving the articles little or no meaning in certain languages.

  17. @Rubyweb, exactly… the motive behind the plugin is really good in that you reach out to that extra bit of non-english audience who are seeking the kind of information you have to offer.

    @Kim, yes, if you are starting fresh it makes more sense. It takes forever if you were to translate all your 200 posts now :) And we don’t have much control over the server time used for that purpose.

    @Raju, that is one of the major reasons why I am NOT using the plugin… i.e. if all those pages are indexed by Google and one fine day if you want to remove the language capabilities, your readers up getting those ugly ‘Page not found’ messages. And if your site cause many of those ‘Not found’ errors, Google might penalize you.

    The 20% of extra traffic doesn’t come without any risk!

    @Forest, yep :) As a couple of others mentioned, the translations are sometimes funny to read. But again, the technical content may remain intact and probably that’s good enough for genuine info seekers?

    @Nicholas, haha… that’s a tricky problem but again that can be solved by the plugin itself! You just need to click for the English version of comments. One issue though is that, it may take a while before the post with all comments are actually translated.

    @Harsh, I am sorry to hear about having to manually remove your 404 error causing pages… As I mentioned above, this is one of the main arguments against this plugin.

    @Ofer, I will give it a try and probably review as well. Thanks for the information.

    @Simon, you are right about the poor grammar quality of the translated content. Is n’t that the case with any automated translation service?

    Thanks again for your comments! From the comments I see that only around 40% of the people are in favor of this plugin…

  18. @ AJith
    I just realize that this plugin also violates Google adsense TOS.
    I posted a complete report about this and how to avoid the issue using robots.txt on my blog.
    Don’t know commenting link to the post will be k with u…so let me know…

  19. Nirmal :

    @Harsh, @Ajith Prasad
    All the issues mentioned here are because of the Global translator plugin. There is a paid plugin from Taragana which solves most of the issues like good cache management, instant translation when you click the page etc.

    Regarding the adsense TOS, consider this. I have blog in English and I have Hindi flag which does translation using default Google translator and not using any plugin.
    Now Hindi is an unsupported language according to Adsense, so how can a reader read the content in Hindi?

  20. @Nirmal, yep there are several other options as well (like transposh as mentioned in a comment above). Basically all of them uses translation services such as Google, Babelfish but internally many of them are optimized better.

    I do not think that on demand translation will infringe the AdSense TOS because we are providing just another language as an option to the readers while the blog’s main language remain English.

    Until this plugins came in many people were calling translation services on demand (like you did), the quality of which is the same as what is provided by the plugin :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] # Server load : With the translation it increase the server load to a great extent. Thanks to Dreamhost hosting that I have not faced any issue regarding server issue. Though many of other blogger friend who used this plugin faced the server issue. Server problem is one of the issue that Ajith mentioned his review on Global translator plugin. […]

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