Website localisation services basically refers to a translation that you receive from a free website that offers translation services without any charge. These website translation services have been around since the early days of the internet. One of the first websites to offer this service was the famous BableFish, which is still operational these days and was bought out by Yahoo! where it continues to operate in much the same manner as it ever did. Plenty of other translation services have entered the ring as well, such as Google Translate, and they all basically work the same way. You take a piece of text, you feed it into the website’s translation field, you indicate what the starting language of this text is and you tell the service what language you want it translated into, and then you let the software do its thing. The process is very fast, very easy, and relatively painless.
Unfortunately the end products that you receive from a website translation service aren’t going to exactly be top of the line. In fact, it’s common to use one of these services and end up with a translation that doesn’t make much more sense than the original passage did when it was written in a language you didn’t understand at all. That’s because for the most part these services work by simply substituting each word for its closest translation while implementing as accurate a grammatical structure as possible. Truth be told these free and automated translation services work a lot better than they did a decade or two ago, but they still leave a lot to be desired. While they are continuously improving it’s safe to say that they will always provide a somewhat limited level of functionality.
Whether these services will work for you depends a lot on what your needs are. If you just want to translate a website or an email or a short message so that you can get the gist of its intent and what it’s saying then these services will work just fine for you. These services are actually most popular and most widely used these days when they are installed into web browsers and offer on the fly translations of foreign websites.
But if you’re looking for a truly accurate and sensitive translation of materials, if you are looking for translation services for materials where precision and the deepest meaning of the text are required than website translation services just won’t be good enough and you’ll have to spring for a proper professional service.