Ever wondered how a Google translation compares with a translation done by a human being? I have. So much so that I decided to compare the two side by side, using a real-life example from a GiteWise client site. Here’s what I found.

Menu / Navigation

As you’d expect, there are quite a few differences – even in the few words that make up the menu.

English menu

Original English

french menu

Personal translation

menu translated by Google

Google translation

Main text

As for the main text, the French version was written by a fluent French speaker and checked by a French national. It isn’t a line-by-line translation, as the writer felt some things were better expressed in a slightly different way or order. But the French translation is as close as the gite-owner felt she could get to the original English. The Google version is on the other hand a literal line-by-line translation. Overall, Google does a pretty good job. But as you can see there are differences in the language and choice of words throughout. Only a competent reader of French will be able to elaborate on these subtle differences.

English original

English original

French translation

French translation

Google translation

Google translation

Of course this is a fairly basic exercise, but it does demonstrate that for a human touch and precise communication, you can’t beat a personal translation.


  For more about how GiteWise sets up foreign language versions, see The SEO-friendly way to a French language version of your gite website For prices, see Translation setup costs

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