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And I used it to set a complex system from the only documentation available, which was in Russian. Yet I won't ever sell a product with UI (or documentation) translations machine made if I don't want to act and look like a perfect fool and the product to look like crap
Using AI to translate is like first year student in a new language. It may get some words right, but the context is always wrong. Different language treats subject/verbs differently like subject first or verb first have different meaning.
If the app is critical and to be sold for cash, always trust a human than an AI.
To mistake take a human, to really louse things up takes an AI.
Maybe the Zeta resource editor will be of interest to you, it's a free tool to edit your resource files and you can let it use Google Translate or Microsoft Translator (Bing): Edit .NET string resources in parallel[^]
Don't. While I can (better: could - I never actually encountered the situation) decipher what someone meant when I'm presented with the german output to an english sentence (e.g. in an email) I would never trust any application presenting the same gibberish. It would seem unprofessional and I'd most certainly figure that it will take from me what it can get (contact info, credit card details, phone number and everything else) and not use it.
At the state of the translation engines, it may be worth to do the intial translation using some automated tool, but proof reading done by a human saves your (and your app's) professional appearance, which you'll most likely want to have.
I only have a signature in order to let @DalekDave follow my posts.
Making sure the horse is well and truly masticated:
Automated translation is fine when you need to read an email or a document written in language not your own. You can't trust it to express your thoughts correctly when authoring a document or an application, especially if your text contains industry-specific vocabulary.
It's very difficult to get a good translation for an application. We have translators experienced with our products, and we try to send our localized apps to our in-country service people for review. Even with all that we get occasional complains about the quality of our translations. Many customers use the English version of the app by preference.
I've noticed some really weird translations between Swedish and German, that simply didn't make sense.
That is, until I translated from German to English, and then to Swedish from English. Then I could see how it happened.
I've tested it several times since, it seems like Google translate is using English as an in between language.
Try to translate Norwegian "postoppkrav" to Swedish - it comes out as "TORSK".
"Postoppkrav" first goes to English - correctly - as "Charge On Delivery", commonly abbreviated COD. Then COD is translated as if it were the fish "cod" to Swedish, but with casing preserved.
Earlier, Google could translate English numerals to French up to forty seven, but forty eight was translated to 48 That is fixed now, though.
No, don't even try UI translation with any online translator. Ask the customer to provide the text. Having worked with websites in languages alien to me, I used to create UI in English so I understand and then translated it to required one. On the first demo people who knew the language were looking amused. I thought they are really happy with the UI. Turned out online translation meant something very different than what the text intended to convey. Luckily it was just first demo and I was waiting for translations from them.
Translate everything using Google Translate, then provide proofreading linguists with both copies: translated and English versions. Whenever the proofreaders get confused by Google's translation, they will be able to look up the original text and figure it out, even if they don't speak English very well themselves.
I would only use it as a means to check translation work from a third party.
The problem with translation is context - my father worked as a translator for 30 years and even back in the early 80's he was involved in machine translation trials which he pointed out were far worse than a human.
37 years later and we still don't have perfect machine translation.
One problem is that languages change over time and even within languages there are disputes over the correct use of the language.
Also within many languages there are different ways of phrasing the same sentence which convey a different level of education - init.
I find myself watching French films thinking "That's not particularly grammatically correct French they are speaking".
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
I had this experience working with a Chinese client.
We used google translate but it ended up funny to them.
Luckily they have SAP consultant that knows English language and we gave him all the lists in English words from our application to be translated into Chinese then put it into our resource file.
It's a lot of work because every time there are changes in GUI labels or messages, it gets translated again and update the resource file.