Digital content in the regional language always has the potential of being read and consumed by the users, though, in the recent times, the English content has almost browbeaten the regional languages when it comes to consumption through computers, mobile phones, and other handheld gadgets.
But it is not easy to put up to the challenge and deliver quality digital content in regional languages. The online or machine translation is no match to the difficulty or flexibility a human language could offer–Google Translate fails terribly when it comes to translating most of the languages of the world, yet many startups and small companies rely on such tools when they want to offer their websites and products to a wider audience, which is not covered by the standard products that are served in the English language.
Further, even if some human translation is used, it is not standardized and carries a lot of discrepancies. I have personally seen this happening with many products and online services when it comes to some languages including Hindi and Punjabi. I am not versed in other Indian languages but I am sure users of other languages are finding similar incidents of confusing and wrongly translated words.
If you look at the above picture, it is a screenshot of my Facebook App from the mobile. I have encircled the prompt…Write Something Here. In the Punjabi language, it is saying the same thing. ਇੱਥੇ ਕੁਝ ਲਿਖੋ, however, for me, ਕੁਝ is wrongly spelled and should be written as ਕੁੱਝ.
The feature picture of this post also shares the same story–a simple query on Google search engine throws wrongly translated words in the Punjabi language.
However, I agree that from a business point of view, it does not make much difference if a spelling or two are incorrect on a website or in a product because the users usually get the message across and it does not hinder them to make a transaction or take a business-oriented action.
Similarly, in the above screenshot taken from the PayTM App, the call-to-action button बढ़े should be बढ़ें.
Being a content writer, I agree that typos do occur. But if it is a product, and the translation is for a link, a call-to-action button, or an item which is highlighted and a part of the design element rather than being a simple black & white text, it should be given more consideration and should go through a better quality check.
What are your thoughts on the standardization of translation when it comes to presenting or offering websites, products, and even software in regional languages? Do you have any experience you would like to share?