Unless you are polyglot – one who is talented enough to speak many different languages – then you’re not a stranger to Google’s statistical machine translation service, Google Translate. But sometimes, I must admit that it can cause quite a headache, just like this press release from Samsung. But nevertheless, Google Translate is a useful tool, and we can take consolation in the fact that Google is working hard to improve the free service. Today, Google is introducing a new “experimental” feature that allows website owners, and visitors, to customize and improve the translated text from the Google Translate website plug-in.

Google explains that once you add the customization meta tag to a webpage, visitors will see your customized translations whenever they translate the page, even when they use the translation feature in Chrome and Google Toolbar. Google also added that Google Translate is now able to suggest a better translation when users will notice a translation that’s not quite right. Visitors can contribute suggested improvements, but the changes will only apply once they will be approved by the website administrator.

“If you’re signed in, the corrections made on your site will go live right away — the next time a visitor translates a page on your website, they’ll see your correction. If one of your visitors contributes a better translation, the suggestion will wait until you approve it. You can also invite other editors to make corrections and add translation glossary entries,” Google said. You can view the step-by-step instruction below, or you can visit the official Google Translate blog for more details.

To get started:

  1. Add the Website Translator plugin and customization meta tag to your website
  2. Then translate a page into one of 60+ languages using the Website Translator

To tweak a translation:

  1. Hover over a translated sentence to display the original text
  2. Click on ‘Contribute a better translation’
  3. And finally, click on a phrase to choose an automatic alternative translation — or just double-click to edit the translation directly.

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