Translation Technology

How Website Translation Works: Google Translate, DeepL and Beyond

What are the best website translation technologies? We're comparing Google Translate and DeepL to some of the more advanced translation tools on the market like MotionPoint.

Evan Kramer's avatar
Evan Kramer

October 04, 2023


The rise of the digital era has driven more and more websites to invest in website translation services to cater to multilingual and global audiences. Website translation is not just a convenience, but a necessity for businesses seeking to make a global impact.  

With the high demand for website translation solutions, there are naturally many companies with various options for which technology to use. But how do these tools work, and are some better than others? While Google Translate and DeepL are notable entities in this realm, industry leaders like MotionPoint are reshaping the standards of website translation services. 

The Website Translation Process  

The type of website translation technology you choose for your project has an impact on the overall process. Studies show that translations that are adapted to the target region and culture result in enhanced engagement, conversions, and credibility among multilingual consumers.  

Localized websites yield multiple benefits including boosted user engagement, elevated conversion rates, and improved visibility in search engine rankings. For instance, research from CSA has reported that effective translation can positively influence ad performance, with 76% of online consumers responding more favorably to advertisements in their native language. 

Website translation technology has seen substantial advancements, with AI and machine learning enhancing translation accuracy and consistency across diverse languages. AI has revolutionized the localization process by enabling more precise, brand-specific translations without the indispensable need for human linguists.  

Types of Website Translation Technology 

Using the best website translation technology can make a huge difference in the outcome. As we mentioned, website translation has advanced significantly with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine translation technology, which have become integral components in the process.  

There are still other methods of translation that offer different levels of control and customization. Here are some of the top website translation technology options: 

Proxy Translation: 

Proxy translation works in between a website and its translated version. It is an automated system that combines translations from its cache and previously generated translations to compose a newly translated website. Proxy technology creates a localized web experience with minimal effort, separating content from the code and rendering automated translated content effectively. 

AI Translation: 

AI translation utilizes artificial intelligence technologies to automatically translate texts or speech from one language to another. It can localize large batches of content swiftly, which would otherwise require more time if done by professional translators. AI and machine learning play pivotal roles in ensuring translations are accurate across various languages and are especially useful in scenarios requiring quick translations. 

Human Post-Editing: 

You may wonder why this is on the list while we’re talking about website translation technology, but human post-editing remains crucial. The reason it's on the list is because with the top website translation service, you'll also get human intervention to ensure quality and cultural relevance, two things free options can't always offer. It helps in refining AI-generated translations and generates superior engagement and credibility among multilingual customers. 

Google Translate and DeepL 

DeepL is a translation service that utilizes AI technology and artificial neural networks to provide translations. These artificial neural networks are trained to deliver translations that are contextually aware and nuanced. 

Google Translate operates primarily through neural machine translation (NMT). This technology translates the text, documents, and websites from one language into another. Users input the text they need to translate, choose the desired language pair, and the translation instantly appears. 

The two tools share several similarities: 

  • Online Translation: Both are web-based platforms that allow users to translate content without the need for specialized software. 
  • Multiple Language Support: They support the translation of numerous languages, making them versatile for various translation needs. 
  • Machine Learning Technologies: Both utilize advanced machine learning technologies to analyze and translate text, aiming for high accuracy and contextual understanding. 
  • Speed: They are designed to provide fast translations, catering to users who require quick conversions of text from one language to another. 

Google Translate has a substantial scope, supporting 133 languages for text translation. In contrast, DeepL has a more selective range, focusing on 31 languages. Google Translate and DeepL are both advanced translation services that aim to provide quick and reliable translations of text. Both are mostly used as one-off translation tools to provide short texts or documents in a new language. With the free version of DeepL, you can translate up to 1,500 characters. 

Because these tools were designed for fast translation of short content, such as articles, documents, or multilingual communications, they are not robust enough for thorough website translation projects. Google and DeepL are good for immediate case uses, like copying and pasting a blog or social media post for fast interpretation. However, website translation requires speed, scalability, efficiency, and accuracy. While these tools may boast high speed, the need for editing and quality review may hinder the entire process.  

Limitations of Google Translate and DeepL 

The limitations of Google Translate and DeepL primarily revolve around inaccuracies and the absence of contextual understanding in translations. For instance, research has shown that while both tools are advanced, DeepL is often more accurate than Google Translate in many cases, but it might also have its own set of biases. 

The accuracy of Google Translate, although superior to other competitors like Amazon and Microsoft, still falls behind DeepL in certain language pairs. One study found that its accuracy ranged from 55% to 94%, with the average at 57.7%. In 2022, it was noted that Google Translate had improved but still required human review for high-quality translations. 

The lack of contextual comprehension with Google Translate can lead to meanings being "lost in translation". Luckily, this is where the top website translation technologies thrive. Google and DeepL may use neural machine technology, but a more advanced tool will offer Brand Adapted NMTs, meaning they are trained based on your brand glossary and past material to produce custom outcomes. The use of a Brand Adapted NMT will save you time and money and greatly improve your translations over time. 

Go Above and Beyond for Your Customers 

So, how can you go beyond the basic website translation options to get the best quality for less? Sure, Google Translate and DeepL may be free or very inexpensive, but you're getting exactly what you pay for. 

MotionPoint is the superior end-to-end solution. The spectrum of languages supported and the array of industries served by MotionPoint highlight its extensive capabilities. Our combination of industry-leading machine translation technology and human review ensure that your content will resonate with your multilingual audience. 

As businesses contemplate their website translation needs, exploring and opting for the top website translation solutions becomes imperative. Want to learn more about upgrading your business website? Drop us a line today. 

Last updated on October 04, 2023
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About Evan Kramer

Evan Kramer has over 25 years' experience managing private equity and venture-backed companies focused on digital transformation, marketing, and technology. Mr. Kramer has delivered strong investor returns over four different exits.

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Evan Kramer

Chief Executive Officer


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