You can add plug-ins into your WordPress website to add more features. There are hundreds of these plug-ins. Among which, there are many translation plug-ins. Today, there are dozens of WordPress machine translation plug-ins.

These types of plug-ins are very useful. In fact, they help you to save time, reduce costs while making more languages available on your website.

However, as you will see in this article, these tools have quite a few limitations. Even more serious, you can run the risk of damaging your professional image and your online reputation.

Actually, concerning professional website, machine translation affects the way in which your clients view your company. A badly translated text, which happens quite often with machine translation, will make your clients doubt your professionalism.

We have examined the negative impact of using WordPress machine translation plug-ins on your website. This will help you to better understand when it is acceptable and unacceptable to use machine translation.

WordPress machine translation plug-ins are unable to localise your texts

Localisation is when a text is adapted to the specific target culture (country at which the translation is aimed). This concerns text as well as colours, images, website concepts and layout.

For example if you translated you website for the Chinese market. In China, the number “8” is good luck (the Airbus A380 being advertised in China) and attracts the public’s attention. The number “4” on the other had, symbolises bad luck. So, if you are planning a business campaign for China, avoid using this number, replace it with another, for example “8”. However, WordPress machine translation plug-ins do not take these subtleties into account when translating content.

For localising your content and adapting it to the cultural norms of a country, avoid machine translation. Call a professional translation agency, they can help you with faithfully translating your content and adapting it to the target audience.

WordPress Machine translation is not accurate

The downside to using WordPress machine translation plug-ins is the number of errors in translation. Translation plug-ins do not pick up on the subtleties and context in certain sentences. They just translate word-for-word and do not bother searching for the equivalent expression in the target language. Which means that translating a text with machine translation plug-ins; can result in a target text document completely devoid of meaning in the target language.

For example the French expression “l’habit ne fait pas le moine”, which translates literally as “the outfit doesn’t make the monk”, which is where a translator would have come up with the equivalent expression “Don’t judge a book by its cover”.

That is an instance where machine translation misinterprets the context in the text, which ends up changing its meaning entirely.

When mistakes like this are made, they can damage a company’s credibility and image, which will have serious repercussion so on its online reputation. When internet users visit a professional website, they expect to read perfect content, both structurally and grammatically. Machine translation has evolved a lot over the past five years. However, it needs a lot more work before it can be fully trusted not to make mistakes.

WordPress machine translation plug-ins cannot pick up of your referencing terms

Publishing online content allows you to become more visible, and to climb the ranks in terms of referencing with search engines. In order to do this, you must identify the most important keywords. WordPress machine translation plug-ins do not take these crucial elements into account when translating content.

In order to optimise your website referencing in another language, choose a translation agency that can research the important keywords and interpret them correctly in your target text.


Using machine translation plug-ins does have its advantages however: they are cost and time efficient.

We are not saying that WordPress machine translation plug-ins should never be used. We just want to draw your attention to the risks of translating your entire website using WordPress machine translation plug-ins. It all affects your online reputation, which takes so long to build and is so quickly destroyed.

ACSTraduction is here to help with translating your website in a professional and reliable manner. With 20 years under our belt, all of our team is at your disposal. Do not hesitate to come and talk to us about your projects!