Funka have been leading a study researching the use of automatic translations on the web, making user tests and technical research on how automatic translation services cope with small languages like Swedish. The study looked at the way public sector websites use automatic translation tools built into their websites and the way the end users understand the content.
The background of the study is that more and more websites within the public sector are integrating translation tools into its own interface. The idea is fine - with the push of a button, all information on the site is presented in a wide variety of languages. But the usability tests we have conducted show that the problems are considering.
We tested trust, understanding and quality. Native language users would read translations done by certified translators and the automatically generated translations, and we asked questions about the content, the sender and the language. The users got to chose the preferred version and guess if it was made by the web site owner or someone else. During the tests, we could clearly see the problems and risks with automated translations.
The difference between the different language groups are particularly interesting.
Funded by: Internet Foundation
Consortium: Funka (leader), Swedish Language Institute.