Like many other blog owners, we’ve been having severe problems with automated translation tools, particularly Angsuman translator in our case–where either blank pages appear or one gets this message from Google:
… but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.
We’ll restore your access as quickly as possible, so try again soon. In the meantime, if you suspect that your computer or network has been infected, you might want to run a virus checker or spyware remover to make sure that your systems are free of viruses and other spurious software.
We apologize for the inconvenience, and hope we’ll see you again on Google.
And so we have decided to remove the plugin altogether. For a while, after we first installed it, it worked great and brought in some decent traffic, especially on some of the international news stories. But after the recent WP upgrade, we’ve met with some technical difficulties, and there seems no light at the end of that tunnel, even with several consultations with the plugin author (we can’t seem to figure out what exactly is wrong with our installation/server). At any rate, most foreign language speakers observe machine translated articles as crude and barely readable as genuine translation anyway. They are too literal, and devoid of usable context.
So what’s the alternative? One option that we have explored here at the Blog Herald is human translation and this is something that we will continue to do. Last week, Tony announced the opening of The Blog Herald Japan, as a humanly translated version of Blog Herald. And it has met with remarkable success. It hit the front pages of the three largest news sites in Japan-: at CNet Japan, at Japan.Internet.com and on the online and offline versions of the Nikkei Newspaper. When we launched The Blog Herald Japan, we checked our Alexa stats as far as visitors from Japan was concerned. Our ranking in Japan was 37,972 and Japanese visitors represented less than 2% of all traffic. As of today on Alexa, Blog Herald’s ranking in Japan is 6,832, second only to our ranking in the Philippines and Canada; and represents over 10% of all users, second only to the United States. This, in just over one week.
Obviously, not all blog owners can afford human translation- but for those who can, it seems to be a pretty positive move in expanding one’s readership!