Downtown Anchorage seen with the Alaska Range to the north.
Ken Graham

Google Translate Added to Anchorage.net

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Automated translation services are now enabled on Anchorage.net. The language tool launched in April.

A small globe icon on the upper right of each page opens the menu of 63 available languages.

Integrating Google Translate allows the site to highlight a handful of key languages, but also provide a wider array of language options across all pages than conventional translation services would allow. Currently about 93% percent of Anchorage.net users have their language set to English. Of the remaining 7% of traffic, no single language is responsible for more than half a percent of traffic.

Google’s translation tool is a standard function in the company’s Chrome browser and can be used on any page. Highlighting the translation tool in navigation will hopefully make it more prominent and easier to use for our visitors.

Google has made remarkable leaps with machine learning to improve automated page translations in the past year. They are not as exact as a translation by a human speaker, but the automated approach serves the full breadth of Anchorage information in multiple languages, rather than creating only a few core pages in just a few, key languages.

This type of translation has become increasingly common on the web; users tend to understand that automatic translation may miss a few nuances or idioms here and there, but does a solid job of quickly conveying the information in another language. Best of all, Google is still learning.