Some time back I thought that it might be nice to bring DoChara to the non-English speaking world. I decided to try out Google Translate to make copies of some parts of the site available in French, German, Italian, Japanese and a host of other languages.
Now I know that machine translation is not all it could be, but I figured Google does most things better so surely it did this better too. I spent some time making dinky little icons of various national flags, carefully added them to the site and linking them all up. Happy.
Then I got distracted thinking about a proposed trip to France and decided to have a look at a few websites about things to do there. I found what looked like a great one, in French. Now I have a little French, so I broadly understood what I was reading, but I thought I might as well run it through Google and take a look.
This was the very first sentence on the translated page:
“Many sites and attractions will enable you to decorate your stay in our city and its agglomeration. We propose an overflight of curiosities to you which will be able to make you assess the quality of this destination.”
So I took down all the little flags.