Pet Timer Now Has 8 Languages… Was Google Translate a Good Idea?!

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This is my first post on this blog as myself: the developer that writes all the apps featured on this website. I thought now was a good time to write as myself, as it was solely my idea to bring new languages to Pet Timer on Android. How many languages, I hear you ask? There are now 4 new languages in the Amazon Appstore description, and there are 7 new languages in the app itself.

The way I’ve done these translations will be far from perfect, because to save time and money I used Google Translate.

Sorry in advance to the non-English speakers who download the app.

I tested Google Translate in the only way a person who only speaks one language (and doesn’t have any multilingual friends) can: by translating its foreign translations back into English. I know this isn’t a perfect technique, but I thought that if any major confusing translations occurred, in theory they would end up nonsensical when translated back.

The translations came back into English making a surprising amount of sense. Occasionally a word or phrase sounded a bit awkward, so I altered the source English that I translated the next time. Hopefully I did an okay job using Google Translate, but I know there will be mistakes and confusing mistranslations. That’s why I decided to put a button on the language selection page that allows users to quickly report translations that don’t make sense.

One day I hope to be able to employ people that competently translate my apps. Not only will there be much more certainty that translations actually make sense, but those people would be compensated for their efforts. I am yet to make enough money selling my apps for that, but I look forward to a time when I can. Thanks in advance to anyone who submits corrections to my translations. The time you volunteer makes my apps better, and I’m truly grateful.

Google Translate has helped me to translate 28 words and phrases in Pet Timer into 7 foreign languages. That makes nearly 200 words and phrases that are now accessible to more people.

When I decided to use Google Translate, I definitely felt like the results would be embarrassing, and I’m sure I’ll notice mistranslations that convey completely the wrong ideas. But the real reason I made this decision was a simple one: I find it embarrassing to sell apps worldwide that are only in English.

Especially online, English is an incredibly dominant language.

Not everyone can afford to learn English, and I want to make apps for those people.