Have you ever accidentally gone to a website in a language you didn't speak and thought:
Well, this looks like gibberish.
That experience is common among many immigrants to this country - one founded and grown by immigrants. We're not happy that Boston.gov doesn't appear in at least the six most commonly read languages in Boston.
Automatic machine translation like Google or Bing Translate is decently accurate and cost-efficient for translating big websites like Boston.gov. But when you need to pay your parking ticket, apply for a residential property tax abatement, or contact your City Councilor, 'decently accurate' doesn't meet our standards.
Those automatic translation services don't allow people using Google, Bing, or even the Boston.gov search engine to search and see search results in their own language. With searching playing such an important role in all of our daily internet experiences, not being able to search in your own language is a big hurdle.
We plan to do this project in two phases:
- Embed Bing Translate in the header (top) of the website to allow anyone to translate the website into any language they want.
- Use a proxy translation service to store a version of the website in each of our six priority languages so people can search those translated pages without needing to know English.
Have ideas? Think we should do something differently? Write us at Feedback@Boston.gov or click the Feedback button at the top right of every Boston.gov page.