Translation: the dangers of cross-language plagiarism


As the search for information becomes more international, more content creators turn to foreign texts when writing their own! If the research is carried out cleverly, the results can be interesting and unique. However, if you simply copy and paste a foreign text, translating it into your target language along the way, you are guilty of cross-language plagiarism. In this post, we explore the dangers of cross-language plagiarism in translation!

What is cross-language plagiarism or plagiarism by translation?

If you copy and paste a text into an online translator and publish the translation, there is an 80% lower chance that it will be considered plagiarised. This is why plagiarism by translation or cross-language plagiarism is becoming more common.

You’ll have understood by now that cross-language plagiarism is when you publish a text that is already online, but in another language.

This isn’t great from an ethical point of view (especially when the source isn’t even cited at the bottom of the article). More importantly, however, plagiarism by translation negatively affects your website’s SEO performance.

How does plagiarism by translation affect SEO?

Google, Bing, Yahoo and the like can’t yet detect plagiarism by translation (in the manner of software like PrePostSEO, for example).

You won’t be penalised as severely for it by search engines as you would for conventional monolingual plagiarism.

The problem is much more subtle. If you copy and paste a text as it is, it won’t be optimised. The titles won’t be relevantthe keywords won’t be adapted for the target and the vocabulary will be lacking.

This means cross-language plagiarism can produce poor-quality blog posts.

So, we strongly recommend that you proofread and optimise your translated posts before you publish them. It would be even better to use multiple sources in your language and in the foreign language(s) of your choice so that your post is unique and comprehensive, and so that you can feel proud of it.

Plagiarising by translation isn’t recommended on a professional level and is strictly forbidden for university exams. In fact, more lecturers are now using tools and software to detect monolingual AND cross-language plagiarism.

How to produce a translation optimised for SEO

Whether you want to translate then rewrite the content of another site (citing it in the process) or translate your own site into another language you need to do things properly!

To write an article with high added value:

  1. Find relevant keywords in the target language
  2. Create a version of your original site in another language
  3. Adjust to the target audience(for example, the British are often more informal than the French or the Germans when communicating online)
  4. Try to avoid grammatical errors in the target language
  5. Use a multilingual netlinking strategy

If your e-commerce site has relevant keywords and is consistent across all available languages, this will significantly enhance the user experience. You should also consider adding buttons at the top right or bottom of your site to make it easy for users to switch languages.

Not comfortable with SEO, and less so when it comes to translation? TextMaster’s translators are available to create high-quality translations tailored for search engines.

The dangers of cross-language plagiarism by translation: conclusion

When you run any blog or website, your aim is to achieve the best possible return on your investment.

As a result, it’s better to avoid the dangers of cross-language plagiarism or plagiarism by translation, which:

  • Lacks authenticity
  • Produces poor SEO results
  • May contain spelling or grammar errors

And, what’s more, these texts don’t belong to you! For reasons of ethics and intellectual honesty, it’s worth taking a different approach.

Want more advice on this topic? Find out how to translate product descriptions!

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