You can, by all means. But in that case, we recommend you get them read through by a professional linguist who is an English native speaker.
You invest a lot of time and money into producing good quality marketing copy in your language. So you want the English version to be just as high quality.
One of our German clients regularly translates their own marketing materials into English. But they always send them to us for the final polish. Because they want to be 100% sure that their English copy is word perfect and right for their target market. And only an experienced English native speaker linguist can give them that certainty.
If you’re only after the gist of something, sites like Google Translate are fine.
But if you’ve ever run a slightly more complex foreign-language text through one to find out what it says, you’ll know that it’s far from perfect.
Machine translators can’t pick up on nuances and they definitely can’t translate humour or cultural references you may have included in your copy.
Here’s an example:
We translated the first two lines of this question into German and back into English with an online translator. This is what came out:
If you are only after the core of something, websites are like Google Translate in order. But if you already once a little more complicated foreign-language text run by one to find out what says it, you will not know, that it by far perfectly.
Would you want to use language like that to sell your products or services? 🙂