Our first publication was a dual-language English/Chinese web site in 1996. At the time, the encoding for Chinese had to be set and the only option for showing the “other language” was a manual link to a manually created page. Things have changed. In the Open Source market, Drupal and WordPress make managing site translations easy. Automation of the basic vocabularies for software controls has made it almost — not quite — unnecessary to translate. Just plug in the language pack. It’s not quite so easy for content.
Using a ‘translate’ service to automatically translate a web page isn’t accurate. It may be more or less okay depending on the original language. If it’s important, the best choice is always to have an informed native speaker take a look. That goes for graphics, too. What might be fine in one culture, won’t have the same message for another. We can help with that.