All Meeting Documents are converted to an HTML equivalent for ADA Accessibility and Language Translation.  Google Translate cannot access the PDF to translate it, and the print-format on white paper prevents many ADA requirements from being available.

Limitations and Challenges

Converting PDF files to HTML tends to have challenging results. The main reason for is that a straight conversion is not possible. PDF files can contain a large number of structures which have no direct equivalent in HTML. PDF was designed as a format to be viewed as a printed document – "painted" onto a page of a fixed size, and the user sees the end result. 

Web pages use HTML to display elements with a very specific structure for flexible display on a screen.  Many PDFs are generated from strips of images or overlapping overlays which need to fit together exactly, and even the text is not necessarily stored in the PDF the same way that it appears on paper. Because a PDF is generating a ‘picture’ this is not always going to happen. The text looks correct because your brain sees the finished output and interprets it. High image quality in a PDF can sometimes result in an impossibly huge full page graphic that is neither translatable or ADA Accessible anyway.

Even with that, the single biggest challenge is the fixed vertical and horizontal spacing of text and keeping it aligned with color and graphics on the original printed page.  This alignment challenge often shows link underlines in a slightly different position than the link itself, causing visual distortion on the web page.  This is because anything that is not a text character is considered to be a graphic, and is part of the web page background.  Resizing your browser in any way changes that position.   Techniques and programming is continuing to be developed to improve this result.

What is Google Translate?

Google Translate is a third-party service provided by Google that performs all translations directly and dynamically. By detecting patterns in documents that have already been translated by human translators, Google Translate can make intelligent guesses as to what an appropriate translation should be. This process of seeking patterns in large amounts of text is called “statistical machine translation”. Since the translations are generated by machines, not all translation will be perfect. The more human-translated documents that Google Translate can analyze in a specific language, the better the translation quality will be. This is why translation accuracy will vary across languages.

Google Translate Disclaimer

The Port of Seattle Meetings Portal is providing the “Google Translate” option to assist you in reading the Meeting Portal website and documents in languages other than English. Google Translate cannot translate all types of documents, and may not provide an exact translation. Anyone relying on information obtained from using Google Translate does so at his or her own risk. The Port Of Seattle does not make any promises, assurances, or guarantees as to the accuracy of the translations provided. The Port Of Seattle and its employees shall not be liable for any damage or issues that may result from using Google Translate. 

If you have any questions about Google Translate, please visit the Google Translate website.

If you have any issues with Google Translate, please visit Google Translate Support.