Your website plays an important role in the success and image of your business. So chances are you’ve invested substantial resources into perfecting its look, message, and ultimately its ability to sell your products. And, by now, it should be doing a great job. However, it still has tremendous unrealized potential.
Think about it. Even if your award-winning site is coming in at the top of all the search engines, it’s still missing a huge amount of potential customers. So, what’s the most effective way to reach them? Break the language barrier! Even if your focus is on domestic sales…it doesn’t matter. The web is a multilingual environment.
Let’s look at some numbers:
- Over 60% of Internet users speak a native language other than English.
- Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. They reached 16.3% of the total population by the end of 2010.
- People are three times more likely to buy a product available to them in their native language.
Knowing this, what’s the best investment you could make for your website today? The answer is a customized, search engine optimized, professional website translation.
Beware! Some companies are lured into using computer translations. This is risky business. Your company may save a few dollars with the initial investment but at a considerable cost to your image and sales. Translation is much more than changing words–– it’s about understanding your target audience. Culture matters. Respect this truism and your website will increase your bottom line.
That’s where professional translation agencies, like JR Language, come in.
Professional translation agencies offer complete translation solutions. They use professional translators who work in their native language and understand the variations in pronunciation, word usage, and range of cultural sensitivities across markets. This means, your business receives translation appropriate to the nuances of that particular language and culture.
You’ll get peace of mind knowing your company’s branding efforts, sales pitch, and copy will be accurately translated and localized for your target audience. This effort will increase your customer base, expand your business, and boost your profits.
Remember: website translation is a key marketing strategy for today’s successful businesses.
memoQfest 2012, the annual users’ meeting for the CAT Tool memoQ, was held at the Ramada Plaza on the Danube. Kilgray’s event was informational and fun. They provided different theme tracks throughout the day aside from great networking events every evening. There were a wide range of attendees from around the world; translation agencies, translators, developers for translation technologies and, big translation services’ users like Microsoft.
Trainings and presentations were full of information about the translation industry’s newest trends, in general, and Kilgray’s lastest developments, in particular. Speakers covered a variety of topics. For example, memoQ’s interoperability with products like Plunet, a project management platform. They discussed, for instance, how this merger facilitates content extraction from CMS’s to be uploaded into a translation environment like memoQ.
Other presentations addressed topics such as how to handle big and complex project in memoQ and how to integrate Microsoft’s Translator’s Framework with memoQ.
We also had the opportunity of joining memoQfest online on Friday and, we took advantage of that! Some of our employees woke up at the break of dawn to watch a presentation about Multilingual Project Management and Website Translation with memoQ. Kilgray will be posting the web recordings of the presentations in a few weeks.
After attending Gala and memoQfest 2012, we are looking forward to embracing new translation technologies and translation trends. Go to our Facebook page to view pictures from the memoQfest event.
Technical requirements are essential components that must be taken into consideration ahead of time. After deciding the preferences that suit your business best, amazing results are sure to come out of your newly localized multilingual website.
- Think about the technical decisions:
1. Site structure, platform and navigation are key elements to consider before planning the localization of the site.
I. How are you going to host the translated version of the site: new domain, subdomain or subfolder? They all work differently according to your objectives and platform where you host your site (be aware of the limitation and implications of each option).
II. How are you going to navigate from one language to the other?
a. Are you going to use written text link for the choice of languages, or do you want to use images of national flags?
b. Will your user be directed to the main page upon selecting a different language, or will they be directed to the respective page where the language selection occurred?
c. How about the URL structure? There are different URL naming options in the target language that use specific extension to help users and crawlers identify the language in multilingual websites.
Examples: “en”=English and “es”= Spanish (Español)
2. Selecting the format of the working files and how to exchange content with the translation agency.
a. How will you supply the material to be translated: MS Word, html, xml, php, or others
b. Which of the above formats will be more convenient for your IT staff to receive the translated files
c. Revise your existing Content Management System (CMS). Look for answers to the question of structure and best practices to incorporate the translated content.
3. Website localization assurance is perhaps the most important step, as it is vital to proofread and test your website before it is open to the public. Always double-check connections, navigation and correct sequence within each language. By carefully reviewing the new site, you avoid the embarrassment of faulty navigation within your site that can render all of your efforts towards a multilingual page useless.
In order to market globally you must stop and ask yourself multiple questions to be successful in the planning and execution of a website localization project. Fortunately there are translation agencies, like JR Language, with the experience and know how to guide you in partnership to facilitate this complex process for you. JR Language has worked in multiple website translation projects. All of our work is edited and proofread independently after translation to ensure that your localized content appears original and attractive towards all your target markets.
If you have any questions about your multilingual website translation and localization, please contact us by leaving a comment or questions, sending us an email at email@example.com, or calling at 1-866-389-5036. We will gladly address your question and see how we can help you.
Continuing with our sequence of postings on the elements to consider when planning for website translation and localization, this post will teach you about the most important factors during the actual translation process. Keep in mind that at this point you should have made certain decisions about your audience and your budget. For more information on your audience and budget, read our previous posting Planning your website translation and Localization I: Audience, and Planning your website translation and Localization II: Budgeting.
- Think about the translation process:
To achieve great results you have to work with professional translators and editors like that of JR Language who have experience in researching keywords and competitors in the new market, and have a deep linguistic understanding of that culture.
- Find an experienced translation agency that can help, advise, and support your company effort with the localization of your content to different markets and languages. For your website to resonate with your localized audience, it must speak the local lingo and create copy that reads like it was originally written for that language.
- Localize your website appearance and metrics. The images, currency, and overall message must be appropriately adapted for the new audience. Additionally, different cultures expect different features from a website, based on what is customary for them. Try to maintain the overall look and feel of your original site, if possible, by retaining the same colors and style that your company has branded.
- All the graphics and multimedia elements need to be localized. Graphic translation and subtitling or voice-overs of videos are important for the overall experience of the user.
- When translating into other languages, text expansion within your website is common. Plan for this growth by leaving extra room or enabling text boxes to expand automatically. For example, in German and Spanish the increase of the translated text is about 20%-30% longer compared to English. Your webmaster may need to adapt the layout in order to fit everything needed.
The translation and localization is the fundamental process, impacting the success of your new multilingual site. If you have any ideas or concerns about the translation process while planning for your own website localization, please leave a comment, write us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call to speak with one of our project managers experienced in website translation.
In this section, we look over the financial aspect of your website translation planning.
The elements mentioned below impact your costs, strategy, and work time when introducing a new translated and localized website.
- Do you need a partial translation or the translation of the complete site? Some clients decide to do a partial translation eliminating sections that are not important to them, such as events, job postings, or other sections of the site that are specific to the source language or original audience.
- Is the content of your site static or does your company constantly update the site with new pages? The frequency of content updates to your site is an important element to ensure you have sufficient funds for ongoing maintenance of the website translation process.
- How many languages are you going to have in your multilingual translation? Are you going to have different locales for languages (i.e. French translation: France or Canada)? Sometimes it is better to start with fewer languages and learn from the process before the next set of languages is implemented. Do not give in to “get-it-done-quick” temptations by using a device like Google Translate or low quality services in effort to reach a wider audience. Many companies fall victim to this trap and tarnish their image and reputation.
- Your budgeting must account for suspected IT work. The structure, navigation, and platform of your translated website must be determined and may require revising.
- Will you have customer support within your company for the new languages? If you publish content in Spanish for your audience, you should expect phone calls from customers that will have a need to communicate in the Spanish language.
If you have any ideas or comments about budgeting while planning for website translation and localization, we would love to hear it. Please leave us a comment, write us an email at email@example.com, or call to speak with one of our project managers experienced in website translation.
As mentioned in our post about Misconceptions in Website Translation and Localization, the planning phase of the project for a website translation and localization is crucial. Evaluating all important elements while planning will help the project go smoothly, within budget, and reach expectations and goals.
In this post we are going to cover an important planning component: Identifying and understanding your Audience for your website translation project.
- Think about your audience:
As previously mentioned, it is very important to know your audience when performing a translation an even more so when dealing with website translation and localization.
Who will visit your site, and why will they visit your site are the first questions to consider when planning a successful multilingual website. It is imperative to take the time to do the appropriate research on your clientele. Understanding cultural nuances of each desired market will give you a leg up over competitors as customers will find your website reliable and appealing. Take into account the following:
- What countries are you going to target and why? What languages are you going to have in your website?
- When it comes to a particular language that has different locales like Spanish, French, Chinese or Portuguese, you must decide whether you want to address a global population (global reach) or if you are going to speak to a region or particular locale (localization). For example, targeting Mexicans and Spaniards would require either two distinct versions of Spanish websites, or one carefully crafted website that satisfies both countries differences in cultures, etiquette, and linguistic preferences.
- Do you want to address your target audience in a casual or formal way? This factor is important and varies according to cultures, the nature of your products/services, and how you want to approach your prospect customers.
If you have any ideas or a comments about the review of your audience while planning for website localization, we will love to hear from you. Please leave a comment, write us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or speak with one of our project managers experienced in website translation.
In today’s digital era, the internet has rapidly become the single most popular medium for searching information. As a result, businesses involved in multicultural markets must now expand their website to meet the diverse linguistic needs of their entire client audience. This “expansion” is called website translation and localization, and is becoming a growing necessity in the world of commerce.
However, the motive behind this post is to shed the truth on a few misconceptions many people have on this topic of website translation and localization. Many tend to overlook the complex and time-consuming efforts required to accurately produce a translated website that will satisfy foreign clients from distant nations and attract their business.
Here are 3 basic misconceptions at a glance:
1. A translation agency can quote and perform the translation with just the URL of the website.
a. In reality, the structure of the site and the platform used to store the content must be taken into account. Agencies need to be able to extract content through different tools. It is different to receive .html files than to extract content from a dynamic site stored in a Content Management System (CMS).
2. Translating keywords into different languages will be effective SEO for my multilingual website.
a. Keywords almost never translate smoothly, and might not be the phrase of choice for searching in the target culture. One must recreate the keywords in the target language using experienced native speakers who understand the meaning behind the original keyword and have the experience to research for equivalent keywords.
3. Using machine translation will suffice when translating my website (or any document for that manner).
a. Using human translators is a must. Although, large providers like Google and Microsoft, have released free translation web tools, one should not rely on them. These machine translators often produce awkward grammar and phrasing that appear unattractive and unprofessional from a client’s perspective.
When advertising and marketing your company’s products and/or services in global markets, the best approach is to start plan in advance and devote enough time to determine your needs. There are several elements to consider when expanding to a multilingual site from an existing site or when planning to develop an entire multilingual site. Those elements can be group into four main categories:
- Translation process
- Technical Considerations
Please read our following four posts, which elaborate on these important categories. These posts will explore: your audience, your budget, the translation process, and the technical aspects of website translation.
If you want to share your experience in website translation and localization, please leave us a comment, send us an email to email@example.com or call us at 1-866-389-5036.