Why professional website translation is a must for multi-lingual websites

Other countries, other customs – and often other languages and other customers. If you want to enter into a foreign-language market with your company, you face a challenge that should not be underestimated. Addressing potential customers and business partners in a foreign language requires sensitivity.  If you hire Chinese Translation Agency, you can win new markets for yourself. The basic prerequisite for this in the 21st century is a multilingual website that leads to more traffic and finally to international sales.

Website translation

For many, the first thought leads to English-language markets. This is not particularly absurd, considering the number of English-speaking people worldwide. However, many companies should not stop here. After all, what about the customer whose mother tongue is not English? Who is already looking for information or products in a non-native language online? More than three billion internet shoppers do not speak English, more than half of online trading is done in a language other than English, and the probability of the user buying something online is four times higher if the website is written in their own language. Find out why professional website translation should be considered a must for multi lingual websites.

Translating online content – the investment is worthwhile

Admittedly, the translation of a website is complex and not done from now on. Nevertheless, every company should be aware that the translation can be worthwhile quickly. With a translated website, you invest in the long term and address customers and partners directly – this is how you generate trust that benefits both sides. It is important to invest in professional translation – and we do not say that, because we, as a translation agency, make our money from it. Finally, the website should be tailored to the target group and target market in each language. A free machine translation is nowhere near what a professional translator does. As is so often the case, if you want to make a turnover, you have to invest beforehand. Good and long-term planning is essential to ensure that the translation project goes smoothly. It is best to start with the organization three to six months before the website’s relaunch date.

Website translations: Preparatory work pays off

If you start on time, you don’t get under time pressure so quickly. Fewer errors happen and important steps are not overlooked. If a website is set up from scratch, the internationalisation of this should be considered directly in the conception – so that content and structure for the most important target markets are adapted in advance and less need to be localized in the process of translation. If you are faced with the task of implementing an existing page for a relaunch in another language, you should contact the translation agency about two to three months before the relaunch date so that all important steps can be taken to prepare. We have compiled here which are in detail:

Clarifying technical requirements

Even if it is not everyone’s favourite topic and not all project managers deal with the topic equally, the clarification of the technical prerequisites is crucial for the success of the website translation. Because the way data is exported and re-entered from the CMS has an impact on the time and cost of the entire project. The goal is to read the data in and out automatically and not manually – this ensures efficiency and prevents errors. It is therefore important to consult with the IT experts and clarify the following points:

Content management system: Most CMS can export all content to a translation-friendly format such as XML or XLIFF thanks to plug-in, connectors, API or proxy servers – so the texts to be translated can be easily and clearly provided and easily integrated and edited in CAT tools (computer-aided translation tools). For example, Typo3 import/export succeeds in just a few steps. In addition, it is necessary to clarify in advance whether the CMS supports the desired target languages. After translation, the content can be imported again, avoiding errors when copying and pasting the texts. Tip: Before translation, it is important to run an export and import test run with the translation agency to check whether the technical implementation is working.

Online shop: If the page to be translated includes an online shop, it must be clarified whether product descriptions or only the main texts should be translated. In general, of course, product text translation is also recommended, but in individual cases these texts are already available in the target language or are often created by machine with rapidly changing assortments. In addition, payment methods, delivery options and opinions and assessments of customers must also be examined and, where appropriate, adapted to the target market for translation.

Layout View: An appealing and user-friendly layout is also important for the success of the page. This includes, for example, the interplay of text and image, but also the position of CTAs. Therefore, the translator should have the opportunity to see the text in the finished layout. Where is the text that is currently being translated? Ideally, this point should be taken into account when exporting the file. Here it is worth generating separate files for each web page.

Good to know:

The exported XML or XLIFF files are analyzed using CAT tools. The use of these tools has several advantages: they improve text consistency, guarantee the use of correct localterminology and thus reduce costs. In addition, word repetitions and recurring formulations are filtered out and not retranslated each time. Clients therefore only have to pay once for the translation of these passages and make sure that these passages are always formulated in the same way in the translation.

Complete original texts

Once the technical requirements have been clarified, the actual textual work can finally be used. However, in order for the texts to work optimally in the target language, the text to be translated must be checked in advance:

Does the text meet current SEO requirements or does it need to be improved again? For translation, we always recommend a keyword efficiency check in advance, in which keywords are checked for their relevance in the destination country. If the source text is written without taking SEO into account, SEO is also excluded from the translation. Keywords can also be researched and added for translation afterwards. It is important to clarify the exact requirements in advance – subsequent adaptations are expensive and should therefore be avoided.

Note:

Although Google is by far the most widely used search engine in many countries, this does not apply to all regions of the world. Yandex or Baidu are used primarily in China and Russia and are subject to their own rules for optimal findability on the net.

With a multilingual website, you can increase reach and visibility in organic search and open up new target markets.

Create a glossary and localization briefing

Each company has a repertoire of fixed terms, phrases or phrases that are not to be changed. This sets it apart from others. For this reason, the translator needs a glossary that is pre-delivered and maintained during the project. The glossary includes:

Company-specific terminology

Style presets such as

salutation

Terms

Parts of the company language

Explanation of terms that are often used incorrectly

No-go terms that you don’t want to use in your texts

Special abbreviations

In addition, an accompanying briefing should define and record other elements that are important for translation. In addition to information on tonality and speech, the following points should also be clarified here:

Currency and time zones

Spelling of dates, numbers, times, and phone numbers

Dimensions and weights

Company names

Job titles

Localization – much more than a translation

Especially when the market is a completely foreign, culturally different space, the translation must go much further beyond a translation into another language. Depending on the topic and target group, this can lead to the creation of new content and layout changes. After all, your website should be well received – no one should notice that it is a translation, but feel that the site comes from their own country.

Therefore, a website should not only be translated, it should be localized. The boundaries are fluid. A close examination of the pages to be translated and detailed information on how to deal with, for example, text and image elements are therefore a high priority for both the translation agency and the company.

What does localization mean?

The content is adapted to the cultural realities: this can range from a different formatting of date and time to a new color design due to a different connotation in the target culture. On the latter points, regional web agenciesin particular are the right partners.

It is not only the texts that need to be adapted to the target market for a successful translation. Visual materials such as images, graphics and video content should also be in line with the country’s customs – so the way we translate these elements should be defined in advance. If you create images, graphics and videos for your website, you should remember that contained text elements are easy to extract before making them. In addition, videos in the target language should be subtitled or re-set. In addition to the actual website, other documents usually have to be translated. Especially delivery notes, invoices or gtared terms and conditions are often forgotten. The translation of legal texts is particularly important, as they are often based on a different legal situation. The respective chambers often offer sample texts for such texts.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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