Website Translation Services Made Simple
5th Jul 2013
Whether a company already has customers outside its country, or is considering getting its feet wet in international markets, website translation is a logical first step in reaching out to those customers abroad. In 2013, the first place potential customers are going to find a product or service is the Internet. In the UK, people search in English (mostly). In Spain people search in Spanish, in China they search in Chinese. When your prospective customer finds your website they will leave immediately if they can’t read the content. How do you reach out to those potential customers? – Website translation.
If you have already decided website translation is important, considering few simple things can help make the project run a little smoother:
Are you going to translate EVERYTHING?
You may decide to translate your entire website, or you may just choose a few key pages. Both are great options. The important thing is to be clear on the scope from the outset, to ensure that the project doesn’t incur time and cost overruns. Downloadable content can sometimes be overlooked when scoping a website translation project, but these are items that your non-English speaking visitor will most likely want to have access to.
Which languages should you translate into?
The easy answer to this question is to translate into the native languages of the markets you sell your product or service in. If you sell in Latin America translate into Spanish, if you sell in Japan translate in Japanese. That’s sounds like the easy answer but if you’re interested in translating your website for testing response from foreign markets, you may want to consider the languages that are most present on the web – Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German.
What happens when someone that doesn't speak English contacts you?
If your company is already working in a foreign market then you most likely have salespeople that speak the language of your customer. Don’t forget to redirect the contact information, including forms on the website, to those in-country salespeople.
Should you use a professional language service provider?
Given the complexity of website translation, it is recommended that everyone should use a professional language service provider such as Pearl Linguistics. It is critical that the right linguist is engaged for the translation, and it will be immensely helpful to work with someone that has been through these types of projects before and understands the technical hurdles involved.
With over 65% of web users speaking a language other than English, providing the means of translating websites with English content to another language is very essential. Multilingual websites become more accessible and popular if users can translate website content into their native language.
This is why translating your website to cater to a foreign audience is one of the best ways to help any business or organisations compete on a global scale.
Natalia Wojcik, Office Manager
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