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How to Translate a Website

How to Translate a Website

How to Translate a Website for Business: Step by Step Guide

Many business owners wonder how to translate a website. It might sound like a task for a linguist, but that is not true. The best way to translate a website includes website building, code, strings, and user interface elements that need a special approach. Also, different audiences need different localization because their cultures vary. Before localizing a website, think about its optimization and performance. Read on for your perfect website translation.

Why Localize Website Content?

Many people wonder why to translate their webpage at all. In the meantime, a good website might help companies sell more and attract potential clients. Let’s see why.

  1. It boosts your sales & traffic.

Why’s that? It turns out, bad translation deter people from buying. The content, text alignment, pictures, and UI should be aimed at a certain audience. The Arabic audience demands different localization than the Chinese one. So, you will need separate Arabic and Chinese translation companies to localize two different web page versions. They will have different visuals, text quantity, buttons, etc.

  1. Only 20% of world 's population speaks English.

The rest 80% don't know or understand English. When they see website in a language they don’t understand, they just lose it and go to your competitors. To attract the audience in another country, one should speak their language.

  1. Absence of localization lowers trust in your brand.

Of course, our potential customers use GoogleTranslate to read and understand your website. But what is the best way to translate the content on your website for a new market if you want a strong brand image? Subconsciously, people understand that company didn’t even bother translating them. That is why the trust in your brand lowers. In contrast, when translating, people see that everything’s been done for them and buy from you more eagerly.

  1. Your competitors are already doing it. 

If your direct and indirect competitors have translated their website, that means you’ve lost customers. If you localized after them, that levels your chances. But if you reached foreign audiences before they did, you will be much more popular.

  1. The law tells you to do it.

Some countries do not tolerate selling or buying goods without translation. To trade in certain countries, businesses legally should have technical translation services for your documents. If you fail to meet their requirements, that might lead to an international ban, penalties, or fines.

  1. Some languages guarantee high profits. 

Globally, some languages are more popular than others. Their audience is broad and can afford to buy your product. Research says that some of the most popular languages are Simplified Chinese or Spanish. Around 770 million Internet users speak it. China has spent more than $1 trillion on e-commerce last year. Arabic and Portuguese are another two large segments with significant market share. Also, pay attention to Indonesian, Japanese, Russian, and German, as one of those groups might be your perfect target audience.

Read also: How to pick professional healthcare translation firm?

How to Translate a Webpage: Main Options

We know now that localizing web pages is a must when you want to reach a new audience abroad. But how to do it? Below are the most popular variants that you may use with any budget and type of content. There are two main options: machine and human translation.

Machine translation tools

GoogleTranslate

This is the most simple and basic translation to use. It automatically detects language as well as performs translation for multilingual websites. It is pretty reliable, though not perfect. Many devices support it, so it’s available for phones, tablets, laptops, computers. Still, it has drawbacks. It always provides masculine version of the text. That might offend some readers and confuse them. Also, it doesn’t have certain words in its memory. So, instead of converting them to another language, machine just leaves them as they are or transcribes them into target language. We think that you can use it for translation, but you should proofread it afterward to get decent quality text.

Microsoft Translator

This machine is less functional but more advanced, compared to Google. It is easy to integrate with the website and has quite good results. Even long sentences look good when you translate them. Unlike many machines, work done by Microsoft almost always makes sense. Still, users admit that it is rather slow and interprets poorly. Documentation and plain text are okay with Microsoft products, but colloquial styles often fail.

Yandex.Translate

There are 98 languages available and you can do simultaneous translation. Users say that it is much more advanced than Microsoft or Google, especially when it comes to English, Turkish, Russian languages. Still, it might make mistakes that make words inappropriate in the context. If you have an Asian audience, turn to the best translation agencies for best results. If Chinese, Korean, or Japanese website is required, Yandex machine can produce nonsense.

IBM Watson Language Translator

This tool provides accurate documents and even preserves their formatting. It uses neural machine techniques that increase accuracy. Choose a region- or industry-specific localization. Despite this, it has disadvantages. It has poor integration with your website and is pricey. Also, some industry websites in other languages are poor, namely medical and marketing spheres. 

Human translation 

Usually, you get human service in a localization agency. It’s an opportunity for hiring a freelancer or using best Arabic translation services for your Arabic website. In this case, a specialist reads and carefully processes your web page. It has many disadvantages, namely:

  • Native speakers. You can find and hire a native speaker who will choose the best formulations for your text. When they work with websites, they alter your text to fit your multilingual audience and marketing purposes.

  • High accuracy. Machines always have lower accuracy than real people. Language specialist gets serious training and language practice before they get a translator's diploma or certificate. So, they are attentive, creative, and produce higher quality texts.

  • Localization. There are some things machines cannot do. They don’t translate a website with the audience in mind. People understand jokes, puns, or marketing techniques that they should use in your text. Also, they make texts SEO-friendly and use phrases that audience likes. Machines cannot do this yet.

Overall, human service is always better and more accurate than a machine one. Websites often need localization for reaching global markets. So, human specialists are the best for bran and customers

Read also: Where to find the best USCIS certified translation services online?

How To Translate Your Website in 5 Steps

Website owners often wonder: “How do I translate a webpage? What to start from?” Converting websites into other languages might seem easy. You may start it from anywhere, but specialists recommend the following sequence.

Step 1: Website structure

Before you even start, you need to make changes to your website. Multilingual page needs different structure than its single language analog. Domain structure should be ready for another language because it will be another version of your page. Good decision is hosting the two versions separately.

Also, sitemap needs some changes. People will navigate through pages differently. They should also be separate for search engines. Also, they need to connect by links for people who would want to switch between different versions and languages. You might ask: “How do I translate a link?” It is quite easy to do if you know how the websites are made - and if you don’t, there are plenty of articles on how to do it.

Step 2: Technical aspects

These aspects are very important. You cannot have a good website without nice code. Both users and search engines will like the good quality code and markup for language support. The site should also have good performance, as you need high-quality hosting and great speed. When people situate far from your services, page loads more slowly, so you need really fast ones. 

Step 3: User experience

User experience is part of web localization. We have already mentioned how to translate websites' technical aspects. Apart from this, there are buttons, pictures, text alignment. These factors are important because users will interact with them directly. 

Different languages might take more or less space, so think about all elements of user interface such as links, images, etc. They should look good and text should be well-visible. It’s best to design the website with localization in mind, but if you don't, just remember that you’ll need to change a lot to give website a good look. 

Also, if the users need to contact you or make an order and a payment, make it UI-friendly. People in different regions have various payment systems or means of communication, different messengers, etc. Think about all that when you localize your site.

Step 4: Professional translation

This part is the most important. When you have a high-quality translation of your website by professional Latin translation services, it attracts more customers. The website should show brand values and marketing approach to reach your clients. Trust professionals who have worked with website localization before and know everything about this. If you are on a tight budget, you can translate the text by yourself and hire a skilled professional to help you localize or proofread what you’ve got.

Step 5: Localization

You need to localize nearly everything when you are translating web pages to English. Sometimes, we think that only the main text needs localization, but in fact, there’s more. You also need to pay attention to:

  • Phone numbers. The formats often differ within the same country.

  • Times and dates. Be sure to use local time and date for a better UI.

  • Prices. Use the currency of your target audience.

  • Visuals. Some pictures, symbols, pictograms, or photos might make nonsense or even be offensive to your audience. Some pictures will just sell better.

  • Addresses. We’ve got used to different formats than our overseas clients.

  • Cultural aspects. Remember about do’s and don'ts of a particular culture. It might differ from yours.

One More Tip on How to Localize Website Content

Today, reaching overseas audiences is the dream of every company. You can do it via your website, so there are good reasons to localize it. Be attentive to your customers and localize your website for them. Make it convenient for an overseas user who has different values, lifestyles, and culture than we do. By doing so, your profits will grow and bring you many loyal clients from all over the world.