What to Consider When Translating Your Website

If you want to expand your business in different countries, translating your website becomes the most logical step to take. By restricting your business to English-speaking populations only, you will inevitably limit your growth and deprive yourself of a huge clientele and prospective business liaisons.  Therefore, in order to expand by reaching out to greater numbers of people all over the world, having your website in different languages is a necessity.

There are certain things to consider when planning website translation.

  • The first step is to decide whether you want to translate your entire website or some parts of it. You need to be sure of the scope of your work and see that you do not incur cost and time overruns. You should understand which portions of your website are likely to be accessed by the non-English speaking clients you are targeting. While you carry on with the translation work, you should try to keep the project simple; this way, the presentation remains lucid and you create fewer chances to make mistakes.
  • A very important point to decide is the language(s) you should choose for translation. Ideally, the translation should be made in the native languages of the countries you want to reach out to. To keep the choice of your translation general, you could select the most common languages that are found on the web—Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German. However, your decision must be determined by the country or countries where you want to provide your service or product.
  • For translating your website, you also need to decide on the logistics behind creating a version of a foreign language, along with selection of language, image editing and back-end works.
  • When you work in foreign markets, it is natural for you to employ salespersons who are proficient in the language of that country. Hence while translating your website, you should remember to redirect the forms and contact information on the website to those in-country salespersons. Thus, it is important for you to determine which product market you would like to expand.
  • When translating website content for a specific country, localization needs to be addressed as well, but this is usually overlooked. It involves shaping the content according to the local culture that is being targeted. Localization needs to be done very carefully to avoid embarrassing situations.  Therefore, do ask your translation company if they are adept at using and incorporating local cultural expectations.
  • Most importantly, always engage a professional translation company for accurate translation. Check their work samples and team capabilities to ensure good quality translation.

By Sarah Hudson

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