If you’re looking to take your company into a new global market, your website will play a key role in getting your message across. But what’s involved in effective website translation? Do you just send over a series of website links to your translation provider?
Obviously, your website is one of the most important tools for presenting your organization’s message to a wide audience. This includes your current customers, as well as prospective clients, employees, and investors.
What people see and experience when they visit your website speaks volumes about your brand and your company.
As you prepare for website translation, there are several important factors to keep in mind. A professional translation partner can walk you through each step of their website translation services, but here are three considerations that are crucial.
Consider Mobile Optimization During Website Translation
The smartphone has overtaken the desktop and laptop as the device of choice when browsing the Internet. In 2018, 52.2 percent of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3 percent in 2017.
This is why Google places websites that are adapted for mobile higher in search rankings. And a large portion of mobile usage is spent on apps.
If your business has an app, you should consider translating it also—especially for East Asian markets where app downloads rise exponentially when available in native languages.
As you prepare to reach target markets through website translation, be aware of which markets prefer mobile access. Mobile optimization requires some adaptations for language differences as well as page fluxuations.
During translation, text length can fluctuate by as much as 40 to 100 percent. Many languages will appear differently in various mobile scenarios, and this must be taken into account in website translation services for mobile.
Consider Localized UI/UX During Website Translation
A major consideration in website translation and website localization is ensuring that your website looks and functions equally well in target languages as it does in the original language. Very often, the length of phrases on your original website will appear much longer or shorter in a target language.
Words in some languages, like German, tend to be much longer. If this extra length is not taken into account, it will likely cause unexpected breaks in the text, resulting in a faulty layout.
It’s important to design user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) elements that look great across languages so your website translation appears equally appealing across markets.
This is why it is important to share your website source files with your translation partner and not just send them a list of URLs and expect them to translate from those. Websites contain lots of back-end code that needs to be isolated from the text requiring translation.
Text and images must be localized for each language to appear seamlessly on your website. A translation services provider experienced in website translation services can help you identify which file formats will work best for export of your content and re-import of your translated text.
This will ensure an error-free translation and provide for easier posting of the completed project on your website.
Consider Workflow During Website Translation
Think about the total volume of content on your website, including future updates you plan to make. A large website translation project is often best accomplished in phases, especially if you are translating into multiple languages.
Begin by translating the essentials, such as the “About Us” and “Contact Us” sections of your website.
These are usually the more critical areas users will visit first. You will realize benefits much more quickly, and any technical glitches encountered can be handled on a small scale, while the lessons learned can be implemented in each successive phase.
Create a list of sections for your website translation in the order you want them completed. This phased approach is often a key to obtaining budget approval.
You may also want to prioritize the specific languages you need in a similar manner.
Smaller chunks can more easily obtain budget approval, and the completed portions can be leveraged via your translation memory cost savings in subsequent phases.
As you complete your initial professional website translation services, you will need a plan for translating your ongoing site updates. As you add content, you will want a timeline for sharing new content with your translation services provider in order for this material to be made available for your global audience as soon as possible.
Website translation and localization doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Choosing a translation services provider that is experienced in website translation is key to a smoothly executed project.
International Language Services provides guaranteed quality website translation services including website localization with subject matter experts in over 180 languages.