Under the Hood of Website Translation

If you are a smart marketer or an ambitious entrepreneur, chances are that words like website translation are not alien to you. You must have already grabbed the opportunity to make your product and brand stand visible and comfortable on a global stage. You must have started having conversations or strategies to shape your significant content formats like website or apps into a translation context.

It is very helpful at this point to understand some details that go into the making of this magic called effective translation, the wonder called ‘translation with a global impact’.

Have you covered aspects like content template or source code sharing with the service provider among other elements? It would help if your code or format, whether it is a word document or an in-CMS transition, aligns well with the overall translation process and expertise.

It would also assist in a major way if you make a clear and informed choice about some not-so-easy decisions well in advance and carry these postures throughout the association – like, use of translation proxy or avoiding it; picking development server, having or not having multiple instances, the repository of documents and the technical language (HTML or PHP) deployed in the process. Sometimes, choice of local domain and hosting provider can make a lot of difference in optimization, reach and accessibility for the website. Certain decisions can be tough to make but if they are made with discretion and prudence then they pay off well in comparison to unexpected, unpleasant surprises.

Do not leave the task only to developers and translators. Website translation includes and but is not all about grammar and vocabulary only. Even punctuation or sentence construction or use of colloquial impact can be the game-changer. This is a realm that should incorporate linguistic experts and cultural natives to weed out any gross oversight or errors that might skip the eye of the technical professional.

Website translation and localization can seem like a one-off job but, in reality, it could be a real-time, iterative and a continuous process that could span other parts of the marketing chain and lifecycle easily. Be ready for the onerous demand that could arise from this nature and also make sure you pick a team that can deliver them. The process entails but is not limited to content. The layout of the new content, effective localization and visual characteristics matter equally when it comes to successfully translating a website. They should be envisioned in time and not addressed as a quick-fix or knee-jerk treatment.

Testing is a crucial ingredient to facilitate a smooth and actionable translation process. This should be both functional and user-oriented. Just ensuring that the content appears in a specific language is not enough unless the user can relate to the website in a way that is easy, engaging and familiar.

Accessibility is usually an afterthought for many translators. But in this Internet-dominated age, SEO context and Meta tags or Metadata are very important in driving the right traffic and optimizing visibility. Onboard a language service provider that thinks of these parts as an overall strategy and not as an add-on.

Images, cultural nuances, choice of appropriate words, confirming the connotation of a slogan etc. are some more areas that need more than a technical approach to the translation process. One should have a team or an expert who can point out misalignment or misinterpretation possibilities for a new audience before they blow out of proportion.

Have a consistent strategy, both for website translation and localization and also for aligning it well with the overall branding framework.

All in all, you as a brand and as a brand custodian have to be as devoted and clear as you would expect the translation provider to be. The job entails an investment of thought and the use of right strategy and this also connects to the kind of service provider you ultimately choose and continue.


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