Translator's Guide

The Best Way to Translate a Website and Succeed

Business owners should consider how to translate a website properly and avoid a decrease in the number of customers. The best way to translate a website is to implement a customer-oriented approach even if it requires more time and is resource-consuming. There is more than simply getting content copied and transferred into the target language, and one must be aware of other essential components of this venture.

How to Translate A Webpage and Why Should You Do So?

One could claim that including automatic translation plug-ins within a content management system such as WordPress are sufficient, and they will be wrong. While the content appears in the target language as requested, there is a high risk of getting accuracy and optimization issues that negatively affect the website’s effectiveness. And what if solely translating web pages to English is not an option since the business operates in many countries and needs to attract a global audience? 

Just take a look at the list of basic languages for translation, and you see that the above-mentioned solution with translation plug-in doesn’t cover the peculiarities of all these different target audiences:

  • English
  • Chinese
  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Portuguese
  • Russian

Each language should be represented properly for improving the user experience of each specific target audience. Just imagine how would CMS plug-in translate complex descriptions of high-tech products from English to Russian and then to Japanese. Multiple errors, grammar issues, and incorrect translations would severely affect customers’ perception or may even cause negative associations with your brand and products. Now we can concentrate on how to make your web content accessible to a global audience.

Available Ways to Translate A Website

Those who wonder “how do I translate a web page?” eventually realize that there are two main ways. Each has specific benefits and negative factors associated with its implementation, so business owners should decide on their own which one is the best for their needs.

Human Translation

Hiring a professional who spent years of study and work mastering the target language and translation skills will be beneficial for website content’s accuracy and absence of mistranslation. It is recommended to hire a language expert with a specialization that coincides with your business and the website’s focus. Otherwise, there is still a risk of inappropriate outcomes. 

This option is rather expensive since a high-quality product is created as the result of substantial efforts. Yet, it should be treated as a primary option when certain brands cannot afford mistakes along with associated problems that one could easily avoid. You should think about how to translate websites effectively rather than in the cheapest way since reputation and income are at stake.

Another human translation benefit is that unique content created for each specific website and language will help to avoid a duplicate content penalty. That is almost inevitable if you simply change all web content you have into another language using automatic software solutions. Multiple versions of your website that provide the same content changed into different languages within minutes affects SEO algorithms and the website’s visibility to users.

Machine Translation 

While it may appear similar to automatic plug-ins work, the differences are immense. If you think what is the best way to translate the content on your website for a new market, giving machine translation a try would be worth it in terms of outcome and expenses.

Essentially, you just upload content into management system and receive completed adaptation for the desired target language. The next step is editing by a human. One ensures proper context and content transferring, absence of grammar issues along text clarity. This step is obligatory since machines work still requires corrections, and no software solution can replace the understanding and proper background of a professional. Why is it a good option?

  • Using a translation management system saves money as an assigned expert should just check and edit bulk of text instead of completing translation from scratch.
  • Additional features like memory tools allow increased consistency and save time in the future since certain terms or even phrases were already translated.
  • Easier content management.

Some popular machine translation tools include IBM Watson Language Translator, Microsoft Translator, Google Translate, Amazon Translate, Azure Translator Text API, etc. One may choose whatever is more suitable for their needs, the primary goal here is to hire a language specialist with appropriate specialization for subsequent editing. Though many successful business owners consider using entirely human work as a more effective strategy from a long-term perspective.

Localize Website Content: Step-by-Step Guide

Achieving multilingual audiences’ appraisal is not an easy task since localization is more than merely representing content in another language. Other factors such as SEO or website performance are essential since they directly influence customers who generate revenue.  

Website Structure

It is a good idea to host different language versions as separate websites because the structure is completely different for single-language sites. Each version of your webpage intended for different target audiences should appear as a separate site for search engines. They should be still easily accessible and properly linked with the main version for users. There are several ways to deal with it like ccTLD (country-code top-level domain) and gTLD (generic top-level domain). But business owners should decide whether they need to purchase new domains for each target area and work on their optimization separately, which will be more expensive or keep all these efforts on one website. Every option has its pros and cons. It is a website’s owner who shall decide on an acceptable budget and a development strategy.  

Technical Aspects

High-quality hosting is obligatory for multilingual websites since people all over the world visit them. Content should be delivered equally fast regardless of the user’s location. Having different target audiences requires attention to connection availability and specifications of devices that are popular among end-users. These aspects directly influence response and page loading time. If users won’t be able to review the web content you offer, they will most likely switch to competitors. So that, it is essential to review and test adapted websites making sure everything loads fast in all needed locations. 

User Experience

This includes not only location tracking, so that customers receive content in their mother tongue, but also appropriate markup for different languages. It may require some design adjustments and additional expenses. But they are justified as translating a website without anticipating how it appears on the user’s device is unacceptable. What if they won’t be able to find needed sections since they don’t fit the page’s layout due to differences in writing systems? Different textual components may appear broken or even unreadable, which would be embarrassing. Users will just abandon your website or leave negative feedback, which would make all completed translations irrelevant. 

Localization

Adjusting prices, dates, time, contact information, even visual content is essential to complete appropriate translation for multilingual websites. People want to see relevant information immediately rather than spend time trying to figure out how much they should pay or where to receive your product. This work cannot be done by machine software that can’t add details reflecting local peculiarities. According to various psychological studies, changing models in advertisements and website content to locals may improve your target audience’s loyalty and trust towards your brand, for they would no longer treat it as completely foreign. People tend to like things they understand and are familiar with. Thus, adding local flavor into products by global brands is usually accepted positively. 

Professional Translation

We return to discussing how quality translation could improve the perception of your website along with brand in general. All small details like ignoring grammar or syntax issues that appeared after automatic translation, neglecting to add relevant details relevant reveal the fact that somebody wanted to save some money. One didn’t consider a certain group of people as worth extra efforts. This attitude is unacceptable for a successful business. History shows multiple examples when expensive market campaigns failed due to the inappropriate or even offensive appearance of a brand name that was not localized. 

Overall, substantial work needs to be done so that all your website’s versions could demonstrate maximum effectiveness and relevance to respective target audiences. It is not possible to hire professionals and spend a considerable budget to receive unique texts with adjusted keywords strategy for effective SEO but completely ignore user experience criterion at the same time. At the same time, all efforts spent on technical optimization aren’t as effective as they could be if the content is just adapted using Google tools without even proper editing by a human expert. Any of these efforts will be wasted if performed alone without considering the rest.

Wrapping Up Website Localization

There is no simple answer to the question “how do I translate a link?” since applicable solutions depend on the specific situation as well as particular needs. The most suitable approach though is hiring professionals and completing full web content localization as this solution is the most beneficial from a long-term perspective. If you demonstrate that you think and care about your customers, they will pay you back with increased loyalty towards your brand and a growing reputation in the global market.