Jennifer Rodgers
Are you ready for international customers?

Before launching your localised website, take time to review your company’s operational procedures. Although you may already sell to international customers, a sudden influx of new international customers could put a strain on your operations. Read on for some points to consider prior to launching an international website. Non-English communication Do you have personnel in place to respond to non-English enquiries? If not, consider a disclaimer that telephone enquiries will only be dealt with in English. Also, how will you deal with emails in foreign languages? You may be able to understand an inbound email if you run it through Google Translate, but machine translation will not be acceptable for a reply to a customer. Contact us for more info on timely, professional email correspondence. The right products Have you looked into what products are the best for your target market? There is no point translating product descriptions for products that certainly won’t sell abroad. Even if a Peppa Pig hat is a bestseller […]

Warning: You’re losing money by not localising your website

In 2017, there were 153,852 exporters of goods in the United Kingdom.  This is up from 141,433 exporters in 2013. Every single UK region had a higher £ value exported last year than the previous year. In Yorkshire and The Humber, the value of exports increased 13.6% from 2016 to 2017. Why the increase? Companies are discovering how it easy it is to sell internationally in online marketplaces, and via their own websites. With more people around the world shopping online, there are so many new potential customers, even if they are in another country. Savings in tax may make up for international postage and import duties, possibly making it cheaper to purchase something from abroad. The UK’s top trading partners in terms of exported goods are the US, Germany, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, China, Belgium & Luxembourg, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. By localising your website into French, German, Spanish and Italian, you will have access to 8 of the top 10 […]

5 reasons why being bilingual doesn’t magic you into a translator

It’s a common misconception that bilingual people are all capable translators.  Based on the terrible translations that pop up occasionally – from advertising campaigns to user instructions for your TV – this is evidently not the case. Bilingualism is not the only prerequisite for being a good translator Professional translators have an exceptional command of the target language. Orthographic and grammatical mistakes appear less frequently in professionally translated texts. Translators are also writers; their job is to create texts that read well in their native language, sounding fluent and natural. Bilingual people should only translate into their native language, unless the text will not be used for external communications. Text translated by a non-native speaker will sound ‘translated’ 99% of the time. Qualified translators know this and won’t attempt something out of their skill set. Translation is a skill that takes time to develop. Professional translators usually have post-graduate qualifications, and many have years of translation experience as well, which your bilingual employee […]

Put the crossword aside and a learn a new language!

We’ve all heard that keeping your brain active is good prevention for dementia. There is conflicting research about this; some scientists feel that the benefit comes from learning new things, as opposed to processing information you previously learnt. If this is the case, doing the crossword won’t be as beneficial as learning to knit. Learning a new language is a fantastic option for anyone trying to keep those neurons firing, as it combines novelty, challenge and effort for an effective brain workout. In Scotland, Lingo Flamingo is a social enterprise with the goal of “Tackling Dementia Through Language”. Their workshops in French, Spanish, Italian and German help keep older adults’ brains fit and active. Social interaction combined with sensory language learning is a brilliant idea, especially as learning a language – at any age – can slow cognitive decline. However, in addition to the theory of learning being a preventative measure, it seems that simply being bilingual acts as a […]

The results are in… Our Most Valuable Translator awards

We have had a great start to 2018, and would like to announce Web-Translations’ Most Valuable Translators for 2017. We’re extremely grateful to our network of linguists, whose extensive talents allow us to offer translation services across a wide range of industries. We’re privileged to work with many exceptional translators; our MVT awards showcase just some of these. Our 2017 MVTs have been chosen for many different reasons: some have made important contributions for a single client. Others have helped us out in time-critical conditions, or have gone over and above what was required in order to ensure the highest quality possible for a client.  It is a pleasure to work with these translators, all of whom are excellent communicators, provide well-researched and polished translations, and are skilled with translation technology. The list, in alphabetical order, is as follows (drum roll please!): Alekos Psimikakis* Dorianne Mifsud Gisella Giarrusso José Miguel Aguilar Juliette Mazurkiewicz Karin Seelhof Karin Siebrasse-Brentnall Karolina Piotrowska Laura Mussutto Maciej Gliński Nanda Weiland […]

Grow your business internationally – our Top 6 tips

Global trade has never been so easy! The web has removed geographical barriers from international trade. If you can overcome language and cultural barriers, the world truly is your oyster. The UK export trade is worth millions, and with a well-localised website, you are better positioned to tap into these growing international markets. Positioned between the translation and web industries, Web-Translations offers a unique, low-risk, low-cost approach to international eBusiness. Here are our Top 6 tips for growing your business internationally: 1) Make friends with Google. Google has a host of online tools to help you analyse market data and understand trends around the world. The Market Finder tool can recommend the best market for your business, providing insights to help you reach the audience in a particular country. Google Trends shows what topics are trending in a particular country, as well as providing data on individual search terms. More fantastic graphs and charts help you to decide if a […]

Why does Google Translate work better for some languages than others?

The quality of translations from Google Translate can vary from good to absolutely terrible, and some language pairs are much better than other language pairs. So, why does Google Translate work better for some languages than others? Zero-shot technology pairs Did you know that Google Translate can now translate from Uzbek into Zulu? And Javanese into Chichewa? Surely there aren’t many native Zulu speakers who can also speak Uzbek, or Chichewa speakers who can translate from Javanese… Google now uses ‘Zero-shot’ translation technology, which means that it uses intermediate languages to match up content, and that no translations between the source and target were necessarily entered into the system. For example, if English was translated to Uzbek and Zulu, then Zulu can be translated to Uzbek, and vice versa. The output is not going to be as good as for some of the other language pairs in Google Translate, however. Amount of data Frequently translated languages with many contributions to […]

Certified and Sworn translations

At Web-Translations, we provide B2B translations to help our clients trade internationally.  This includes website translation as well as translation of marketing collateral. Occasionally we are approached by individuals who require translation of certificates for public authorities to support an application, such as a visa, passport or residency permit, or at the request of other official organisations. Certificates that are requested include birth certificates, marriage certificates and degree certificates. In the UK, we do not have the ‘sworn translator’ or ‘certified translator’ concept that exists in some other countries. However, translators may opt to become members of official translation organisations, where they are required to present their translation qualifications before being accepted for membership.

Choosing the right domain

Have you seen fewer sites recently? Many companies with an international presence have moved to a single site with subfolders for each country. At Web-Translations, we started with a domain in 2003, and as we grew, we added a .com domain, then a .jp domain, and over the next 10 years we purchased domains for many different markets including .es, .it and .pt. It began to get expensive and complicated! In 2014, we moved our primary site to a .com domain, with subfolders for different languages. Previously, we would have advised against this. Top-level domains, such as .de and .jp, are automatically picked up by search engines, and are therefore good for in-country SEO. However, with newer geotargeting techniques, a single site with subfolders (also known as subdirectories) can be as effective as a ccTLD.

Omelettes, and frequently misused words

We talk a lot about quality in the translation community. Or rather, we debate a lot about quality, especially as it relates to grammar and style.  What is considered to be ‘correct’ grammar or usage by one person may be viewed differently by someone else. The Guardian recently published an article listing “the 35 words you’re (probably) getting wrong”.

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