Word of the day – bounce!

tiggerWe all talk about bounce rates, but it seems that many people don’t fully understand what a bounce is. Simply put, a bounce is a one-page visit.

It doesn’t matter which page it is, how long the visitor spends on the page they visit, or if they click on a link on that page which leads them to a different site. It doesn’t matter if they come to you via a search engine or type in your URL. What matters is that they only visit one page before the specified session-timeout occurs.

If you’d like to learn more, Wikipedia has detailed formulas for calculating bounce rates, and Google has tips for improving them.

Using a blog to attract international customers

blog-1242038Now that you have a shiny new e-commerce website in a different language, how do you drive international traffic to it? One simple answer is: a translated blog.

Blogs on eCommerce sites help to optimise a website in several ways:
• Increasing the number of pages and content
• Increasing the text to code ratio
• Creating internal links back to the main website


Meet the Team – Francesca Riley

gmail_image_franHi everyone,

I have recently joined the Web-Translations team as a Project Coordinator, having just finished a Masters in Applied Translation Studies at the University of Leeds. During my Masters I particularly enjoyed the modules relating to CAT tools and Machine Translation, and it was in these fields that I focused a lot of my time. Working as part of a PM team during our CAT module’s team projects lead to an interest in this part of the translation industry, so the vacancy I found at Web-Translations seemed an ideal starting point for my career. (more…)

Are UKTI trade services in danger?

image courtesy of UKTI

image courtesy of UKTI

If you are involved in export, chances are you have consulted UK Trade & Investment or made use of their resources. The UKTI is a non-ministerial government department which helps businesses, including many Web-Translations clients, export profitably.

UKTI works with UK based businesses to ensure their success in international markets through exports. We encourage and support overseas companies to look at the UK as the best place to set up or expand their business. – UKTI


Does a second language open the door to business success?

Following news that the popularity of language learning is declining year on year (The Telegraph), it’s clear that less young people are considering modern foreign languages to be an important consideration for their future careers. Yet ongoing research consistently suggests that this doesn’t match up to the needs and expectations of UK Business.

Back in 2013, the British Council published a report in which they pinpointed ten languages that would be crucial for the UK’s long-term prosperity, security and influence, using various indicators such as export trade, emerging markets and diplomatic concerns. The results were as follows (in order of importance):

1 Spanish
2 Arabic
3 French
4 Mandarin Chinese
5 German
6 Portuguese
7 Italian
8= Russian
8= Turkish
10 Japanese

The report found that 75% of the adults polled were unable to hold a conversation in any of the languages highlighted, and the British Academy declared the UK to be trapped in a ‘vicious cycle of monolingualism’ whereby Brits would become excluded from international negotiations and business opportunities. (more…)

How to Avoid a Branding Blunder

Following the decision of a Judge in France to prevent parents from naming their baby girl ‘Nutella’, this has sparked debate over words that should be deemed suitable, and indeed unsuitable, to be used as a name. In this case, the French courts deemed that the name would ‘lead to teasing or disparaging thoughts’ (BBC News) due to its association with the popular hazelnut spread.

This certainly isn’t the first case of its kind, but brings to mind an interesting point regarding our word associations and the power held within language. There are few instances where this becomes more apparent than in the translation world. (more…)

Will 2015 be the Year of Instant Translation?

Back in November 2014, Skype launched a preview of Skype Translator, which will aim to provide real-time translation of conversations in over 40 languages. Hot on its heels, Google has now updated its own app to include an instant interpreting function using voice recognition, as well as an impressive translation feature which utilises a phone’s camera to automatically translate text viewed through the lens.

Long gone are the days of trying to decipher the unusual looking dishes on foreign menus – now all you have to do is hover your phone above the page and receive an instant translation. Here at Web-Translations, we’ve given the app a quick road test using three major tourist preoccupations: warning signs, tourist information and those all important menus. Take a look at how we got on below. (more…)

Why use CAT tools?

catLast year, a Proz poll indicated that 88% of professional translators use a CAT tool. For the 12% of you who don’t, here are some reasons why we think CAT tools are essential: (more…)

Watch out when using Google translate!

While using Google translate to double check my understanding of an email I’d received in German, I noticed that all was not as it should be. My German is a little rusty, and so I often use free online translation tools as a backup, to verify my understanding.

I know the limitations of machine translation, and as I was only using it to double-check my understanding of the message, I wasn’t so bothered about the incorrect word order and questionable grammar in the translation Google produced:

Google_Translate_FailHowever, the incorrect translation of “Donnerstag” as “Friday” definitely caught my attention!

Lucky for me that I have the German for days of the week firmly imprinted in my memory, but other people who don’t speak German who rely on Google translate wouldn’t have been so lucky and would have missed the deadline!

Be careful! Machine translation tools are very useful, but are no replacement for a fluent human being, especially if you’re trying to make a professional impression.

If in doubt, get in touch with us – we are always here to help!

International SEO: Is server location important?

Blank business diagramManaging a successful international web strategy would be much simpler if one hosting company
could host multiple local domains on local servers through a single control panel. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

If you have purchased unique domains for the different languages of your website, you can:

  • host all of your languages/domains in one country OR
  • host individual languages/domains in the target countries


6 resources every translator should use

Contrary to what some may think, not all translators sit alone in a dark room, typing furiously, using only a dusty old dictionary for reference. Translation has moved on!

It is more than just one opinion, one draft, one dog-eared dictionary. Translators, like lawyers, refer to myriad sources to select the best terminology, cite examples of similar contexts, delve into background information, and so on.


Terms Website Owners need to know

Terms Website Owners Should Know

Infographic: What are websites made of?

What Websites Are Made Of

Voiceover or Subtitles – how should video be translated?


When  it comes to localising video content, you have a choice of using either subtitles on screen or a voice-over of any dialogue or narration. The best option for your needs will depend on several factors, and of course budget is a consideration too.

Here we share advice from Alistair Langfield from our specialist voiceover & subtitling partner, Matinée.


10 Tips for learning a new language

Top Ten Tips for Learning a Language in 2014

Which languages are the hardest to learn?

What Are The Hardest Languages to Learn?

Give your small business (and UK Government) an international boost

In 2012, George Osbourne revealed his aim to double UK exports by 2020 but unfortunately, things have not been going according to plan.

According to the British Chamber of Commerce, exports increased by only 0.5% in 2012 and by 2.1% in 2013. This is thought to be down to businesses seeing branching out internationally as too large a risk.

However, expanding your business overseas could be extremely beneficial: it’s all about choosing the right market for your product and going in with a well thought-out strategy. (more…)

Social Media – the Key to Export Success?

Are you using social media to enhance the export success of your business?

If your company exports to B2B customers overseas, and uses Social Media as part of your marketing strategy, then Egyptian academic Ziad Abdelmoety would like to hear from you: he is currently writing a thesis on the role and use of social media by UK companies in the export sector.


Domain name quiz – test your knowledge

If you’re planning on expanding your business internationally, purchasing a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD – .de, .fr, etc.) could prove beneficial. Not only will a local domain give you a better chance of appearing in search results, but customers will trust your business more if it has the local domain name for their country at the end of the URL.


You’re Losing Customers if you’re not Using Social Media

If you could get your products, services and promotions in front of a wider audience for free, you would jump at the opportunity, so why aren’t you making the most of Social Media?

People are already talking about brands, purchases they’ve made and experiences they’ve had online. If your business doesn’t have profiles, pages and content for them to engage with then you simply aren’t part of the conversation. If that doesn’t make you nervous, then it should!

Customers ask for and give recommendations (as well as warnings!) on Social Media – whether the business in question is present on that network or not. (more…)

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