Reports last week claimed that 40% of jobs would be replaced by machines by 2030, and that they will be able to ‘translate and interpret text quicker than humans’.
Many companies already use machine translation to provide quick and free translations of their websites and other materials, so it is down to us as language service providers along with our team of trusty translators to explain the added value of human translation.
But where do we start explaining to a company with their eye on the bottom line why they should invest in professional translation? Here are a few of our suggestions:
Writing source content with translation in mind is critical. In addition to the standard rules for well-written English, there are specific guidelines to follow when creating source content for translation.
Keep reading to find our Top 10 Guidelines for writing for translation.
The London-based author Kazuo Ishiguro writes with translation in mind. ‘I want my words to survive translation,’ he says. ‘I know when I write a book now I will have to go and spend three days being intensely interrogated by journalists in Denmark or wherever. That fact, I believe, informs the way I write – with those Danish journalists leaning over my shoulder.’
Ishiguro concedes that the process of globalisation, of appealing to and ensuring that one is understood by audiences around the world, may lead to a ‘greyness’ of language: ‘There are a lot of things I don’t write now. I stop myself writing certain things because I think, for instance, that it wouldn’t work once it’s translated out of English. You can think of a line that’s brilliant in English — with a pun or two, you know — but of course it becomes nonsense once translated into a different language, so I don’t use it.’
The Department for International Trade (DIT), known as UK Trade & Investment until it was rebranded last September, has 9 English regional DIT branches, as well as Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish branches.
The DIT Yorkshire and the Humber will deliver a programme of £6.7 million of funding for its Enterprise for Growth programme.
Funding for the programme comes from the EU to strengthen the region’s businesses. Targeting both first time exporters as well as businesses already exporting, companies can access matched financial support to develop exports and create jobs.
To qualify for the funding, companies in the Yorkshire and the Humber region must work with the DIT, who will help them to develop their international trade plans. Funding provided will support a company’s export strategy, which may include translation of marketing collateral for international visits, website localisation to improve positioning in target markets, translation of product packaging, and more.
If you are interested in the programme, please get in touch and we can facilitate contact with your local International Trade Advisor, who will help you get started.
Reviewing is not re-translation, but rather a form of editing. Reviewers don’t focus on subjective stylistic amends, but instead look at what needs to be improved to increase a text’s fluency, understanding and accuracy. It is a balancing act; a translation must accurately convey the meaning of the original whilst not sounding ‘translated’.
Language service providers know that revision is their most powerful Quality Assurance tool for delivering the best possible translation. We often refer to it as ‘proofreading’, and although it is itemized separately on our quotations, revision should only be considered optional if the text is intended uniquely for internal company use, or for the client’s own information.
Reviewing is a crucial value-adding step in the translation project. More information on types of revision, the Web-Translations revision process and the limits of self-revision can be found below.
Before localising a website, there are several key things to consider:
If your site runs off a popular CMS, or if you have static HTML, localisation will be straightforward. Bespoke systems may also have been designed with localisation in mind.
• Consider whether all the elements of your design are editable. If you have images with embedded text that you have created in another program, the same program and file will be needed to create localised images.
• Ask yourself if the design is going to work if you don’t translate all parts of your website, or will there be an empty space on the French site where the “online chat” function is in English?
• Look for other potential spacing issues, such as the insertion of a dropdown language menu or currency selector.
• Find out if you can export/import content for translation. If not, would you prefer to provide us with access to your site, or would you handle all the content yourself?
• Can you provide server access to an external IP should this be necessary?
Your voucher entitles you to 1000 words of free translation.
This can be used for any purpose, and you can use it on a larger project to reduce the overall cost.
The possibilities are endless: brochures…websites…letters…emails…blog posts…
Professional proofreading by a second native translator is included.
This offer is available for: English into Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and also into English from any of these languages.
• 20% discount to be applied to our standard rates of translation and proofreading
• Discount cannot be applied to Pay-As-You-Go accounts or minimum charges
• Offer restricted to one order per client
• This offer will expire at 17.00 BST, 31 December 2015
Quote offer code: WINTERSALE
In the localisation industry we frequently come across misconceptions about the Chinese language, where and how it is used, and other queries relating to Chinese culture. Being a Mandarin speaker and card-carrying Sinophile, I feel duty-bound to try to set the record straight and try to end the confusion if I can, so intend to do this through a series of blog posts and other articles that we’ll share with you over the next few months.
Feel free to comment and ask any questions you’d like answered or have always wondered about – I’ll do my best to answer!
Without further ado, here is my response to the most common question that arises: Which type of Chinese do I need? (more…)
Victorian Plumbing started in 1999, specialising in original and antique bathroom fixtures and fittings. In 2003, they expanded their range to include many well-known brands, and now offer products ranging from the ultra-modern to more traditional ranges. With a showroom in Formby, Merseyside, customers can also purchase through their catalogue and from their online eCommerce shop.
Victorian Plumbing used our microsite creation service to create landing pages in 10 languages, as well as additional pages providing information about the company and shipping details. The microsites welcome visitors from other European markets, acting as portals to the English eCommerce site.
The pages were localised by professional translators in order to create content that sounds natural to readers, and all translations were proofread by a second native linguist. Our skilled Project Management team not only created bespoke microsites, but also researched ideal keywords for onpage optimisation, with the additional provision of keywords to Victorian Plumbing for Analytics campaigns. Once the research had been performed, the landing pages were optimised for 2 keywords by including these in the body content, meta description, page title and H1 tag content.
Following this week’s news about Google’s penalisation of certain types of offpage SEO, ensuring your onpage SEO is top-notch has become absolutely vital. Having up-to-date, well-written content on your site, as well as optimising your pages as much as possible, are good strategies for getting your pages indexed in Google, which is why our Localisation Level packages include onpage optimisation, as well as white hat offpage optimisation. Contact us for more information.
Quality is a word which is thrown around loosely, in many different contexts. What one person considers to be quality, another may not.
This is especially true with something as subjective as translation. People interpret language differently, and translation quality is often judged on subjective criteria such as style and choice of terminology. Some aspects of translation are are objective, however. ‘Yes’ translated as ‘no’ is clearly wrong, for example.
The Project Management Institute’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (4th edition) defines quality as “the degree to which a product meets the specified requirements.” The International Organization for Standardization says quality is “determined by comparing a set of inherent characteristics with a set of requirements. If those inherent characteristics do not meet all requirements, a low or poor level of quality is achieved.” Both of these definitions include the concept of quality as a scale, with varying degrees, and also state that there must be a set of defined specifications to provide a point of reference on the scale.
Just because a translation accurately conveys the intended meaning of the original source text does not necessarily make it good quality – a quality translation is more than just maintaining meaning – it has to meet the defined specifications and be fit for purpose.
Here at Web-Translations we’ve always prided ourselves on packaging our language services to make them as easy as possible for clients in all industries to understand and buy. Our International Blast and Strategic Approach to Localisation services have launched hundreds of companies in international markets, but we realised that the basic SEO we included in these packages no longer met the needs of today’s online businesses. A few years ago, the basic SEO tactics we used to promote our clients’ newly localised websites in the countries they were targeting were enough to get them started, and generate search traffic, but the search marketing industry has moved on in leaps and bounds since then, and we decided it was time for an overhaul.
The result is a group of localisation service levels that have been designed to suit different business types at different stages of international trade:
We haven’t forgotten eCommerce clients either – however rather than stipulating a fixed package of services for eTailers, we put together a bespoke package for each client, depending on their aims and objectives.
Following its 2007 launch, our International Blast! service has proved popular with companies looking to test a foreign market. This low-cost packaged service has helped a wide range of companies to launch internationally. We are very proud of the results we have achieved for these clients, including Baker Perkins, a bakery equipment specialist who localised their English site into Spanish following a successful International Blast, and also Quiet PC, who localised their ecommerce site into German after the success of an International Blast.
Glenn Garrett from Quiet PC commented that “the results of localising the key pages into 11 languages have been excellent; the traffic to the French, German and Dutch has been especially good and equates to a cost of 2p per visitor – that’s fantastic value compared to pay-per-click advertising in a competitive industry like ours!”
It is with a touch of sadness that we announce the retirement of this service to make way for a new range of localisation services, which we trust will be even more successful.
One of our final International Blast projects, 10 languages for Byretech Limited, has now launched. With subdomains for Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish and Turkish, Byretech’s landing pages will welcome foreign visitors and lead them to the English site, where visitors can learn more about the bathroom water damage prevention products available, and proceed to make a purchase.
Watch this space for an announcement about our new localisation service levels – launching soon!
If you want a multilingual website for your business, contact us about the new localisation packages we offer.
It is essential to tailor your translated websites to a particular market, taking into account the country as well as the language. If you want to sell your products in Brazil, for example, translating your site into Brazilian Portuguese, as opposed to European Portuguese, is vital. Any on-page and off-page Search Engine Optimisation should also target Brazil specifically. Popular search terms vary widely from one country to another, even when the same language is spoken, so keyword research should be carried out based exclusively on Brazilian search data.
When Britton Procol contacted Web-Translations about creating microsites in five languages, they were clear that they wanted to target Brazil. Keyword research was carried out by our in-house team in order to determine two good keywords for on-page optimisation, based on Brazilian search engine statistics. The website copy was also localised for the Brazilian dialect of Portuguese. We work with linguists from around the world with a wide range of specialisations, and Project Manager Dominic McGrath assigned the translation work to a Brazilian Portuguese technical translator who has worked with Web-Translations for nearly five years.
Britton Procol Valves offer a selection of quality valves, consisting of slide valves, iris valves, rotary valves, butterfly valves, blowing seals, gravity diverter valves and pneumatic conveying diverters which are available in a range of sizes, modes of operation and materials of construction. Microsites are now live for Germany, Poland, Japan, Brazil and Spain.
We talk a lot on this blog about the best way to go about localising your content for foreign markets, what makes a good translation, etc. In this post I’ll cover one of the most fundamental aspects of website localisation: which website structure to use.
There are several different options to consider when you set up your multilingual site, and the type of company or brand you are, your international expansion plans, along with the CMS you use (if any) will all influence what will be the best way forward for you and your business.
Are you targeting particular countries? If yes, then a Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) such as company.es / company.fr will fit well with your international strategy. Here’s a summary of the main benefits of a ccTLD:
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that there may be issues in obtaining a ccTLD (such as residence requirements), and you won’t be making the most of the SEO authority you have established through your existing domain.
The Jewellery Channel first came onto our television screens in April 2006, and in the UK and Republic of Ireland alone, TJC broadcasts to more than 30 million homes, making them a well-known household name. Since 2006, TJC’s online shop has also grown from strength to strength. After establishing itself as an affordable quality online retailer based in the UK, TJC continues to broaden its horizons by reaching out to its global audience, creating landing pages for French, German, Italian and Spanish customers.
Web-Translations’ International Blast service helps The Jewellery Channel to welcome visitors from other European markets, with the localised pages acting as portals to the English ecommerce site. We find that conversions increase when there are products on the localised microsites linking to the English site, so we made sure to include some of TJC’s top tanzanite products.
GHM (General Hotel Management Ltd.) is known for conceptualising, developing and operating an exclusive group of hotels and resorts. With an expansive portfolio and more projects in the pipeline, GHM prides itself in providing guests with a distinctive lifestyle experience that is unrivalled. To maximise their presence in the Japanese and Chinese markets, GHM selected Web-Translations to localise their corporate site and the sites of 8 of their luxury hotels. A full localisation of the website into these two languages was undertaken to attract traffic from those key markets. GHM is currently opening a new location in Switzerland, and the website for that hotel will be available in German, Italian and Russian. Read more…
“We’ve been working with Web Translations since early 2012 when we launched our Japanese website. We’ve since localised our website into Chinese as well. The Project Managers are prompt, communicative, responsive and accommodating to our needs. Finding a suitable linguist to suit the GHM-style is often a challenge, due to the travel-editorial-style nature of the website copy, however the Web-Translations team were able to cater to our needs by overcome this by sourcing an excellent panel of linguists for the languages featured on our website.”
Liza Latif-Grossinsky, Digital Marketing Manager – GHM
I don’t think a cow can be a box, but I recently spotted a child’s toy that did describe a cow as a box:
The toy is a shape-sorter in the form of a cow, and is described in French as a ‘boîte à formes’, which is translated as ‘sorting box’ in English on the packaging. In French, ‘boîte’ means a rigid container, among other things. (For a complete list, try WordReference.com). However in English, ‘box’ means a rigid rectangular container. A cow is definitely not rectangular, and I wouldn’t call a cow a ‘box’! Perhaps it could have been better described as ‘shape-sorter’.
I imagine that the French text for this packaging was included in a long list of product names and descriptions, and that the translator did not have access to images, and so chose the most logical translation of ‘boîte à formes’. Unfortunately it was not the best option, in my opinion. Perhaps if the translator had been provided with images, they would have translated it differently.
Established in 1989, Kid’s Cavern is the UK’s largest independent retailer of children’s clothing and shoes. In addition to their flagship Liverpool store, Kid’s Cavern offers their extensive range of designer children’s wear online. To reach out to customers in other markets, the company has launched microsites in Danish, German, Japanese, Russian and French. Kid’s Cavern also intends to use our traffic reports as market research to gain further insight into these markets, with a view to localising the rest of their site into the languages which perform well.
Kid’s Cavern used our International Blast service, which offers the creation of a bespoke microsite for £295 +VAT per language. After consultation with the team at Kid’s Cavern, our Project Managers advised on target markets and carried out keyword research to select the best terms for optimising the site. Kid’s Cavern can also use this keyword insight in PPC campaigns to boost traffic. After the launch, our team copywrote, translated and published press releases announcing the launch of the foreign language pages in order to generate inbound links.
With 22 retail stores across the UK and Ireland, and also a thriving e-commerce business, Snow+Rock are testing different markets abroad with new microsites in French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, Italian and Danish.
The UK’s top ski clothing & equipment retailer, Snow+Rock stock high quality performance products from the world’s best snowsports & outdoor brands. Their range includes ski gear, snowboard equipment, walking boots, climbing equipment, and much more.
Snow+Rock chose our International Blast service, and now have well-optimised bespoke microsites targeting seven different European countries. The International Blast service is available in 18 different languages. We recommend choosing a range of languages to get the most accurate picture about international interest in your product or service, and as such we offer discounts for multiple languages: 5% for 5 – 9 languages | 10% for 10 – 15 languages | 20% for all 18.
We are certain the visitor traffic information reports we provide will help Snow+Rock to take an informed decision as to which mountains to tackle next – whether these are the French Pyrenées, the Italian Alps or the Spanish Sierra Nevada.
E-merchant Pushka Knobs offers unique door and cupboard furniture through their .com e-commerce site. After four years of successful online retailing in the UK, Pushka chose to work with Web-Translations to promote their online boutique in the Netherlands. We created a microsite for the Dutch-language marketplace which acts as portal allowing overseas customers to purchase items directly from the UK shop.
Pushka Knobs opted for our International Blast service, which offers a bespoke microsite, including on page and off page search engine optimisation, all for only £295+VAT. After launching less than a week ago, the Dutch site already appears on the first page of Google.nl results for the keyword ‘kristallen knoppen’ (crystal knobs) and on the second page for ‘glazen knoppen’ (glass knobs). With such amazing results after less than a week, we can’t wait to see how the Dutch Pushka Knobs site performs over the next few months!
Acting as portals to their English e-commerce site, the localised pages will target visitors in foreign markets looking to purchase climbing equipment.
BananaFingers opted for Web-Translations’ International Blast service as an opportunity to test different markets, and thanks to our helpful follow-up reports, they will be able to track numbers and locales of visitors. This service will help to determine the most profitable international markets for BananaFingers so that when they decide to expand into new markets, they do this with an understanding of the demand for their products.
If only Tesco had used our market testing services, they might not have had to pull their operations from the US market after deciding that America wasn’t ready for them!
A stunning year of international celebration and sport, including the Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games, and the Diamond Jubilee, have transformed Britain’s global reputation and opened new opportunities for international dialogues, business and co-operation.
For all our proclamations that the Internet has rendered geography null and void, it’s startling how many business opportunities are still missed because of language barriers. Though much progress has been made since the turn of the millennium in bringing global reach to a huge number of successful brands, many great organisations still don’t know how to even begin communicating with audiences abroad.
In this light, it’s a wonder that the fantastic qTranslate plug-in for WordPress has taken so long to flourish. Once activated, qTranslate transforms the control panel into an incredibly simple and reliable interface for making your site’s content multilingual. It organises your pages neatly and intelligently, and offers a user-friendly integration which is compatible with Search Engine Optimisation add-ons and a huge range of content types. In essence, qTranslate condenses the work involved in reaching foreign-language users down to an absolute walk in the park.
If you’re fluent in the second language you want to target, it’s as simple as opening that language’s tab in WordPress’ Post Editor and writing your new content – you can even change the layout of your posts based on the language in play. But if you’re not a native speaker, part of the beauty of qTranslate is how easy it makes getting what you’ve written translated by professionals at LiveTranslation. There’s an option to turn on the translation service, which allows you to pay for an affordable, professional translation, courtesy of Live Translation, with just a couple of clicks.
There’s no mess involved: you get your content, in a range of different languages, all housed on one site but still clearly distinct from both your users’ and a search engine’s perspective. It’s simple to install and even simpler to maintain.
When combined with the supplementary qTranslate with Slugs, what results is a multilingual WordPress control panel which is both intelligent and uncomplicated. It’ll translate your dates and times without being told, let you optimise your URLs for each individual language, and even give you multilingual menus. And if you’re missing a language that could help you crack a key market, you’re literally five clicks and no effort away from taking the first step across the border. Online, you can talk to everybody. Now, they’ll be able to understand you, too.
CEO of Web-Translations to deliver international eMarketing workshop for luxury tourism industry in conjunction with the institute of Export, Soft Skills and the Ministry of Enterprise for Mauritius.
Date: 13th or 14th August 2012 (with future events TBC)
Venue: Le Méridien, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius (yes, seriously)
Daniel Rajkumar is a multi-award winning internet entrepreneur that has created various web businesses, including web-translations.com which supports companies seeking to increase international trade by attracting more international visitors to world class websites. He analyses industry trends and researches the developments in the web before they become popular. He understands the constraints of small businesses as well as well as the challenges faced by large organisations and is able to consult on various levels, practically and strategically.
Daniel Rajkumar has presented for UK Trade Invest, the Institute of Export and is writing a book on ‘the web as a function of business’.
Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.
With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.
With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.
With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?
Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.
China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.
Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.
To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.
As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business. While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.
Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey. We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.
The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will be visiting UK this year, some businesses are seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action.
The Olympic Gold Website Package was launched this month by Web-Translations to Get Businesses Fit for London 2012.
By giving customers extra peace of mind when offering translated information, you’ll win their trust, and ultimately their custom.
Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.
The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?
Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.
As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?
Taking a bite from the Turkish delight will reap sweet rewards for online retailers
Turkish e-commerce transactions reached an impressive $12.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 57% on the previous year according to the Interbank Card Center. Combine this upsurge with the 12% per year e-commerce growth Forrester Research Inc (FORR) predicts for European growth over the next 5 years, and it becomes obvious that it’s time to pay attention to Turkey.
Impressive statistics, but what’s going on?
Half the population of Turkey is under 30 years old. This young society has been quick to adopt technological innovations and they now spend more time online per week than the worldwide average. This tendency translates into a high responsiveness to social media – 89% of Turkish Internet users are on Facebook and they are the 11th most active country on Twitter.
95% of the Turkish population are expected to have a mobile phone in 2013, with global corporations such as Telecom Italia having already entered Turkey to take advantage of this.
Furthermore Turkey has a credit driven economy, with a 62% credit card penetration among consumers. All of this has led to a positive environment for the development of Turkish e-commerce.
LiveTranslation is pleased to announce its new Refer a Friend feature.
Customers and registered translators are now able to recommend the site to family, friends and colleagues.
Each new customer that registers after receiving a referral will receive 25 words of free credit to test our translation services, and the registered customer that referred them will receive 10 words free credit for their successful registration.
Current users are requesting translations for a variety of texts: emails, love letters, notices about foreign property, business correspondence, customer service enquiries, website pages, marketing promotions, recipes, reports, apartments to let, product information, sayings/phrases, and even a marriage proposal!
“I was given a recommendation to use Live Translation following the advice of friends who had used various other online translation sites. Getting a price for my translation was quick and easy, and it was competitive. This service helped me add another language to a website created by my company, so I would recommend Live Translation to others.”
Matthieu – La Valette du Var, France
For further information or support, give us a call on +44 (0) 113 8150460 or email info[at]livetranslation[dot]com.
We’re combining our 3 lead web services to help your website launch in international markets with a bang.
All good things come in threes – that’s certainly true when it comes to launching your website in a new language and country. Follow these 3 key steps to start seeing results from your website:
Once you make the important decision to localise your website for a foreign market, and select a provider to deliver the project, your work is not quite yet done. It’s equally important to identify which sections of the website should be included in the localisation project, not least from a budgetary perspective.
We usually advise clients who are embarking on their first localisation to omit the following sections:
– Meet the team, or equivalent
– All blog posts
The reason being that this type of contact can quickly become out of date, unless a strategy is in place to manage multilingual updates.
Vogue Italia has been widely criticised for the feature it ran on its blog this Monday, a piece entitled “Slave Earrings” that has since been removed.
The post read: “Jewellery has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops.”
It continued: “If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of colour who were brought to the southern United States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom. Colored stones, symbolic pendants and multiple spheres. And the evolution goes on.” (more…)
The arguments for outsourcing any type of work are clear: costs are reduced; efficiency is improved; economies of scale can come into play; and there is usually an application of appropriate technology that would be less likely to take place if the work was kept in-house.
The outsourcing model has also been successful in cutting costs and improving efficiency in the public sector. Council and government tenders have been big business for years, and although cuts have had a dramatic effect on certain sectors such as consultancy, in others there are still opportunities to be had. (more…)
One of the most important questions a project manager can ask when preparing to organise a translation is about the intended audience. Is the Chinese translation for mainland China, Hong Kong or Taiwan? Is the Portuguese translation for Portugal or Brazil? Is this Spanish translation aimed at Spaniards or Spanish speakers in South and Central American countries?
These variations on one language are more in-depth and important than some people may realise, and as such, it is important that any translation is specifically carried out with the audience country in mind. This often means translating a text into one language twice, one for one country, and one for another. However, if a client only wishes to invest in translating text once, yet wants to appeal to both South American and European markets, for example, what can be done? Should they choose between the two, use the same translation for both markets, or is there another way? This is where “Neutral Spanish” comes into play.
The idea behind this concept is that vocabulary and terminology be defined early in the process, so that only terms that will be understood in both target audiences are used in the translation, thus ensuring that the final translation is suitable for use in both Spain and South American countries that use Spanish, such as Mexico, Uruguay and Argentina. The large number of Spanish speakers who reside in Central America may be included in the client’s target market as well, so their variation of the language must also be taken into consideration. (more…)
Translation memory is a type of software that stores a unit or “segment” of a source language together with its translated equivalent in the target language.
This is useful for several reasons. Firstly, it improves the consistency of translated documents, as once a segment of text is stored in the memory, the translator will be prompted to use it wherever it appears in a file. Secondly, where text is repeated in a document, the client does not need to pay for the sentence to be translated twice. Thirdly, it makes the process more efficient, so translations take less time.
Other useful feature common to most types of translation memory software are:
We met Amy Karim at the Internet Retailing Expo in March, where we spoke to her about expanding her online bridal accessories business internationally. She’d already decided to target Germany as a new market, and so our International Blast service was the ideal solution to get her started. (more…)
We decided that our latest acquisition needed a new look, so commissioned a fresh, new design to make the professional translation site easier to navigate and use. Take a look and let us know what you think!
New features we’ve added include:
Live Translation is “powered by people”, so if you’re a translator looking for more work, please register here.
If you already use Live Translation for a job, for example to translate English to French, tell us why you like it! We’d love to hear your comments.
Don’t forget, you can also follow us on Twitter: @LiveTransLtd
Real-time online translation service Live Translation has a new improvement – you can also now upload files to get a free quote and buy your translation at any time of day or night.
The file upload feature can handle any common document file type: Word, PDF (with selectable text), txt file, Excel…
Your file will be returned to you in your chosen format, usually within just a few hours.
Register for a free account now and we’ll give you the first 50 words for free:
“Web-Translations offers the full range of services I need for producing our multilingual brochures, email campaigns and website copy, and at a competitive price, so I don’t need to shop around.
The staff are helpful and knowledgeable – our account manager was able to advise me on the best languages to choose for the countries we wanted to target, which was a great help.
All round, the service I get from them is outstanding. I’d definitely recommend Web-Translations.”
Emma Shailer, Head of International Marketing – UCreative (University for the Creative Arts)
Web-Translations is pleased to announce its acquisition of Batley-based company Live Translation.
www.livetranslation.com is the world’s first real-time translation service powered by human translators. It offers professional translation in minutes as well as a fully managed document and website translation service, making it the ideal complement to Web-Translations’ existing portfolio of services.
With prices starting from as little as £1.99, Live Translation is ideal for translation of emails, text messages, and blog posts.
Managing Director of Web-Translations Daniel Rajkumar is naturally thrilled about the takeover:
“This is a great opportunity for us, as we can now cover both ends of the market: the corporate and SME clients who have planned budgets to spend on their translation needs, and the smaller businesses and individuals who are looking for a more economical service, but still demand a certain level of quality.”
The next step will be to localise the website into different languages, then integrate Live Translation with email-translations.com, and other services such as blog translation that Web-Translations is already offering. The service will also be expanded to include additional language pairs.
Sign up for your free Live Translation account here to try it for yourself!
Web-Translation is proud to be backing the Quality in Translation initiative.
This campaign has been launched with the aim of promoting and fostering awareness of the skills and talents necessary to work in translation, and improving quality levels across the industry. Translation is a fine art, and translators often do not receive the credit they deserve. A good translation should give the impression that the text was authored in that language, and should convey the same tone, style, and ideas as the original.
Few people are aware of what it takes to produce a good quality translation. Not only must a translator have proficient skills in their native language, and at least one foreign language; they must also be knowledgeable about their particular area of expertise, whether it be financial, legal, or medical, to name but a few. A translator must be efficient, hard-working, and willing to go the extra mile to ensure that all terminology is correct, and that all terms are accurate. This often involves extensive, time-consuming research, as well as dialogue with the client, and colleagues to clarify and get advice on particular terms.
Here at Web-Translations, we are very appreciative of the work our translators carry out, and would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of them for their hard work over the past 10 years.
Quality is very important to us, and is an issue we take very seriously. Delivering a high quality translation is, of course, vital in ensuring that a client will return to us in the future. More than that, it is a matter of principle. We are not prepared to deliver a poor translation to one of our clients, and so we take great measures to ensure that we don’t. Ensuring high quality translations is an aspect of the business that every member of our company is involved in. Our Sales team ensures that the delivery promises they make to our clients allow the translation and proofreading to be completed by experts, who have enough time to focus on the project, and work on it to the best of their abilities. Our Marketing team spreads the message that we are a reputable, dedicated company, who constantly seek to deliver outstanding translations. Our Projects team make sure that projects are assigned to suitable, capable translators who specialise in the required subject area.
As a supporter of the Quality in Translation campaign, Web-Translations is committed to:
1) Striving for the best possible translation every time
2) Only accepting assignments that allow them to strive for this goal
3) Declining assignments at prices that undercut this goal
4) Only working with professional translators translating into their native language
5) Only handing assignments to translators specialised in the particular field
6) Constantly striving to improve translators through constructive feedback and ongoing training
7) Actively raising the awareness of buyers about the goals of the “Quality in Translation” campaign
As our Testimonials show, these are policies that we have employed since the beginning of Web-Translations, and that, as a proud champion of the Quality in Translation campaign, we will continue to recognise and implement.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a rating system to identify the best translation agency?
Buying translation is a daunting prospect for those who have no prior experience of commissioning this type of service, and if the buyer has little or no knowledge of languages, then it’s hard for them to have a point of reference on what is needed to produce a good translation; specifically: the level of skill, and the combination of education and experience that qualifies one person as a translator rather than simply a native speaker of a language.
Consequently many fall into the trap of buying translation as a commodity; as if buying rice or cotton; and go about comparing quotes on the basis of cost and/or speed of delivery. Translation is a service, however, and like all services, it is performed by people whose education, skills and time all contribute to delivering the final ‘product’ (for want of a better expression).
While it’s logical that you would want a service to be performed by the best people, it’s actually quite alien to most of us to buy a service from a) someone you don’t know b) aren’t ever likely to meet and c) where you as a buyer do not actually consume or experience the service first-hand.
Every now and then I take a peek at what our translators are saying about us on the Proz Blue board, the litmus test with contented suppliers – we are well on the way to being the best translation agency.
|Company||Rating over last 12 months||Overall rating|
* Note: The links are to the corresponding blueboard page used by translators to rate each agency for likeliness to work again on a scale of 0-5. The scores in the table above are accurate as of the 29th October 2014.
You might have had your car serviced, or maybe you had your hair cut in a salon/barber’s, perhaps you’ve visited the dentist recently? These are all personal examples that everyone can relate to. It’s easy to pay more for a service when you’re the direct beneficiary, the experience you go through and the interaction with the person providing the service can easily and quickly justify the value. Personally I get my haircut on the corner of Leeds city train station, not for its location, I just like the guy that does it and he does a great job.
It gets harder to gauge the value on a service where you have no idea what has been done – we place the trust in our car mechanic when they say there’s a split in a pipe and it needs to be replaced, or when your dentist explains that although there’s no pain, its important you have a filling. This is where trust is important, but because you are personally involved you can quiz the person directly; there is something comforting about looking in the whites of the eyes of a person asking you to buy a service from them.
Unless you need a haircut, don’t drive or need to see the dentist you should be able to relate to the personal examples, however business services are different in that they tend to fall into the rather broad categories of: Legal, Financial, Web or IT. When you choose a lawyer or solicitor you might go by recommendation or you might have looked someone up for a particular skill. The natural thing to do is arrange to meet. Once you get to know someone’s background, invested the time to communicate your situation (giving rise to the need for the service) you have some comfort factor in knowing that you now have a relationship with a person you will entrust to do a good job. You feel confident, you like the person, and so you buy the service.
You need a document in another language so that someone can understand it. There isn’t any desirability in this purchase; -it’s not something that will ‘happen’ to you personally (like a haircut), neither is it likely to be an on-going business need so you don’t feel the need to establish a relationship (in the way that you might with a lawyer or an accountant). You don’t speak the language, so feel uneasy that you can’t even tell if what you are getting back is excellent, good, average or worse. You weren’t the person who wrote the text in the first place. You just want a document in another language, surely that’s pretty standard right?!..
Conveying something in another language in a way that reads naturally is actually quite hard. When a text needs only to inform, the reader needs to understand. When a text needs to sell or influence, the reader needs to be motivated and compelled. Achieving the desired outcome isn’t easy.
Web-Translations understand that delivering good quality translation can be a pretty thankless task to the many millions of freelance translators out there. If it wasn’t an art from which people derived satisfaction it would be on a par with legal and accounting services, which (as I understand it) are not quite as much fun in providing. But translators can’t just work for the love of it. They need agencies that fight their corner, justifying better prices, upholding greater values, raising standards.
Ultimately it is our freelance translators that provide our service, so in keeping them happy; we are in the best position to pass on a great service. We use highly skilled, educated project managers to develop and nurture great working relationships with suppliers in the same way that we do with clients.
Take a look at our Translation Buying Guide for more tips on how to buy translation.
Help us get the word out…translation quality is worth paying for!
Now, before I get shot down by a flurry of irate translators, hear me out.
There’s been an increase recently in the use of post-edited machine translation for some projects where the volume of content is so huge, and the time window so short that human translation, and then proofreading and subsequent editing of the text, would just not be practical. We at Web-Translations are observing this trend with great interest. (more…)
SEO is just as important for your foreign language sites as for your English one. Simply translating content and putting it online unfortunately does not mean that any of your potential customers will find the pages you have created for their benefit.
As Nataly Kelly of the Common Sense Advisory says:
“It just doesn’t work to assume that a target audience who has been linguistically underserved in the past will miraculously show up at your site in the months following the launch of your new content. […] you need to publicize your new content and drive your target audience to the new site. Just as with your source language website, expect the traffic to build over time.” (more…)
Have a look at some of the recent projects we’ve been working on:
If you’d like to be featured as one of our success stories, get in touch!
We’re going to take you step-by-step through a localisation project to explain how it’s done. The example we’ve chosen is the multilingual site we did for Loc8tor.
Loc8tor.com is an ecommerce site where customers can buy Loc8tor devices to help them keep track of keys, mobile phones, pets and all sorts of other belongings. This is an ideal showcase for the different elements involved in the professional localisation of a website.
With any website, the first step is to get the content into a format that translators can easily work with.
There are two main ways of translating content from a CMS – the translators can work directly into the system and input translations as they go along, or an export can be obtained from the system – usually either XML or Excel format.
Translation is not always done in a linear fashion – starting at the beginning and finishing at the end – a translator needs to be able to skip parts and come back to them later, raise queries if something is unclear etc. When it comes to proofreading the translation, a file will usually be easier to work on and edit than the content within the CMS. With this in mind, an exported file is often the best method.
So, the Project Manager will deliver the file to the translators, or give them access to the CMS as necessary. Once the translation is complete, the proofreaders do their part. Any images or other parts of the website not already part of the CMS/export file would be localised at this stage too – a professional localisation includes everything, not just the obvious text components of the website.
If an export file has been used, then this needs to be imported back into the CMS. This is usually done by the client’s web team, but sometimes we are given an access login to the system and can upload it ourselves.
The published sites we localised for Loc8tor can be found at www.loc8tor.eu, www.loc8tor.fr and www.loc8tor.es.
With some projects, this is where our involvement ends, but there are other stages that are recommended in order for the localised website to be a success:
Usability testing – this is especially important for eCommerce websites or any others where transactions take place. The localised site is tested from the user’s point of view to make sure all functions work correctly, links lead to the pages they should, etc.
Multilingual SEO & eMarketing – just because you’ve invested in localising your site doesn’t mean that customers in that particular country know it is there! Submitting your site to local search engines, building some inbound links and promoting the new website online will all help get more traffic, and these initial measures are included as standard in our Strategic Approach to Localisation packages.
Managing updates – it’s important that you consider how updates to the website will be managed. Many CMSs can be configured to send updates for translation, which minimises the delay in keeping the multilingual site current.
Keyword Research – Knowing the most popular search terms for your product or service is critical. We help to capture maximum exposure by identifying not just your keywords, but also complementary keywords and competitive keywords to help you optimise your website, and maximize the effectiveness of your multilingual Pay Per Click campaigns.
Pay-Per-Click – ideal for giving your web traffic a boost, for promotions, sales and to announce new content. In most industries it will be expensive to stay at the top of results using PPC alone, but it should form part of your overall web strategy if you have sufficient budget.
A good localisation strategy will consider these additional elements of the process as well as simply translating the main body of text on a website.
If you have any questions about website localisation, or any comments about this article, please let us know.
We’re proud to announce that Web-Translations has become a member of the Association of Translation Companies.
As one of the oldest and most respected professional bodies in the translation industry, members of the ATC are carefully vetted before admission into membership, adhere to a strict code of professional conduct, are subject to the rulings of a professional ethics committee and carry full professional indemnity insurance cover to safeguard the interests of the translation purchaser.
Membership bestows upon Web-Translations some well-earned recognition of the excellent service we offer – it’s great to hear from an independent party how great a job we’re doing!
Oh dear! If ever there was an example of how not to translate a website it must be the London Eye website. It would seem that the Merlin Group clearly don’t care about their international visitors…
The latest version of Click4Translation is now online, and we’re inviting you to test it – please sign up at www.click4translation.com and get a quote for any translation project by uploading your documents, or submitting a website URL – it’s as simple as that!
Click4translation makes it quick and easy to get a quote for your translation work, with a simple 5 stage process that takes about 2 minutes to get a price.
We’re asking you to explore the system, try it out for yourselves and report back on any problems you encounter – all feedback helps us improve click4translation and make into the ideal instant quote system.
Help us to hone our new tool and have your say on features you’d like to see – please address all comments and suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter is the latest company to use crowdsourcing to localise their website and interface – about time they localised it too, as in the arena of social networking, Twitter has been lagging behind other sites such as Facebook when it comes to reaching a multilingual audience…
So what is crowdsourcing exactly?
I’ve been helping a client manage their PPC spend recently by training one of their team members. I don’t normally do this; it was just a favour to one of our best clients which happens to be a local company.
It took me back; I remembered the very early days when you’d pay 0.05$ per keyword word and could expect to be in the top 5 results. For most industries, those days are long gone. (more…)
The .eu domain is exclusively for residents of the European union. It offers a single European identity on the Internet for 500 million Europeans in 27 different countries.
Why choose a.eu domain?
To show you are European – using a .eu domain states that you are located in Europe
Broaden your market – .eu domains widen your potential customer base. We at Web-Translations have found that just by localising a few key pages of our client’s websites, they gain significant traffic and enquiries. Imagine that extended across the whole of Europe!
Attract customers – a .eu website tells your customers that you are open for business within Europe – that’s 27 different countries. It also combines the traffic of all your separate country websites into one – all those visitors will come to a single website.
Streamline your website – creates one location or hub for all the information about your company, products and services that is relevant to EU customers. It can make managing your multilingual website much easier.
Increase the visibility of your website – .eu domains attract attention, and therefore traffic!
Create a good impression – be taken seriously as a global company
Leaves scope for future development – even if you only have one or two European languages on your website now, if you choose to add any more at a later date, these can be based on your .eu domain.
Many global companies have already taken advantage of this opportunity – Hyundai, Pioneer, Versace, Ricoh, Lexus and Estate Agents Century21, to name but a few.
Daniel Rajkumar will be presenting a seminar on 8th July, as part of a programme organised by Regional Language Network Yorkshire & Humber
Businesses proactive in their use of foreign languages achieve on average 45% more export sales.
Having shelled out money, time, and other resources on getting a web translation done, it’s important to choose the right person to review it if this step is part of your process. An inexperienced or overzealous reviewer can change the meaning of the text entirely, or introduce errors if they are rushed or their written skills in that language are inadequate.
There’s a delicate balance that must be struck between the translator’s knowledge of their language, and the client reviewer’s knowledge of their company and products. So who is the best choice as a reviewer? (more…)
This month in Yorkshire’s Insider magazine, Daniel Rajkumar, managing director of Web-Translations answered readers’ questions about web translation and emails, and setting up internationally usable websites.
Q: I have set up a new arm of my company in France as a base for drawing in business from across Europe. As I am looking at a lot of different countries do I need translation of the whole of my website or blog into all the possible European languages? Won’t English do?
A: “If you are serious about drawing business in from Europe you will have to have the website or blog professionally translated for the main language of each country you are targeting. People use the web for research and they search in their native language, so if your website is not multilingual, it will simply not be found.
Trade figures have recently shown an improvement in business exports – partly due to the weakened value of our currency. According to research, companies which trade internationally are more likely to stay in business longer and are usually more profitable than those which choose to concentrate only on domestic sales.
Exporting is a great way to expand your business – those who trade internationally grow faster and fail less often than companies that don’t, and the current weak curerncy makes our prices much more competitive, so there’s no time like the present.
Machinery, engineering products and consultancy, vehicles, aircraft, plastics, crude oil, chemicals, plastic and rubber, metals, foodstuffs, beverages, textiles & clothing are all in demand throughout the Eurozone, and a little effort in approaching a potential client in their own language can go a long way. Even something as small as localising key pages of your website for a foreign market show that you are interested in foreign customers, and are a forward-thinking company.
The main exports to China are electrical/mechanical equipment, precision instruments (medical, optical, photo, technical), plastics, iron & steel, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, and Automotive , Biotechnology & pharmaceuticals, Construction, Engineering, Financial services & ICT are all industries which have experienced growth there. As for India, there is a similar focus on engineering, sciences and technology, but in fact opportunities exist there for most sectors.
Emerging markets have been identified in Poland, Vietnam, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Singapore, and Argentina. Opportunities exist in various sectors in these countries, notably design, consultancy and engineering – the sectors that are most commonly successful for overseas trade.
Brazil and Russia will also continue to be key areas for companies trading internationally.
Max Planck Institute Science journal mistakenly uses flyer for Macau brothel to illustrate report on China…
The respected research institute wanted beautiful and elegant Chinese classical texts to adorn its journal, which included a special report on China. Little did they know that the text they had chosen was from a saucy flyer promoting strippers and other features of a brothel!
To Western eyes, Chinese characters look dramatic and beautiful, and have a powerful visual impact, but be careful that you know what they say before you print or publish whatever you are using them for!
Further to my inaugural post on this blog, a colleague, Marianna, has decided to flesh out some of the details, and they go like this…
“Preparing a document for translation may be, sometimes, a tricky and potentially overwhelming job, depending on how important the project is, and how vital, say, specific terminology or marketing flair is to this particular translation. We realize that you may need a little guidance from a professional translation company, as our mission is to make translation as hassle free as possible for everyone, leaving you to concentrate on your main business affairs.
Bien sur, this is not an exhaustive list. So, if you want to send us any of your own tips, leave a comment here or email us.
Now, that may seem like a bizarre post title – I mean, how hard can it be…’make this text Spanish, would you?’ – but there will hopefully be things to learn for everyone in this article, be you a translation purchasing virgin, or a seasoned pro’. The aim here is to help you to help us which, in turn, will hopefully result in more satisfying project outcomes for you. Let’s begin…
Firstly, let me outline to you what we at Web-Translations consider to be quality. We understand that you only want to pay for what is of use to you, and that’s it; nothing else in our world constitutes quality.