How to sell the benefits of yourself as a human translator

How to sell the benefits of yourself as a human translator

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:

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Would your SMS be over the limit?

Ever contemplated a multilingual marketing campaign that uses SMS messaging to contact your customers? Or simply wanted to practise a bit of French with your latest foreign speaking acquaintance? Then you may want to have a serious think about size. Because when it comes to texting, it really does matter.

As English speakers, we are lucky enough to be given a grand total of 160 characters per text message. These days, our mobile providers generally allow us to exceed these limits and will concatenate multiple messages into one long message, billing us for the equivalent number of messages. UK mobile networks use GSM encoding, which supports a character set consisting of the Latin alphabet, numbers, many other symbols, and some support for non-English accented characters. ‘Extended’ GSM character sets are also provided in some countries and offer additional characters, but this can vary depending on the mobile provider and handset. Often, using these characters will also subtract more than one character from your precious 160 character allowance. In fact, even using your favourite smiley or salsa dancing emoji will instantly convert your message to Unicode and reduce your character limit to 70. And if you send a special character to someone with an incompatible handset, which is tricky to know beforehand, it may simply appear as a ☐. (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…)

Italian, Japanese, Icelandic – and HTML?

In my home state of New Mexico, a state senator has introduced a bill which would permit computer programming to be considered as a foreign language in state schools. Candelaria’s bill would allow programming languages, such as JavaScript and HTML, to satisfy the Public Education Department’s foreign language requirements. The bill would not mandate that the programming languages be taught, and each school district could continue to decide which foreign language classes to provide.

Currently, high school students must complete at least 1 year of a foreign language. Senator Jacob Candelaria said Monday that the bill could help students to develop an important and potentially lucrative skill.

It seems that New Mexico is not alone – in Kentucky’s state legislature there is a similar measure pending. The US government is one step ahead, with legislation pending that would provide schools with incentives to teach programming languages to students from the age of 5 years old.

Marty Esquivel, the School Board President in Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, is not in favour of the bill, as he feels learning a traditional foreign language is more important, and doubts whether universities will accept “HTML language” as am alternative to their standard foreign language entrance requirements.

Understanding the basics of HTML and the internet is certainly important for today’s students, however should it really supplant actual foreign languages like Spanish and French? I completely agree that HTML is like any other language in that there are rules to follow, and the “words” have to fit together a certain way, so learning code will help students to develop the same cognitive skills as learning Spanish – but learning to communicate with people from other cultures is also vital for today’s students. I would advocate keeping the traditional foreign language requirement, as well as introducing an IT literacy course, which would teach the basics of HTML as well as understanding more about the structure of the internet and the pages we see.

Further information is available from the Albuquerque Journal‘s website.

In the UK, plans to teach computer code to primary and secondary students have developed further. From September of this year, it will be mandatory for all students aged between 5 and 16 to learn programming skills. Find out more about this on the Telegraph website.

Join the Crowd – is crowdsourced translation the future of multilingual online content?

I first stumbled across the concept of crowdsourcing a few years ago, when a small globe symbol appeared in the bottom right hand corner of my Facebook profile. Intrigued, I followed the link to Facebook Translate, an application that enables any user to contribute their own translations of the ever-expanding site content. In an impressive feat of translation ‘by the crowd’, Facebook was translated into French in a 24 hour period by a group of 4000 volunteers in 2008. But what implications does this open call principle have for the translation industry? (more…)

Twitter: the new alternative to email?

Web-Translations offers an email relay translation service, but perhaps what we need is a tweet relay translation service… It seems that nowadays the fastest way to get a reply to a query or complaint is to tweet a company instead of emailing them!

We have just arranged our 10-year anniversary festivities for next month, and instead of emailing venues for information, we tweeted them! And yes, we did get quick replies.

It seems that we are not unique in using Twitter to contact businesses. The BBC’s “The One Show” set up an experiment to test whether people got a faster reply to a complaint via Twitter than via email, and the results were very clear that Twitter is the way to get a quick reply. Social media forces companies to reply quickly, as otherwise they may be perceived as uncommunicative and uncaring.

Proudly working with memoQ software

memoqAfter many years of working exclusively with SDL’s Trados software, in January we purchased memoQ, a new type of translation software. The purchase was primarily to aid the provision of a new site for Party Delights, a UK e-tailer selling party products. With nearly a million words to translate to French, we needed software that could handle such a large word count. memoQ quickly handled large Excel files that Trados often took over a day to analyse, making it much more suitable for the project. It also correctly handled the .resx files we needed to translate.

memoQ was also selected for this particular project because of how it aids our QA processes. With 13 translators each working on multiple files, we needed to be able to review multiple files at once in order to ensure consistency. With memoQ, we could open all of the files for a particular product type, checking for consistency and running various functions across large amounts of text in disparate files. The user interface improves the QA process, with many features which help Project Managers to ensure consistent and accurate translations.

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Adios free Google Keyword Tool – we will miss you

keywordtool This month, Google has announced it has plans to axe its free external Keyword Tool. A yellow box at the top of the Keyword Tool page warns, “In the coming months, the external Keyword Tool will no longer be available. To get keyword ideas, sign in to your AdWords account and try Keyword Planner.” Essentially, an AdWords account will need to be created before accessing keyword statistics, presumably so that Google will be better able to track people’s research, since it can no longer be done anonymously.

While it is entirely possible to create an AdWords account and not actually create any ads, solely to access keyword insight, it just adds another step and another password to remember! The external Keyword Tool and Keyword Planner don’t work in exactly the same way, but both provide data about keyword searches on Google.

In addition to supplying data for pay-per-click campaigns, keyword statistics are invaluable for optimising existing websites. The change won’t really impact us here at Web-Translations – we will simply log into our account – but it does make the information less accessible. Interesting, as Google’s mission statement reads “Google’s mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”<!–:–

New Google Image Results

Google has updated the way in which its Image Search Results are displayed, by introducing user-friendly preview boxes on the results page as a replacement for the classic sidebar and iFrame format. It’s sleek, and it works seamlessly – but is it fair?

Google has a perhaps-unfair reputation for being cavalier with the impact of its updates on webmasters. This most recent development looks, at first glance, to be a very minor change in visual style – but there’s a chance it could have a more profound effect on the way image searching is carried out and, potentially, on the traffic many sites see from image results.

What the new look essentially does is to move all of the browsing functionality to the search engine’s pages. Whether this contravenes fair use is a matter for debate: the US legal case Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation (2003) established a search engine’s right to make thumbnails, but Google’s latest endeavour may just differ from that example by providing much higher-resolution images than mere thumbnails. Even if fair use applies in the strict sense, though, the truth is that webmasters are going to have to deal with a whole new set of challenges surrounding the new layout.

Google’s official line is that they have tested the design and found it to increase traffic to the domains the images are hosted on. Associate product manager Hongyi Li says that, “This means that there are now four clickable targets to the source page instead of just two.” This is certainly the case, but in the instance of search engines, we know from the value of meta descriptions that the quality and contextualisation of a link can be of huge importance. What this new design does is essentially removes the website from the decision-making process; there may be more buttons to click through, but there’s no way to sell the click-through to a potential reader or user, except for the image.

In this sense, it may be that Google’s new Image Search Results is actually a step backwards, removing the connection between images, the pages on which they reside, and the domains on which they are hosted. Granted, people do use Google Image Search for the pure act of finding a picture – it’s worth noting you can now save a high-res image straight from the search engine – but many more use it less directly, as a tool for finding information and browsing opportunities.

The blogosphere is awash with claims by webmasters that their search traffic has dropped off since the implementation of the new features, in contrast to Google’s much-repeated argument that it has been proven to work. Whatever the final verdict, Google have again proven their capacity to change the worth of whole segments of web content in a fairly innocuous update. A picture’s worth a thousand words – give or take 5%.

2012: A Year of New International Horizons

 To commemorate the incredible year of 2012, Web-Translations are offering 10% off website localisation packages until the end of January.

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.
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Makeshift translation service allows blind to read braille "with their eyes"

NewScientist reports that a new retinal prosthesis implant innovated by Californian accessibility manufacturers Second Sight allows people with no vision to read words as braille signals on their retina, thereby offering translation capability for important signage and instructions.

 

The implant, which is a modification of the Argus II, uses text recognition software to transmit signals back through nerves to the eye and display a 10×6 (or, for braille letters, 3×2) grid of signals.

 

Impressive stuff. Patrick Degenaar, of Newcastle University, though, thinks that the research is heading somewhat in the wrong direction. “Why not use [the text recognition] to provide auditory feedback rather than Braille?” he asks.

 

Source

Microsoft’s Speech Translation is still all talk

At an event in China last month, Microsoft’s Rick Rashid unveiled a piece of technology that will likely attract a considerable amount of hype. In front of the company’s Asian 21st Century Computing gathering, the Chief Research Officer showed off speech recognition and automated spoken translation technology, his words being accurately transposed into Mandarin with his vocal tone synthetically carried through to the translated version. From the reaction of observers, the demonstration appeared a success, and the technology raises interesting questions about the possibilities, and the limitations, of automated translations.

 

Much has been made of the voice recognition and emulation side of Rashid’s translation, which is at best an optional enhancement, and in some cases would appear as undesirable excess. It’s exciting, for sure, that a computer can imitate a person’s vocal habits – but it’s not earth-shattering. On the other hand, the suggestion from some quarters that we are now capable, to some degree, of replacing interpretors with computers, is one worthy of serious intrigue.

 

The question we need to ask, though, is how this would ever be possible. You might pin me as naïve, and you’d be half-right, but language factually entails more than a series of algorithms. Consider the relationship between semantics and pragmatics; one concerns itself with somewhat strict meanings and definitions, while the other is wrapped up in the implicit nature of what we say, how we really use language. Which of these is more important? You could certainly argue that each requires the other to act as a balance, but it’s absolutely clear that the way we communicate has more about it than mere dictionary definitions and the frequency of a word in proximity to another.

 

It is common for us to assume that we can build machines capable of anything and everything, but the simple fact is that most of language is conducted on a very human level, in our instinct and the traits we share. For us to understand one another, we need to have a good idea of unspoken context, of the intricacies of a conversation, and of the peculiarity of much of our language. If a computer can do this at all, it cannot do it well. It cannot purposefully soften a verb to keep a diplomatic meeting from boiling over and it cannot understand the in-joke and explain it to a new audience. Those things exist in a different ball park to what we’re currently excited about; the art of professional translation is still as essential as ever.

Rapid growth in Turkish eCommerce

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.

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WordPress Translation now easy with livetranslation.com

WordPress (WP) has evolved a long way from the journalist-loving blogging platform it once was to becoming a powerful CMS of choice for many SME’s. What it lacks in out-of-the-box functionality is compensated for with the vast selection of user-contributed plugins, which evolve practically at the pace of the web itself.

Matt Mullenweg (all hail) & the team beautifully balance the division between core functionality and community contributed functional extension, making it elegantly simple to learn. Making a platform so usable means that marketers can use it in as much anger as the journo’ types.

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Siri for the Apple iPhone 4S – Talking out of a Japanese butt?

The launch of Siri, the “Intelligent Personal Assistant” for the iPhone 4S, has been greeted with all the hype you’d expect from Apple’s latest development. What is more surprising is the faux pas that Apple has managed to commit in naming this new app.

“Siri” sounds similar to the Japanese word for buttocks (“shiri”), perhaps this helps to explain some of the ‘attitude’ that comes from it…

What’s more, it has come to our attention that Siri also means “penis” in Georgian! While this may not be one of the countries Apple intends to target with this new app, it’s quite an oversight to make.

What is incredible is that a multi-national corporation like Apple, established in over 90 countries worldwide, and that spends billions of dollars in product development every year, chose to cut corners on something so important as international branding. It’s a shame no-one offers a service to check brand names for their suitability in an international market…oh, wait a minute….

Siri is currently available in 14 languages, including Japanese – let’s hope they didn’t use the same provider for the app localisation as they did for the brand name!

On a serious note, this episode just goes to show that even the most experienced corporates don’t always get it right. Learn from Apple’s embarassing lesson and research your brand names before you launch your company or product internationally – Apple have built a reputation that allows them to call their products names that may sound silly at first, but in the long run they tend to get away with it (remember the comparisons that were made between the iPad and feminine hygiene products?). Unfortunately, most companies are not so lucky.

If you need help with your international online product launch, or iPhone app, please contact us: sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk, T: +44 (0) 113 8150460.

Translation memory demystified

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:

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Crowdsourcing and machine translation: the start of a beautiful friendship

Machine-aided translation is one of those things people love to hate. Despite the best efforts of enthusiasts like myself, the majority of computer users still believe that machines are useless translators.

The whole area of machine translation has a terrible image problem. There are endless jokes and “true” stories about computer translation failures. Some of these are very funny (like the machine that apparently translated the English saying “out of sight, out of mind” into “invisible idiot” in Russian). However with a little crowdsourcing help, I suspect the machines may have the last laugh. (more…)

Google to introduce new Instant Pages feature

We regularly use the term “to google”, using it as a verb to replace “to search for online” and the vast majority of people understand what it means. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will use the search engine Google, we may use another – Bing or Yahoo for example. In fact, according to a BBC article, “Bing’s US searches rose to 14 percent in May from 12 percent at the end of 2010”. However, despite the competition, as reported in an article published in 2007, a study found that on average 90 million unique visitors use Google each day. (more…)

Pirates don’t always speak the same language…

Piracy is a worldwide concern, yet interestingly; there is no true universal meaning of “copyrighted material.” Each country has its own separate laws to protect or release media and software to the public. Many countries have strict laws against piracy that provide artists and developers with the legal ability to prosecute those who pirate their material. However not all governments have incentive to protect copyrighted materials, which can cause problems for the country itself and for those with stricter regulations. Thus, while you don’t need a criminal justice degree to understand them, exploring some of the measures being taken to prevent international piracy requires a brief explanation of the difficulties in dealing with unequal copyright laws.

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Gateway to trade in the Middle East: an interview with our Turkish partner

Daniel Rajkumar of Web-Translations and Altug Inci of The Related Group discuss their partnership, the latest innovations in technology, and the international trade opportunities available in Turkey.

The Related Group is a digital marketing company based in Turkey aimed at businesses who need to apply technology in the most up-to-date and innovative ways.

The company is composed of several brands:

euro.message, the flagship brand, primarily offers a comprehensive email and mobile marketing system; Made by Cats, a digital agency specialising in website projects for blue-chip and corporate clients; Brandmail provides database marketing services; The Related also represents Omniture analytics and optimisation services in Turkey.

Web-Translations has partnered with The Related Group to offer an extended portfolio of services to all our clients.

For more information on multilingual email marketing campaigns and managing international digital marketing, please email sales[at]web-translations.co.uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.

Google discontinues its Translation API

Google recently took the decision to retire its widely adopted API, stating “substantial economic burden caused by extensive abuse” as the reason.

The API has been “officially deprecated” since the 26th of May, and will cease to exist completely this December the 1st.

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Advantages of local hosting for multilingual sites

A few customers have recently asked me if they should host their multilingual sites locally for the market they are targeting, while others with locally hosted sites have asked me about the implications of moving to the cloud.

Reading between the lines, the premise of such questions tends to centre around SEO and so my post is somewhat more marketing-oriented than IT. All comments are welcome.

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Vote for our blog! 2011 "Language Lovers" voting opens

Our blog has once again been nominated as one of the Top 100 language blogs – renamed this year as the “Top 100 Language Lovers” – in the Language Professionals category.

We are honoured to be part of this list for the 3rd year running – if you like reading our blog, please vote using the button below, or use this link.

Thanks for your support, we’ll let you know the results!

Vote the Top 100 Language Professionals Blogs 2011

Web-Translations seminar voted best in category at OpenCms Days 2011

The seminar presentation given by Daniel Rajkumar last Monday at OpenCms Days was voted best in its showcase by delegates attending the event, which took place over 2 days in Köln.

Daniel’s presentation, entitled “Implementing OpenCms for eCommerce sites – South African Airways” gained 43% of the vote for best session in its showcase – see the full survey results here. At such a technically-focused event, this is a real accolade, and will encourage Web-Translations to take part in other similar events around the world.

For more info on events we are attending and/or speaking at, please sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Twitter.

New Translation App Released

A new app has recently been released called “Babelshot (photo translator)”. The clue is in the name – it is indeed an app that will translate the text that appears in a photo taken with your camera phone or that is manually typed into the app.

The app provides translation in 56 languages, from Afrikaans to Welsh to Korean to Slovak, so there aren’t too many countries in which you would be left stranded without help. Photos that the app can translate can vary from signs, to menus, to newspaper articles, and can be particularly useful when travelling abroad in a country where you don’t speak the language. In some cases, it may be vital that a sign can be understood: “no swimming”, “No entry” or the slightly more extreme “Do not enter, danger of death” are quite important!

This new app allows you to take a photo of a portion of text, send it using the app, and receive the translation. The only necessity, other than a desire to know what something means, is a connection to the internet.

The app uses Google Translate in order to provide an instantaneous response. Ah, Google Translate… once again, we return to the topic of machine translation and its reliability. Whilst a translation app for phones is no doubt a fantastic idea, given that you can easily carry your mobile with you wherever you go (and a lot of people already do), and they are, generally speaking, a lot smaller and lighter than a dictionary, can you rely on the translation you’re given?

At the time of writing, there are three users who are not enamoured with the new app: the first three reviews on the Babelshot app page on the Apple website are less than complementary. Reviewr100, for example, had problems using the app when taking a photo of white text on a dark background. A developer promised to fix the issue. However, the user had no more success with black text on a clean white page. Their final comment? “I guess this app may work if you only use it under pristine laboratory conditions and not in the real world.” Another reviewer was compelled to write a comment, despite never usually doing so, and comments that it just doesn’t work, plain and simple. The third review, I must admit, is my favourite. Rearend’s comment, with a title of “Horrible”, simply states: “Doesn’t work-waste of $-junk”.

Obviously being able to translate foreign texts, in whatever form, quickly and easily can be very useful when abroad. I have never used this app, and would be interested to hear any reviews, positive or negative, from those who have – is the Apple site‘s description correct? According to them: “Take a photo of a text, a sign, a book, a newspaper… and Photo Translate will recognize the text and translate it automatically to the language of your choice”? Or is it, as Rearend comments, a waste of money?

Wéb-Tränslatiôns partners with euro.message in Turkey

Web-Translations is pleased to announce its partnership with Istanbul-based e-marketing company euro.message.

euro.message is one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies, and the largest e-marketing service provider in Turkey. (more…)

Here Comes the Bride…

The greatly anticipated event is almost upon us… with so much hype surrounding the big event, we couldn’t not comment on it! Very soon, Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot in front of nearly 2,000 guests at Westminster Abbey, and what promises to be a vast number of people via television and internet. With so many people wanting to be involved, from all over the world, multilingual communication is in high demand. The monarchy has long been an extremely popular tourist attraction for foreign visitors, and there are a huge number of non-English speakers who want to be able to watch and understand the wedding of the year. (more…)

Meet our Multilingual SEM Project Manager: Ronak Thakkar

Here’s another instalment of our Meet the Team series..and what better day to introduce you all to Ronak than on his birthday! Many Happy Returns…

Ronak joined Web-Translations in June 2010, after completing an MBA at Cardiff University. Originally from Ahmedabad in the Gujarat region of India, he spent several years working as a software engineer before specialising in online marketing.

Ronak is part of the production team, and is responsible for the final stage of our website localisation projects. When we translate a website, it’s important that we optimise and promote it so that our clients gain traffic from non-English markets. This involves a range of tactics, including search engine optimisation, paid advertising, and link building. Ronak’s keen ability for learning is really important, as Search Engine Marketing is a field that is constantly changing.

Impressively, Ronak also recently gained his Google Adwords Professional accreditation, the results of months of hard work.

When not hard at work making websites perform for our clients, Ronak enjoys bowling, watching films and eating out.

Web-Translations offers Google AdWords Certified Professional Services

We are pleased to announce that our Search Engine Marketing Manager, Ronak Thakkar, has been awarded Google Adwords Certified Professional status.

Adwords certification is a globally recognized stamp of approval which showcases knowledge of the latest AdWords tools, best practice techniques, and demonstrates the ability to effectively manage pay-per-click campaigns. (more…)

Google to machine translate patents

Google has confirmed that it will machine translate patents into more than 29 languages, using the Google Translate interface.

On 30th November, an agreement was reached between Google and the European Patent Office (EPO), in order to facilitate the understanding of patents throughout the world.

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The best translation agency (part 2)

We at Web-Translations are experts in the language industry.

Regular readers of this blog may remember our proud announcement that we had become members of the Association of Translation Companies back in March of this year.

We’ve also won an impressive collection of prestigious awards, right from the beginning of the company… (more…)

The world’s first multilingual social network: XIHA

Yet another social network – so what’s special about this one?

Finnish-created XIHA is the world’s first multilingual social network. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do offer content in different languages, but this is supported through a monolingual implementation – you have to choose one language for the user interface, and would mostly update your status & post comments, etc in that language. Multilingual people are therefore not easily able to fully express themselves, as to choose one language might alienate friends and followers who do not understand it.

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Is machine translation making a comeback?

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…)

Web-Translations is proud to showcase its new portfolio of work

 

 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!

How to localise a content-managed site – Case Study

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.

Quiet PC gains European web visitors for only 2p

“The results of localizing 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!
Web-Translations definitely go the extra mile – we’ll be working with them again to expand the multilingual sites.”

Glenn Garrett, Partner – Quiet PC

New Windows 7 fonts give more scope to non-Roman languages

Windows 7 includes over 40 new fonts which expand the script and language support the system can offer. Far from simply being a means of displaying text, different fonts can change the way we read text, and even how we feel about what we are reading.

As well as allowing much more versatility for people using languages already supported by Windows, such as Japanese, Arabic, Hindi, Tamil and other Indic languages, the new fonts also expand the flexibility of the system for languages such as Khmer, Vai (a Mande language of Liberia) and Lao, giving users more options for those languages.

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Click4translation Beta testing – we need you!

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: click4translation@web-translations.co.uk

Could the ‘Tele Scouter’ revolutionise the world of translation?

The ‘Tele Scouter’, a recent invention from NEC due to launch in 2010, is a pair of glasses attached to a headset and mouthpiece, with a small projector that can transmit messages onto the retina of the user. It is intended for use in a customer service environment, allowing employees access to information regarding the client they are talking to.

Once the product is launched, NEC are intending to introduce a further function for the glasses, allowing instantaneous translation. During a multilingual conversation, both voices will be picked up, the dialogue translated, and sent back to the headset and projector. The messages will be shown in the user’s peripheral vision, allowing them to maintain eye contact with the person with whom they are having a conversation.
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Mobile Fun receive a consistently high level of service from Web-Translations

“Mobile Fun was looking for a long term relationship with a credible, capable and committed translation partner. Web-Translations has met this requirement by providing a consistently high quality of service and superb account management. We are confident that WT will meet our growing needs as we develop our offering further in existing and new territories.”

Simon Joseph, Head of Sales & Marketing – Mobile Fun

Web-Translations partners with Chapter Eight

Web-Translations are pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership with Leeds based development company Chapter Eight. Chapter Eight specialise in web development, Search Engine optimization, web design and online promotion for clients working in a wide range of business areas.

With Chapter Eight’s latest Content Management technology development and Web-Translations’ language expertise the companies are working together to offer customers greater control of their language asset with the multilingual content management system which is now in place. The partnership enables both companies to offer extra services to clients who are targeting non-English speaking customers and who wish to embrace the global marketplace a multilingual website can access.

The combination of the technical expertise of Chapter Eight with the translation and international e business strategy provided by Web-Translations ensures business and communication can take place swiftly and efficiently with customers no matter what their native language is. For further information please contact Cassandra Oliver at co@web-translations.co.uk or 0113 8150460

Web-Translations forms strategic partnership with Bloom Media

Web-Translations are pleased to announce the establishment of a new partnership with Leeds based web development and design company, Bloom Media.

Bloom specialise in web development, Search Engine optimization, web design and online promotion for clients working in a wide range of business areas. Successful application of Search Engine optimization and promotion gets their clients to the top of UK search engines, but for international search engines, Bloom Media calls on Web-Translations to employ their freelance translator teams and ensure clients make headway in international markets.

The partnership enables both companies to offer extra services to clients who are looking to embrace the global marketplace across the internet through the use of multiple language website as a cost effective international development sales plan.

The combination of the technical and design expertise of Bloom Media, the search engine optimization and internet marketing expertise of Jump Higher with the translation and implementation services of Web Translations enable UK companies to set up virtual offices across the globe! With email translations, online promotion and search engine identification available clients will be able to succeed in an increasingly global marketplace addressing potential non-English speaking customers in their own language and increasing business opportunities for sales in foreign markets.

Web-Translations become localisation company for Polar Instruments

Web-Translations are pleased to announce that they are now working with Guernsey based company Polar Instruments, producers of testing equipment for printed circuit boards.

With an existing customer base in Asia, Polar Instruments wanted to improve their existing Asian websites in line with their English site, in order to keep Asian Pacific customers up to date with product developments from a constantly changing product base. With a customer base, and customer support available in 7 local languages, their website is a key marketing and sales tool, and Web-Translations are extremely happy to be working with Polar Instruments on the translation and search engine submission of their website to international search engines.

As well as website localization Web-Translations are working with Polar Instruments to localize software applications used by the company and its clients across the Asia Pacific region. Downloads of programs used by both Polar Instruments and its clients will soon be available in Asian languages.

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