Using a blog to attract international customers

Using a blog to attract international customers

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

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

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How to Avoid a Branding Blunder

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

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

Will 2015 be the Year of Instant Translation?

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

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

International SEO: Is server location important?

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

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

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Is blogging really journalism?

(Yes. Obviously.)

The evolution of content dynamics online has left traditional news organizations needing to adapt in how they model their business and their readership. It’s fair to say there’s still considerable disagreement as to the best new strategy. Sites like Times Online, for instance, have built a paywall, and rely on the quality of their content, the strength of their offline brand, and exclusive benefits to entice readers. MailOnline, the website of the Daily Mail, is by this point the most-read English-language news site in the world, and its model is decidedly different: its content is free, its advertisers are many, and large swathes of the site toe a very fine line between gossip magazine content and newspaper articles.

All of this has meant that the definition of news has been obscured and appropriated. What twenty years ago would never have passed as news, is now part and parcel of the game. Whether the energy behind this clickbait model will last forever is an entirely different question, but the line between serious, po-faced journalism and casual, light-hearted blogging has never been thinner, if by this point it’s even visible at all.

What’s more interesting and perhaps more telling is the editorializing of news, whereby a constant flurry of opinion pieces and columns allow newspapers to stoke controversial fires and weigh in from one or various new angles on a subject that might by that point be drifting from the plane of public consciousness.

With these new content lines, we’ve seen an increasing number of bloggers taking up the mantle of “real journalism”, with investigative acumen and in-depth analysis migrating from the domain of Fleet Street to, well, the rest of the world. There’s more space in readers’ understanding of content now for them to trust other channels of information; the authority of a wide circulation has diminished, and the availability of information means that referencing and sourcing ideas and data is easier than ever.

All of this has resulted in an undercurrent of “not proper” proper journalism which is occasionally dipped into by major publications. That includes curated blogs which are thought leaders in their industry, the personal blogs of experts, and a million different forms in between. Sure, there are still angry blogs that belong to teenagers in their bedrooms, but they’re few and far between. Blogging has grown up, and is a respected and valuable arena. And I’m not just saying that because this is a blog.

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.

Translation and User Experience

When it comes to websites, translation isn’t just about providing information. It’s also – crucially – about user experience.

The web is basically a roadworks team. In the last 20 years, potholed beaten tracks have been renovated into information ultra-highways, smoother and speedier than most people even appreciate. We zip ideas along these tailor-made arteries and they come back at us just as quickly; standing on the central reservation is a fairly dizzying experience. (more…)

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…)

Smart strategies for online growth

With online retail predicted to grow steadily in the near future, UK eTailers should take advantage of the opportunity to go global.

Forecast online retail growth rates for 2013-2017, as determined by a Nielson/PayPal study this year:

fr 12%   France fr14%   Australia
fr21%   Brazil de13%   Germany
us10%   US it18%   Italy
es19%  Spain ru18%   Russia
gb10%   UK cn20%   China

There are 4 main primary strategies for entering the global eCommerce marketplace:

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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.

Ultrapreneurial inspiration…now in French, German, Spanish and Italian

Web-Translations is proud to announce that our collaboration with Julian Hall, entrepreneur and digital media expert, has gone global!

Julian’s book “Entrepreneur to Ultrapreneur – 100 Ways To Up Your Game” is an Amazon “Best Seller on Kindle” and contains 100 inspirational, original sayings for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.

The translation was funded through rebuildingsociety.com, a peer-to-peer lending platform which allows individuals to invest in business loans.

Web-Translations helped to create Spanish, French, Italian and German editions of the book, providing translations and typesetting to create print-ready files. Kindle versions are now available from Amazon, and paperbacks will be available later this week.

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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%.

Chinese web localisation could transform your 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.

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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Getting Fit for the Olympics – Going for Gold

For hotel and tourism businesses, the 2012 Olympics represent a great sales opportunity. Visitors from all over the world will need places to stay, and things to do when they’re not busy at the sporting events.

In last place…

However, with 87% of hospitality businesses saying they have not taken any steps to prepare their business, and a further 63% claiming they do not intend to take any steps nearer the time, are we really ready for the onslaught? Why are businesses not seizing this opportunity to maximise their slice of the action? Why sit back and wait to see what happens, when this could be the opportunity of a lifetime?

As Visit London’s chief executive, Sally Chatterjee, says: “London is the world’s most visited destination by foreign travellers, and one of the most accessible cities in the world.”

It’s estimated that 350,000 foreign visitors will come to London each day during 2012, with around 5.5 million “day visitors” in total between the end of July and mid-August.

If these predicted visitor numbers prove to be accurate, then the UK’s tourism and hospitality sector is woefully unprepared for the influx of foreign tourists who will arrive this year.

Emerging markets such as China, India and Brazil have been identified as key targets, and have therefore been the focus of the international Olympic marketing campaign.

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Visit Web-Translations at Internet Retailing Expo next week

Web-Translations will once again be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) at the Birmingham NEC next week, on 21st & 22nd March.

Now in its second year, IRX brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help multichannel online retailers grow and succeed.

IRX is designed to show etailers the next steps in building their business now that the web has matured, and includes a jam-packed workshop and multiple-track conference programme. With around 5,000 visitors expected over the two-day event, it will no doubt be a great source of new opportunities for exhibitors and delegates alike.
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3-Steps to a successful multilingual website

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:

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French domains (.fr) to become available to EU businesses

As of the 6th December, AFNIC – (manager of the registry of .fr domain names) will lift restrictions on the availability of the .fr domain (among others) to European businesses.

If you don’t already have a French website for putting this domain to use, there has never been a better time…

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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.

Domain names are going global

Until last year, domain names could only be created using Latin characters a-z and numbers 1-9. This excluded accented characters and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Korean. In 2010, the use of non-Latin scripts in domain names was enabled, limited at first to the use of the country’s name in the official language.

Just how important is it to have domain names in various languages? We have previously discussed the importance of translating a website (obviously something we believe in!) in order to reach a wider audience, and surely domain names are an extension of that. Do Arabic speakers trust sites with domain names ending in .com or .co.uk? According to recent reports by the BBC, whilst some argue that domain names are becoming less important, given the ever-increasing popularity of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, others believe a good domain name is a sign of the importance and standing of a website. If potential visitors are discouraged from visiting a site that is only available in another language, surely the same applies to domain names? (more…)

US Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google

Following on from our recent post discussing Google’s popularity, concerns have recently been raised about just how Google maintains such a high number of users, and the legitimacy of their methods.  At the end of last month, the US Federal Trade Commission notified Google that they would be conducting a “wide-range investigation”. (more…)

1 Billion People Use Google in 1 Month

Recent reports have stated that in the month of May, Google sites, including its search engine, Gmail and Youtube (which it acquired back in 2006), had 1 billion unique visitors in total.  Having previously discussed the competition each search engine site faces to be the most popular and most-used, the figures distributed by ComScore, a company that compiles web data, show just how popular Google is. (more…)

Case Study: Crystal Bridal Accessories

New German site launched!

Kristal Brautaccessories

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…)

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…)

How important is it to translate a website?

In a recent poll, 90% of internet users in Europe would visit a site in their own language when given the choice. Meanwhile, 53% would still use a site if it was in English rather than their native language. However, despite this relatively high figure, these users would not necessarily be happy about the lack of information available in their own language, with 44% of respondents stating that they felt they did not necessarily receive all the facts when the website was only available in another language. (more…)

Translation and Tourism: getting multilingual ready for 2012

Looking at facts and figures relating to tourism in the United Kingdom can give us an insight into why people visit the country, what they look forward to the most, and why they would return.  This is very important in the world of translation, in order to offer services to industries that would benefit the most from translating their websites, brochures and menus, to name but a few.

With the Olympics coming up next year, which will attract a huge number of multilingual tourists from all over the world, this is the perfect time to look at the statistics, and determine which areas of British culture are likely to attract visiting tourists.  Companies within these fields could potentially reap huge rewards from offering details of their services in the right languages so that foreign tourists can understand what is on offer, and make the most of their trip to the UK.  Not to mention that upon receiving a warm welcome, and being addressed in their own language, those tourists are more likely to think highly of our culture and country in general, and potentially more likely to recommend a visit, or even to return themselves. (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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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.

Proof that spelling does matter!

In response to a previous article, I think we can answer that yes, spelling does matter! A vast number of news sources have proclaimed the recent news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed, some with more success than others…

A headline on Fox News on May 1st read “Obama Bin Laden dead”. Whilst this may have been an honest typing mistake (despite the letters “s” and “b” appearing quite a distance from each other on a standard keyboard…), it has certainly raised questions among journalists, bloggers, tweeters, and the public throughout the world. As Shea Bennett commented on mediabistro.com, “it’s not as if they haven’t played around with the similarity (absurd as that connection is) between Osama Bin Laden and President Obama’s names before.”

Fox News were not alone in this error. Spanish newspaper El País claimed that “Obama Bin Laden ha muerto” and even the BBC stated “Obama dead” – an even more catastrophic error given that the rest of the name was not included in this headline!

So I think we can safely conclude that attention to detail, particularly in terms of spelling, is important. Whilst in some cases the context, image or rest of the sentence can reassure the reader that a mistake is a mistake, in other cases there are no such clues, and as a result, incorrect information is given. So take heed, and proofread!

International websites need at least 16 languages to be competitive online

A recent report by the Common Sense Advisory states that global companies need to have multilingual websites in order to compete on an international scale.

According to the report, an English-only site can be read by 23.2% of the global online population. Making it readable in simplified Chinese adds 22.3% and Spanish 9.0%. (more…)

Football proves popular with foreign tourists

According to research carried out last year by Visit Britain, “foreign tourists spend £2.3 billion a year watching and playing sport”.  Unsurprisingly, football is the main sporting attraction in Britain, with matches throughout the country attracting 1.2 million foreign visitors in 2008 (the most recent year with complete figures).  A percentage of these were from English-speaking countries: 267,000 were Irish, 95,000 were American and 55,000 Australian.  However, a large number of these spectators were from non-English speaking countries: 88,000 Germans, 86,000 Norwegians, 75,000 Spanish, 65,000 Italians, 52,000 Dutch, 46,000 French and 39,000 Swedes. (more…)

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…)

Live Translation – new file upload feature

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:

http://w-t.cm/LiveTrans

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…)

Web-Translations speaking at Internet World – 11th May

Register free online (a saving of £30) for Internet World (10-12 May, Earl’s Court – London) and come and hear about the success we’ve brought to South African Airways by localising their website.

Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting our case study of the South African Airways website localisation project at 15:00 on Wednesday 11th May in the Content Management Theatre.

We’ll also be on stand E3055, showcasing recent client success stories and demonstrating how localising your website can dramtically improve your bottom line.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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…)

The relevance of online translation

Love it or hate it, the internet is increasingly becoming an essential tool in everyday life. This rings especially true in the field of translation. (more…)

What makes WordReference.com so good?

Founded in 1999, www.wordreference.com is perhaps the internet’s leading online multilingual dictionary. It will be familiar to anyone who uses more than one language, from schoolchildren to professional translators. It offers dictionaries in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese, as well as Arabic, Japanese, German, Polish, Russian, Greek, Chinese and more. But what makes it so great? (more…)

The rise in non-English Internet communication

I studied International Business and Spanish at university. Why Spanish? Because I liked it, I wasn’t half bad at it and I thought it might come in handy somewhere down the line. Lucky for me, my chances of that happening are slightly raised because Spanish is the official language of 21 countries with around 400 million speakers worldwide, making it the third most widely spoken language across the globe after English and Chinese.

According to a study published last year, Spanish is the third language of international communication on the Internet.

Following my initial paragraph, that doesn’t sound out of place or surprising. However in reality, this third place position actually means that only 4% of Internet users communicate in Spanish, which corresponds to just 136 million users out of a total of 1750 million.

Obviously this figure now seems a lot lower than it should be when bearing in mind the high numbers of Spanish speakers internationally. So why the discrepancy? Many Latin American countries have low levels of access to technological developments and the study concluded by saying that if this were similar to that of English speakers then the presence of Spanish on the Internet would be around 16%. Improvements are being made though as Spanish did actually see a 1% rise.

English held the top spot in the study with 45% of Internet users’ communication and German came in at number 2 with 6%. French and Italian also figured in the top 5.

What’s really interesting to note is that English suffered a huge 29% fall, which has been attributed to the rise in the use of Chinese, Arabic and Russian on the Internet as these economies and markets develop.

So the importance of different languages on the Internet today is obvious – English can no longer be assumed to be the only language that matters, and catering for these differences will be a key issue in the success of businesses in the coming years as more and more non-English speaking users come online, and I for one, les doy la bienvenida.

Look to overseas markets for growth, says CEO of eCommerce success ASOS

It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (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 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…)

Making the case for Multilingual SEO

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…)

How International Blast works

This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.

International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.

Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (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!

Web-Translations voted top language blog for second year running

We did it again! Thanks to your eager voting, we were ranked in the Top 100 Language Blogs this year for the second year running!

See the full list

Thanks to all of you who voted for us, we really appreciate your support!

Top 100 Language Blogs 2010

Vote for our Blog!

For the second year running, the Web-Translations blog has been nominated as one of the Top 100 blogs in the Language Professionals category – we now need your help to make sure we get into the overall Top 100, which is split into 4 categories:

Language Professionals (this is us!)
Language Teaching
Language Learning
Language Technology

Voting is really quick & easy – simply follow this link, and then select the button next to wéb-tränslatiôns:

http://www.lexiophiles.com/language-blog-toplist/top-100-language-blogs-2010-vote-for-language-professionals

Voting closes on the 24th of May – Please forward this on to anyone else you think might help us out by voting.

Thanks! We’ll let you know the results as soon as we find out.

Are Chinese people forgetting how to write?

When foreigners learn Chinese, they often struggle getting to grips with writing the characters. There are around 50,000 characters in modern written Chinese, but in order to be considered literate, an adult needs to know only 3,000-4,000 (a 1,000-2,000 character vocabulary would allow you to comfortably read a Chinese newspaper).

However, more and more Chinese citizens feel they are losing the ability to write by hand, and many are signing up for exams to try and combat this.

The HSK (Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi – literally Mandarin level exam) test was originally aimed at foreigners learning Chinese, but was introduced for Chinese nationals in several cities and provinces in 2007. Because so many people use computers in their work and hardly ever pick up a pen, their written literacy skills are in decline – this is true all over the world, not just in China.

When typing Chinese characters rather than writing them by hand, a person types the sound of the character (a bit like spelling a word out) then the computer suggests possible characters for that sound from which they choose the appropriate one:

It’s a bit like multiple choice, whereas if you were writing the same word by hand, you would have to think of the character yourself.

The Shanghai Language Commission conducted a survey among university students, which found that while many know what the characters should look like, they are unable to handwrite them.

A very similar thing is happening with English usage online – setting aside the international variations in spelling, we are seeing more and more instances of incorrect spelling in all types of published text. People just aren’t sure how words should be written anymore, and the auto-correct spelling functions built in to computers can often send us down the wrong path.
Perhaps the future will see more relaxed rules around spelling – take this example which has been doing the rounds on email and social networking sites over the last couple of years:
Arocdnicg to rsceearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pcale. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit pobelrm. Tihs is buseace the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
Are grammar and spelling still as important as they once were? What is your first thought when you see a typo or spelling mistake? Is handwriting becoming a dying art?
Let us know what you think.

New Callback feature added to website

We’ve added a new feature to our website, so that you can ask us to call you back, just by completing a short form.

When you’re browsing our services and portfolio pages, you’ll see a “Please Call me” link at the bottom of the introductory paragraph:

Callback link - Services page

The link will take you to the following form – simply complete a few details about who you are, and give us a number to call you back on, along with your email address.

Callback form

One of our Sales team will call you back as soon as they are free.

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.

Web-Translations’ MD to speak at Internet World

Our MD, Daniel Rajkumar, will be speaking at this year’s Internet World!

His seminar – entitled: Global eMarketing: How to make your website an international selling tool will take place at 15:45 on Wednesday 28th April.

Daniel’s session will take delegates through the why, what & how of website localisation, and introduce the benefits of being multilingual, giving a step-by-step guide to the localisation process, illustrated by a client case study, then highlighting some important dos & don’ts before summarising how to make the most of your global potential.

To get a free pass into Internet World and catch Daniel’s talk, as well as saving yourself £20, register here: http://www.internetworld.co.uk/page.cfm/Action=PreReg/PreRegID=1/t=m

We look forward to seeing you there!

Web-Translations helps London Zoo welcome international web visitors

“We were unsure of the best way to present translations of key information on our website – we’d always used PDFs before.
The Wéb-Tränslatiôns team was very knowledgeable – I was impressed by the way they talked me through what was best for us and how their International Blast service could achieve this.”
Paul Hutton, Web Editor – ZSL (London Zoo)

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.

(more…)

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

Crowdsourced translation – Twitter jumps on the bandwagon

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?

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Internet changes likely to impact international Web businesses

A recent article in New Scientist reports on the imminent release of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from U.S. national control. ICANN is responsible for maintaining the various technical standards that make the Internet possible on a low level.

Under an Affirmation agreement with the U.S. department of commerce ICANN will not be coordinated by any specific government, allowing representatives from many countries to take part. The likely offshoot is that Internet standards will become more inclusive of Internet users outside America. For instance, the article reports that we might reasonably expect domain names to be available in Chinese and Arabic characters in little more than a year. They also report that current browsers cannot access domain names written in these scripts, which is quite right, but a reasonably small change I cannot see any major browser manufacturer delaying in releasing to their customers.

(more…)

International eMarketing seminar – November

International eMarketing 12th November, 13.00 – 17.00

The Source, Meadowhall, Sheffield (£35)

Learn about ebusiness strategies to promote your business in non-English markets using the Internet.

(more…)

Web-Translations wins prestigious blog award

The Web-Translations blog is part of The Daily Reviewer’s list of top 100 blogs!

The Daily Reviewer selects only the world’s top blogs, sifting through thousands of blogs daily to present the world’s best writers. The blogs that  feature on the Daily Reviewer website are authoritative on their respective niche topics and are widely read. To be included in the Top 100 blogs list is a mark of excellence – for the full list of linguistic blogs, click here.

We are very proud to be recognised in this list – it’s great to know that so many people out there read and value what we’re writing.

Keep reading, and remember: we welcome your comments!

Maximise exporting opportunities with a multilingual website

According to a recent EU report, 2 of the main obstacles faced by UK businesses who are exporting for the first time are language and cultural barriers, and how best to promote their websites using SEO and online advertising.

The first step in trading internationally is to localise your website. This way, you can gain enquiries and orders from overseas customers with only a small investment – with even just one or two pages translated into foreign languages you can use your website to “test the water” in a number of countries at once, and see which ones gain you the most web traffic.

By monitoring the visitors to your localised webpages, you can choose the countries which warrant extra investment and focus on marketing your product or service there.

(more…)

Online Purchases Increase Across Europe

As e-tailers prepare for another record Christmas period they should consider the changing trends in consumer confidence across Europe for new opportunities. Consumers are buying more frequently in every country in Europe, but as the pace of growth slows in the UK and competition stiffens, smart businesses will look to serve multilingual markets where consumerism grows faster and is less competitive.

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Web-Translations comes 10th in Language Professionals blogs

We did it! Thanks to your eager voting, we not only came in at no. 49 in the Top 100 Language Blogs overall this year, but also made it into the Top 10 Language Professionals blogs.

See the full list here: http://en.bab.la/news/top-100-language-blogs-2009.html

Thanks to everyone who voted for your support, and let’s look forward to climbing the chart even further next year!

.eu – how to reach 500 million with one domain

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.

Web-Translations – eBusiness award winners

We at Web-Translations are proud to announce that we won the Wakefield First eBusiness award last night – in recognition of our work in pioneering new technology in the field of language services.

Web-Translations has always sought to bring innovation to the language services industry by making services easy for clients to buy and use – for any type of business.

Managing Director Daniel said ” We are so proud to win this award – it gives us invaluable recognition of the hard work we’ve been putting in to our latest technologies. The team have done a great job.”

For more information about our email and blog translation services, or to arrange a demo, please contact us at sales@web-translations.co.uk or call +44 (0) 1924 360460.

Web-Translations provides Greek translation for Betsson’s PokerSchool website

“The Greek translations of our PokerSchool site you provided look great online. Thanks for your hard work on this project.”

Lorraine Pace, Group Content Editor – Betsson

International Selling Tool seminar – rescheduled for 8th July

Daniel Rajkumar will be presenting a seminar on 8th July, as part of a programme organised by Regional Language Network Yorkshire & Humber

Do you want to take your business to the world?

Do you want to learn the language of your customer?

Businesses proactive in their use of foreign languages achieve on average 45% more export sales.

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Web-Translations at European SME week

Web Translation was proud to be involved in the first ever European SME week in Brussels last week.

Here’s a video including Cassandra Oliver talking about multilingualism in Europe:

 
Cassandra was one of 5 people from SMEs across Europe invited to participate in a series of events as part of the first European SME week.  This included a round-table discussion on how important languages are to businesses in the EU, opportunities and obstacles created by a multilingual Europe, and what can be done to improve the way that small businesses handle such issues,web or blog translation.

The panel discussion in the video above was the culmination of the event, which also featured a gallery of successful EU entrepreneurs, and an art installation entitled “How it feels to be an entrepreneur“, created by Dieter Michael Grohmann- blog translation specialist.

Google Morocco hijacked

Google.co.ma, the Moroccon domain occupied by search engine giants Google, was temporarily whipped from within their control by a group of hackers on Saturday May 9th. It appears their only motive was to show it could be done, and bask in hacker glory at having had the skills to do it.

Pakistan hackers from pakbugs.com left their forum aliases on the google.co.ma homepage, along with a message congratulating themselves. The cyber coup lasted long enough for screenshots to be taken, but the site was relatively quickly re-assumed by Google, who are unsure how it happened.

It is alleged that hackers found a way into NIC.ma, which controls the DNS for the country, and specifically went after the Google domain which was, once taken over, pointed to a different server and left showing the hackers’ calling card. Moroccon users who tried to access their local Google were re-directed to Google.com until the embarrassing issue was resolved.

Rumour has it that this isn’t the first time Google has found itself victim of internet crime, with Google Algeria and Google Puerto Rico also falling under the command of some ‘net miscreants recently.

It seems nothing is safe, even the internet’s most dominant force.

Web-Translations exhibiting at Internet World

Web-Translations will be exhibiting at Internet World next week – from 28-30 April.

Alongside all the expertise and information you’d usually get by speaking to our staff, we’ll also be running some demonstrations, and showcasing recent work that we’re proud of.

Come and see us at stand E3001, just to the left of the main Earl’s Court 2 entrance.

You can register online to attend Internet World for free at www.internetworld.co.uk/register

See you there! It’s going to be a great show…

Captcha – 50 Cent’s latest hit

Have you heard 50 Cent’s latest track? It’s called ‘Captcha’ and it’s about what happens if the police find you.

April Fools! Captcha (Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is based on the word “capture”, and although it does sound like it could be on a rap album, a ‘captcha’ is most often a set of squiggly letters you have to type in a box to prove to a machine that you are not a machine. Half of the time I get them wrong, which is why I was really intrigued when I found a few on the net recently that did not involve distorted or twisted letters.

Here are 2 to test your French: (answers hidden in glossary under Captcha)

When adding a comment to a blog, I found a captcha which asked “What city does David live in?” The answer was included in the blog title, so it took non-artificial intelligence to figure it out, but it didn’t involve straining my eyes to figure out if something was a lower case “L” or a “1″. If you know of any fun captchas, please share!

International Trade – ask the expert!

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.

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International Trade will keep your company afloat

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.

Which products/services sell well in Europe?

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.

What about in Asia?

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.

Where else should we look to?

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.

Multilingual content management now free and easy…

It’s an all too common problem: How do you maintain the multilingual pages of your website as changes are made to the English? To what extent do you allow local input, while retaining central control?

Joomla has been the web’s favourite open source CMS since its separation from Mambo September, 2005, boasting some 4 million downloads in 2008, making it the most popular CMS of last year.

The Nooku story germinated from a conversation between Joomla!’s Johan Janssens and government and NGO stakeholders who wanted multi-lingual management, better than Joomfish.

Thanks to Johan, Pete and Mathias, webmasters the world over will have access to the plugin that is expected to go down a storm. As Phillipe Chabot, ICT Coordinator of the United Nations Regional Information Centre put it:“If you are thinking multi-language; Nooku is a must have! Our website needs to drive 13 different languages, so for us this made a giant step forward to improve our web presence. It’s just brilliant!”

Nooku is not yet publicly available

As a partner Web-Translations has the source code and can assist with implementation. By integrating Nooku with Web-Translations’ Pay-As-You-Go Translation service, users have the perfect solution for maintaining multilingual websites. Web-Translations is the UK’s only full service Nooku integrator.

Cassandra Oliver, Marketing Manager at Web-Translations had the chance to test-drive Nooku last week: “What struck me first of all is that the interface is so simple. Nooku is easy to use and seamlessly integrates with Joomla. It’s miles better than Joomfish and an ideal tool for many of our clients.”

Web professionals and laymen alike are singing Nooku’s praises across Europe:

“If you need to build multi-lingual sites that are easy to manage…you’ll simply love Nooku.  Customizable, elegant and so well-designed it fits Joomla! like a glove, this is a professional solution for multi-lingual content that will rock the community!”

Paul Delbar – delius, Belgium

The name Nooku is a phonetic spelling for the Swahili word “Nuku” meaning “to translate”. It follows the spirit of the name Joomla! derived from the Swahili “Jumla” meaning “all together”.  Nooku website

Having deployed several multilingual ecommerce websites using OS Commerce and Magento, Web-Translations are now helping businesses to save thousands by switching from proprietary CMS solutions such as Tridian, to mature Open Source alternatives such as Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.

Why pay a license fee?

In April 2007, SDL Trados acquired Tridion (a CMS company) for €69 million, that investment is recovered in the form of license fees, development and translation services. An implementation can cost anything from US$ 80,000 to … sky is the limit.

At a time when businesses are looking to cut costs, we’re advising clients to review expensive license fees and the cost of running their CMS. Open Source has come of age and matured in the area of ecommerce and CMS. Enterprises looking to save can do so quickly by embracing Joomla! + Nooku with Web-Translations, where there are no license fees and a vibrant community means support and development is plentiful and inexpensive.

Web Translations sees Open Source technologies as a key growth area of its business strategy, with plans to release multilingual professional translation plugins for WordPress, Drupal, Magento, and Open Office in 2009.

Free Keyword Research

Knowing what people search for allows you to know how best to optimise your site. In addition, Keyword Research allows us to identify how competitive a keyword is and, consequently, the work involved to achieve a top 10 result on any Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

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Web-Translations works with E-Strategy on multilingual pay-per-click campaigns

“Web-Translations has been a great help with the multilingual pay-per-click campaigns we have worked on for various clients. The service is really quick and efficient. ”

Sam Gilson – E-Strategy

Translation Industry Glossary

This post is just to point both new and regular readers in the direction of our updated Industry Glossary.

This glossary gladly serves to save you the hassle and embarrasment of asking your resident techno-geek for an overly convoluted explanation of any industry terms, by providing simple, jargon-free definitions of the terms below…

 

Bi-directional

If you would like to add to the exisiting definitions, or have a fantastic industry term that you can’t wait to define, let me know and I’ll add it to our list.

Great Expectations: Can Obama change the world?

Are our expectations of the 44th US president too high?

As the first African-American ever to hold presidential office, Barack Obama certainly already has made history, but will he be able to make the difference that many are dreaming of? Or are the expectations of his citizens and in fact the world at large simply too much for him and his administration to achieve?

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Can Europe laugh at itself?

A new art installation unveiled at the European Council building in Brussels has angered several EU members with its attack of national stereotypes.

The work – entitled “Entropa: Stereotypes are Barriers to be Demolished” – depicts Bulgaria as a toilet, Romania as a Dracula theme park and France as a country on strike.

The Czech Republic government thought it had commissioned work from 27 artists from all over Europe to mark the start of its 6-month EU Presidency, but it turned out to have been entirely the work of enfant terrible of the Czech art scene David Cerny, and two of his fellow artists.

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eCommerce wars: Magento vs osCommerce

We are undoubtedly in times of fiscal ruin. Whole countries are going bust (how does that even happen?) and there is an impending sense of stagflation, or worse, deflation in the air…or even relegation if you are George Dub-ya.

“…Let’s stick to what we know, then, and make cut backs: no investment for a while, let’s just ride it out…” might say a chief decision maker whom, in doing so, will ensure his business only treads water for the foreseeable future.

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UK housewives addicted to Internet

A study of more than 27,000 web users in 16 countries has shown that the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online.

The survey also showed, however, that UK housewives spend even more of their free time online – a surprising 47%.

A total of 27,522 people aged 18 to 55 years old were interviewed online by TNS Global Interactive in the following countries: Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. 2,500 were surveyed in the UK.  The questions focused on online behaviour and, interestingly, also raised the issue of trust in traditional versus online media.

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The changing "face" of legal procedures

An Australian debtor couple have been served with legal documents through the popular social networking site Facebook, in a ground-breaking move.

Mark McCormack, a lawyer in Canberra, persuaded a court to allow him to use the unconventional method after attempts to serve the couple with papers relating to the repossession of their home by other means failed.

The couple’s home is being repossessed after they reportedly missed payments on a loan of over A$100,000 ($67,000; £44,000).

It is believed to be the first time Facebook has been used in this way.

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Egypt’s Internet Broken!

For the second time in twelve months much of the UAE and Egypt’s internet connection was lost on Friday last, according to France Telecom, with many reporting that performance levels have still not been fully restored.

The Middle East, Europe and America are connected by three cables, all of which have been cut, reducing internet capacity to 85 per cent, according to Etisalat, UAE’s telecom operator.

The cables, which run from Egypt to Italy and carry roughly 75 per cent of the region’s traffic, have back-ups running along side them to shoulder the burden in times of emergency and are in use at the moment, ensuring at least some connectivity is maintained.

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Tips for translators

We’ve already given our dos and don’ts for clients who want to buy translation services, but what about those selling them? Yes, I’m talking about translators – the missing link in our business equation. Those who help us make it happen for each and every one of our clients.

Here is an early Christmas gift – just a few pointers for translators who are looking to increase their client base (and in the current economic climate, who isn’t?) by applying to agencies.

 

1. Your CV: Cast a critical eye over your CV. The same rules generally apply for translators as they do for anyone applying for work: anything over 2 pages is just too long. Two pages is ample to give an overview of your relevant experience, qualificiations and specialist subjects – you can keep a list of translation projects you’ve worked on separately, then it’s ready to provide should someone ask for it. Doesn’t belong in your CV!

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Expensive translation mistake for Science journal

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!

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Live Mesh – Great Collaboration Technology for Virtual Teams

Every now and then a free web technology comes along that profoundly changes the way we work. Often it’s the simplest that have the most impact. Where would we be today without Skype, Blogging or Messenger?

Over the last few months I’ve been testing Live Mesh Beta. Impressed with the results, I’m ready to evangelise in a bid to encourage adoption among our suppliers, clients and others who embrace tele-working. Put simply, it saves time and improves collaboration.

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Where next for International Trade?

UKTI has earmarked the countries that will be the next big thing in terms of International Trade.

The emerging markets in Brazil, Russia, India and China will continue to be key areas for companies trading internationally, but a report commissioned by UKTI has identified Vietnam, Mexico, Ukraine, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates as the new high-growth markets.

The “Tomorrow’s Markets” report also lists Indonesia, Poland, South Africa and Argentina among the priority markets for expansion – these countries have huge potential for investors and look set to provide companies with a similar level of success and growth that has been experienced in China and India.

So, we could soon start to see an increase in demand for Ukrainian and Vietnamese, and the other languages spoken in these emerging market countries as UK companies turn their attention there. Here’s hoping!

A whole new meaning to "green fingers"

Talking plants are no longer the works of fantasy or science fiction – a far cry from the intimidating Audrey II of The Little Shop of Horrors, and its sinister appetite, a plant in a Japanese cafe has become the world’s first non-human blogger, claim scientists.

Japanese IT company KAYAC Co., Ltd. has developed a sophisticated botanical interface system that allows plants to post their “thoughts” or impulses online.

Satoshi Kuribayashi, who is part of the project at Keio University, says that the aim of the project is to study ways of communicating with plants, and reveal something about their internal world:

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Breaking News

User Generated Content exploded on the web with blogging and social networking phenomenon, but User Generated News (UGN) is a relatively new phenomenon. Whereas European newspapers and broadcasters have been slow to adopt UGN, American newscasters have coined the term ‘Citizen Journalism’ with CNN’s IReport.com, MSNBC’s NewsVine.com and even Al Gore has Current.com. Enter YouReportTV.com.

People need a voice. The BBC gets an average of 10,000 e-mails or posts in a day to its ‘Have Your Say’ site and that can soar on big news days. Although that may sound an enormous number, some 5 million visit the BBC News website in a single day.

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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 Launches SAL™ – The Strategic Approach to Localisation

Web-Translations’ clients not only request professional translation and localization services, but consultancy to determine their future presence in foreign markets.  Committing resources to multiple markets is a decision one must not make without considering all risks. Web-Translations has developed a Strategic Approach to localization that allows customers to test foreign markets with micro sites.

Only after gathering intelligent information will the client need to make a decision .  This approach reduces the risk factor and allows management to calculate a realistic return on investment.

So far, this service is proving to deliver a win-win scenario to Web-Translations and customers alike.

This step-by-step approach gives Web-Translations a competitive edge. “While many other agencies are mostly doing translation for information, 80% of the material we translate is for publication. We are rapidly developing a strong reputation for excellent quality,” says Daniel Rajkumar, MD of Web-Translations Limited.

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