English content now only accounts for 31.6% of online material according to Internet World stats. With the internet removing geographical barriers to trade a multilingual website is becoming more imperative for success at international level. – Research from IDC states that visitors are four times more likely to buy from a multilingual website than on in English alone.
However, for many organisations, the cost of updating and maintaining translations on a multilingual website makes it prohibitively expensive. The administration, tracking, delegation, payments and of course the translation itself, all take a small amount of time that quickly adds up.
The majority of the cost is not from the translation itself, but the administration involved in coordinating the translation. Many organisations employ full time native linguists, but updates are always a ‘low priority’ task so there is often a great delay in keeping the foreign language versions in sync.
Another key problem is that many organisations that self-maintain their website do not benefit from their existing language asset because they are not using Computer Aided Translation (CAT) software. This has the advantage of maintaining terminology and suggesting similar or identically translated phrases, greatly increasing the speed at which the translator can work at, and ultimately reducing costs.
The new service launched by Web-Translations addresses the administrative costs by offering a contact that is based on word-count, clients effectively pre-pay for their translation needs. The price is uniform for all languages and entitles the to what is effectively a word-count credit that works on a pay-as-you-go basis.
The best part is that once setup, the service works seamlessly in the background. Clients simply work on the English version making as many or as few changes as necessary. There is no need to even notify Web-Translations of the changes made because they use specialist software to automatically monitor the site (which can even check every minute).
The service will be particularly useful to news rich websites, and subscription based sites that have a great deal of dynamic, changing content.
With costs lowering and specialist support available, there has never been a better time to invest in having a multilingual online presence. A monolingual website effectively means you are leaving half your money on the table.
22 August 2005 16:54