It’s been over a year since Client Services Manager Lauren and Translation Project Manager Charlotte joined the Web-Translations team, and what a year it’s been!
From exciting new projects to flashy new web designs, there’s little they haven’t done in the last year and of course, they’ve learnt so much! That’s why in this blog post we’re handing the girls the reigns and letting them share their knowledge. So, if you fancy learning some top tips on how to ensure a smooth translation project! This is just the right blog for you!
Charlotte: The first thing that I think everyone needs to know in order to ensure a smooth translation process is that, no matter how tight a deadline may feel, there is always time to prepare a project properly. What is more it’s vital!
Lauren: Yes! I agree! When the client comes to us with readily finalised content, this saves time in the long run as it means that we can avoid any possible changes further down the line.
Charlotte: It helps everyone really. If your content is clear and concise from the get-go, it means that our linguists will have a better idea of what you want to say from the off! This saves time going back and forth asking questions and it also saves money.
Lauren: Exactly! After all, when you’re paying for translation on a per word rate, you want to make sure that those words are the right ones and aren’t unnecessary.
Lauren: Another key point to consider to allow for a smooth translation process is the language variant you’re translating into. For example, if you’re wanting to target Canada, then you’d need to use French for Canada instead of French for France.
Charlotte: That’s a really good point and I think it’s also important to know whether you would like your translation to have a formal or an informal tone. Likewise, it’s good to know if you want your translation to be more creative or be more loyal to the source text.
Lauren: In general, the better idea you have of who your audience are, the better tailored your translations will be to achieve your desired aims.
Charlotte: The next point may sound obvious but it’s actually something that can really affect the translation process and that’s communication. Quite simply, if you don’t communicate something to us, then we’re not going to know it!
Lauren: That’s actually a really good point! For example, if you don’t tell us how you’d like us to deliver your translation, then we won’t know how to. On the other hand, if you’re unsure on what file to send us in the first place, just ask! We’re always happy to answer any questions.
Lauren: Although our name suggests that our services end with translation, there’s actually lots more that we offer. For example, don’t forget that our standard translation package actually includes proofreading by a second native linguist.
Charlotte: Yes, and then on top of that we can offer typesetting, in-situ QA checks and so much more! It’s also a good idea to get in touch with us to see if there’s anything else we can help out with. You never know, we might be able to lighten your load ever so slightly.
Lauren: You’d be surprised what we can do!
Charlotte: Our final piece of advice to help ensure a smooth translation process is quite simple: just breathe and everything will be okay!
Lauren: If you follow our advice and clearly outline your text and target audience at the beginning and clearly communicate with us along the way, everything will work out just fine.
Charlotte: And even if setbacks do arise, there is always a solution for everything. For example, if there is a delay at your end in acquiring a file, just let us know and we can easily adapt on our end to accommodate for the new timeframe.
Lauren: Definitely! That’s no problem at all! Likewise, if there are obstacles during the project at our end, we’ll always let you know as soon as possible to mitigate any delays and any unnecessary stress.
Charlotte: Sometimes projects can be quite stressful despite all best efforts! For these situations we highly recommend that you get yourself a furry friend to cuddle up to and take away the chaos for a bit!
Lauren: Pets really are the best work companions 😊
We hope these tips have been useful and they have helped you get a better idea of how to ensure a smooth translation process! Be sure to follow us on social media for all things translation!
Equally, if you fancy reading more of our translation advice, why not check out some of our other blog posts such as our recent article on Website Localisation.
It’s September! Whilst many of us have long said goodbye to our years in education, it can be hard not to get that back-to-school feeling.
Yes, it is ingrained in us that September means fancy new diaries, pretty new stationery, and revolutionising new routines.
Perhaps in your business these changes are reflected with new coffee room snacks, new-fangled team meeting formats or fresh business strategies. Whilst these changes are of course fantastic, we all know that it doesn’t take long to fall back into old habits. That’s why it’s important to get your new strategies right from the off, maximising their impact and ensuring that they require minimal attention further down the line!
At Web-Translations, we wanted to help you start afresh the right way. That’s why over the next few weeks we’re going to share several blog posts full of top tips to implement your new strategies. This week, we’re looking at Website Localisation.
If you’re a company looking to expand overseas, you’re going to want to speak to your new customers directly. To do this, it will help if you have resources in their language. The most important resource arguably being your website.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but to localise your website isn’t quite as simple as translate all content from A to B.
To reap the most rewards, there are certain things you need to consider and below we have collated a few of these points for you.
It is important to consider how your website will be translated before starting the translation process. Translators will require all your content to be ready for processing and they will need any reference material readily available. Before sending your content to be translated therefore you should review it all and ensure that everything reads clearly.
Furthermore, you need to ensure that all content is respectful of the target culture. You should also identify if there are any culturally specific items that you wish to remain unchanged. For example, do you want product names to be translated or would you like these to remain in English?
The better you know your content, the better the translators will be able to do their job. And don’t forget, at the end of the day, well-written and concise content is not only easier to translate, but it’s also cheaper!
Another factor to consider when translating your website is how the new localised text will affect your SEO.
If you want to rank well in search engines, then you’ll need to make sure that the translations are done properly.
To do this, you want to ensure that all translations are accurate and that they use the correct terminology. This doesn’t mean that literal, word-for-word translations are the way forward. In fact, it’s actually the opposite. To produce the best content for SEO, translators will need to not merely transfer content, but also research the best performing terms related to that topic in their language. It can be a bit of a fiddly process and it is certainly one that machine translation cannot emulate!
Whilst you can translate your website into any language you wish, it is true that there are certain languages which are better to target than others. This obviously comes down to who your target market demographic is, but it’s important to do some research. Perhaps you could look at what your competitors are up to? Maybe you could study your website analytics and see what parts of the world are already engaging with your site?
Furthermore, it’s not simply sufficient to choose a generic language that you’d like to target. In the same way in which American English differs from British English, French for France is quite different to French for Canada. If you wish to target your desired audience directly then you need to do so in their language. Not only is it respectful, but it shows you care which is likely to build trust and reap greater rewards.
If you need some help deciding which languages to target, please feel free to get in touch. We’re more than happy to be of assistance!
We hope you have found these tips useful! We have of course only scratched the surface though! If you’d like to learn more about website localisation, please get in touch and we’d happily talk to you about your website needs.
To stay up to date with all things Web-Translations and are other Back-to-School Refresh blog posts, be sure to follow us on social media!
Get Fit for London 2012 with the recently launched Olympic Gold Website Package by Web-Translations.
The 2012 London Olympics represents a great sales opportunity. As mentioned in the Getting Fit for the Olympics blog post published last week not everyone is capitalising on this sales opportunity. Do you want to go for Gold in the 2012 London Olympics?
Last year the largest ever campaign by a national tourist board was launched by VisitBritain; the £100 million GREAT Britain You’re Invited campaign. Primarily fronted by five major global celebrities who agreed to film TV ads and help promote Britain overseas.
As VisitBritain’s Mark Di-Toro says, “Now is the time to wave the British flag”. Thanks to the GREAT campaign a global audience of billions will have their eyes firmly set on Britain like never before. Will you be profiting from this interest?
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.
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.
It’s a statistic we often repeat on this blog, but the fact is that online customers are four times more likely to buy from a website in their own language, so companies who have multilingual websites soon reap the rewards of the time and resource investment they make in website localisation.
Here’s how localisation of even just a few pages can power your export sales to new heights.
While the internet is a boon to international trade, many companies in English-speaking countries are failing to be forward-thinking by communicating internationally.
Localising websites entails adapting products and materials for a particular market and includes – but is not limited to – translating text into the markets’ relevant languages.
A fully localised website shows shows appreciation and respect towards a foreign culture and conveys that you are interested in your potential customers and their respective cultures. It likewise takes into account conventions and preferences specific to each country such as currencies, measurements and cultural differences.
The benefits of localisation are enormous and include penetrating overseas markets you most want to succeed in, increasing market share – and muscling out the competition. It also ensures you can be found in the most popular search engines in each specified market, country or language.
With English accounting for less than 30% of website content, closely followed by Chinese with 22.6% with ‘other languages’ making up 17.8% – the opportunities for growing your business via localisation are unprecedented.
Reaching out to customers in multiple languages brings both short and long term ‘wins’. In addition to the immediate boost to sales, a multilingual website is excellent for testing new markets and opening new doors to international trade.
Summary of key tactics to achieve success
Localise your website – just a few pages will demonstrate serious intentions and improve your search engine ranking in the country you are targeting.
Always use a professional translation service – avoid being tempted to use a free machine translation which is not geared for translating marketing copy which has been carefully crafted to stimulate interest and sell to readers.
Focus on core products and services – launching a selection of your bestselling products or services increases your chances of success in a new market.
Conduct multilingual keyword research – pinning down what customers are actually searching for and adapting your website and online advertising accordingly is critical to ensure your site is the one they browse and then buy from.
Measure results – As you would with your UK site. Visitor statistics are invaluable in evaluating your return on investment and deciding where to concentrate further resources.
Are you planning to take advantage of international opportunities by localising your website? Then let’s talk – email sales[at]web-translations[dot]co[dot]uk or call +44 (0) 113 8150460.
Once you make the important decision to localise your website for a foreign market, and select a provider to deliver the project, your work is not quite yet done. It’s equally important to identify which sections of the website should be included in the localisation project, not least from a budgetary perspective.
We usually advise clients who are embarking on their first localisation to omit the following sections:
– Meet the team, or equivalent
– All blog posts
The reason being that this type of contact can quickly become out of date, unless a strategy is in place to manage multilingual updates.
In today’s competitive business environment, it pays to be the first company to market with a new product or service. Here are our tips on how to beat your competitors and take full advantage of global opportunities in your sector.
1. Be the early bird – get there first!
Localise your homepage for multiple markets – then you have the pick of where to focus your attention & resource rather than being forced out of the markets your competitors already operate in.
2. Forge your own path
China, Russia, and other fast-growing economies will compete with you in markets you hadn’t even begun to consider. Don’t follow the herd, but blaze your own trail. This takes confidence and a strong business plan but it is the only way to keep competitive advantage.
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…)
A lot of websites on the internet are available in more than one language, and some in a number of different languages. This is a topic that features every now and then on this blog, as we comment on which languages are most popular, how the languages in which a website are available affect the traffic to a website, and so on.
One language that doesn’t get much press or attention is Maltese. Maltese is a very interesting language; about half of its vocabulary is borrowed from Italian and Sicilian, and English words make up as much as 20% of its vocabulary. (more…)
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…)
“Only a couple of weeks after the relaunch of our website, we achieved our highest revenue ever from online sales! I’d expected it to take longer to achieve results, so am really impressed with the outcome.”
Benjamin Schubert, E-Commerce Project Manager – South African Airways
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…)
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…)
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!
Yorkshire companies are “well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia”, according to Danish business expert and former diplomat, Benny Sørensen.
At a recent event to inform businesses in the region about opportunities in Scandinavia, the organisers (Import-Export consultants SØRENSEN, and Denmark’s inward investment organisation Copenhagen Capacity, teamed with the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce International Department) experienced unprecedented demand from Yorkshire businesses wishing to attend, and have urged companies who are interested in trading with Scandinavian countries to act quickly to make the most of the opportunities available. (more…)
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.
“The results of localizing our website have been phenomenal. Our brand is now well-established in Germany and we’ve received lots of positive feedback from our German customers.”
Russell Morris, European Director – Warehouse Express
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!
“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