A company’s website has a strong impact on business development and is central to reaching global audiences.
Companies expanding into global markets must also think of those customers who don’t understand English and search for information online in their language.
By translating its website, any internationally positioned company can gain a competitive advantage:
- More than 3 billion Internet users do not speak English.
- 50 percent of all online trading is in languages other than English.
- Internet users are 4 times more likely to buy on websites in their own language.
Website translation is a long-term investment – the big benefits are usually only seen over time. It takes a while to generate customer interaction and demand in markets where you don’t have a local presence.
Here are five technical tips for translating your website.
Tip 1: Check languages and export file formats supported by CMS
Typically, any content management system (CMS) optimized for translating web sites should have the following 3 basic features:
- Hosting and managing content (including media) for market-specific websites
- Full support for different languages (including text direction and encoding)
- Export and import translatable text into a translation-friendly format (e.B.XML)
Some CMS systems do not support all languages or corresponding formats.
So before you start translating your website, you should find out whether your CMS supports the desired target languages and can export the content to a translation-friendly format.
If your CMS does not support a desired language, an alternative solution can help, such as .B mirroring the Web site, creating a static HTML version of the Web site, or using a proxy model.
Tip 2: Encode files for website translation with UTF-8
UTF-8 is the best encoding type for any website. It ensures that your page content is displayed correctly.
UFT-8 is the most widely used unicode character encoding that can be used to represent any character in any language. Each Unicode character has a specially crafted string associated with it, which makes encoding extremely translation-friendly.
Most content management systems are configured with UTF-8 in-house and can export files to UTF-8 encoded TXT, XML, XLIFF, or other translation-friendly formats.
Tip 3: Provide source files for website translation
A simple, fast and accurate analysis of the web content is provided by export files from the CMS or HTML source files. This is better than, for example, a website URL.
If only one website URL is provided, this would mean a significant amount of time for the localization technicians: in this case, you would have to download the HTML files associated with the site, determine the translatable text, extract the text for analysis, and then prepare it for translation.
In this process, important text passages can be overlooked and omitted, resulting in an inaccurate cost estimate in the end.
Translation with HTML source files or tables is also possible, but can involve additional costs or more time.
For example, HTMLs can have retries for menus, headers, footers, and so on. When working with worksheets, the translated content would have to be manually re-inserted into the Web site.
Therefore, CMS export files or a direct connection to the CMS (e..B. with a multilingual WordPress plug-in) are best suited for website translation.
When you deploy CMS exports, a pseudo-translation of some files is recommended to ensure that there are no problems with the export process and reimport, or with translatable content itself.
Tip 4: Perform QA check for translated files
After translation and review, a final review of the translated files should be made for errors and discrepancies, especially for files that contain code.
These files (e.B.HTML, XML, YML, JSON) may experience changes during the translation phase to the markup (e.B, placeholder) that surrounds the translatable text.
Although most tags are protected in the translation phase, some need to remain editable because they also need to be translated, such as ALT tags for graphics.
Errors may occur while preparing the file for translation, or a space or character may be accidentally removed or added during translation.
The final QA check will also ensure that all content on the website has been translated.