We list below some website translation best practices.
- Choose an LSP that has the tech as well as the linguistic capabilities. You expect your company to grow with time. Accordingly, choose an LSP that is able to meet your requirements now and is able to scale as required in the future.
- Consider translation a business process, just as accounting or sales. It is a non-negotiable if you want to sell overseas. Leaving it for the last minute will make it a more complicated process than it has to be.
- Invest in the right tools as needed. However, do not make too heavy investments prematurely. The translation technology landscape is pretty complex these days. Let a website translation agency help you navigate it.
The capabilities of website integration systems may seem very intuitive (and they are) and you may wonder why were things ever done differently. One reason is that the required cloud computing power was not in place. But now that it is, why translate any other way?
You can choose how you want your content translated from the following approaches. Remember, there’s no one way to translate your content and many a time what you may settle for might be a unique mix of the options:
- Human, professional translation: Client-facing, marketing content will always need the expertise and accuracy of human translators. Sometimes, copy will even have to be written from scratch for some locales. It’s called transcreation .
- Machine translation: Use domain-trained MT engines for the best results. Note that MT does not produce the same quality in all language combinations and domains. But you can always do some post-editing to improve the quality.
- Translation memory: This is a database of previously translated sentences (strings). If TM matches are found in the new content, they can be automatically replaced with these strings in the target language. TM is used in conjunction with human as well as machine translation.
A number of things are at play in website translation. You need the right technology, processes, and the people. We list some common challenges that global enterprises face when it comes to translating website content:
- Dynamic content: Nowadays, content is added to the main or “mother” website nearly every week or multiple times in a week. This is done for a couple of reasons: firstly, to produce supporting marketing copy or user help documentation with each new feature release of your product. The new content for the new features or new marketing campaigns will have to be available to users in all those places where you are releasing the feature or launching the campaign.
- Process automation: Translation is not a one-time event happening at the end of content creation. When content itself is being created constantly, translation has to follow suit, too. But how to get new content translated with as few manual touchpoints as possible?
You want to publish and translate content simultaneously. You want to get all this done with the least number of clicks. Know what? All of this is eminently possible, thanks to website integrations. It refers to a suite of services and tools that allow you to focus on your core product or expertise, while translation happens behind-the-scenes. Here’s how it works:
- As you create fresh content on the main website, content connectors or translation plugins pull the new content into the translation workflow, get it translated, and replace it with text in the target language on the international sites. Content can be translated either through machine translation (MT) engines, professional translators, a stored database of past translations called the translation memory (TM), or through a hybrid solution combining the different approaches.
- Yours may be an ecommerce portal running on Joomla, Magento, Drupal, Shopify and the like. Or, you have a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress powering your website. You may want to have your source files at GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or other code repositories translated and constantly synchronized. Rapid translation is possible in both cases using connectors or translation application programming interfaces (APIs) at the back end.
- Cloud-based website integration systems or localization management systems come in all shapes and sizes and are immense flexible. However unique or diverse your global content requirement may be, an integration is available on the marketplace today to suit you. You can get as little or heavily involved in the translation process as you choose to. You have the power to automate translation management, retain access to the process, and have complete transparency into the workflow. No black boxes!
Features and benefits of translation integrations
Why should you choose to translate via a connector or a plugin? Let’s give you the reasons:
- Meets sim-ship requirements. It is great for simultaneously releasing content for all your markets. So, if your company frequently releases products or updates features for products that will be sold in many languages, it’s a good choice for you.
- Minimal project management. Translators are notified of new content as it’s published, they work on it, and the translated files are pushed to the international sites. All this is done without a project manager having to come in and manually upload and download files.
- No development required. Your developers will only work on your product, and not spend time and effort in setting up the translation workflow. It’s called a plugin for a reason.
- In-context editing. It’s a powerful feature that allows translators to see where exactly their translations will go. It makes a translator’s life easy, and by extension yours too, as it eliminates ambiguity. You can also use this tool to add local content to a particular international site. With agile localization, you can have your translators coordinated with the development cycles and get to the content before it becomes publicly viewable.
- How much to invest? You decide. Every company may not need or want to indulge in heavy investment for a translation management system (TMS). With integrations built on software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, you pay for as many or as few features and capabilities that you require.