This is a guest post by Peter Farago, CEO at easyling.com, a website translation tool for freelancers and agencies.
Why should websites be translated at all?
You may argue that English is the new world language that everyone speaks nowadays. Even with basic English, visitors will manage to navigate an English website and somehow fill in the information gaps. At the end of the day, if they like the product and have the money, they will buy. But is this true?
The “Everyone-speaks-English” myth
A research conducted by the Common Sense Advisory asked buyers in an eight-nation survey about their preferences for website visits and purchases. They found that 52.4% of buyers preferred to buy in their own language. What’s even more interesting is that people with no or low English skills were six times more likely not to buy from Anglophone sites than those who were proficient in English.
We are talking about large, non-English-speaking and economically significant countries like France, Japan or Brazil. Machine translations (including Google Translate) are simply not up to the job and will often result in out-of-context, culturally incorrect translations.
In conclusion, most commercial and even non-commercial websites will eventually miss out on potential customers if the content is not available in relevant foreign languages. You need to outsource language translations to obtain good quality business content.
Big corporations have realized for some time that website localization is a must. It is costly and cumbersome, but it is a necessity.
Should website translations be this costly and complicated?
Many business owners try to avoid or put off the translation of their websites because of the costs and the complexity of the project.
Considering what the traditional process of website translation involves, they cannot be blamed.
The translation fee is only a fracture of the true costs of website translation because:
- Today’s CMS-based websites do not consist of pure HTML files any more, thus extracting the content usually requires IT expertise.
- The translator does not work in the actual website layout, and this may lead to out-of-context or ill-fitting translations.
- Importing the translations back to the website requires IT expertise or manual copy/pasting – a source of further errors.
And then Translation Proxy came along
For website owners who have been reluctant so far, a new technology called “Translation Proxy” may come handy.
The technology background, in non-tech terms, can be described as a seamless translation layer on the top of the customer’s website displaying content in the visitor’s native language using a translation memory created by native professionals on-the-fly.
- The website owner retains the control over the content;
- The technology eliminates the IT effort from both the website owner’s and the translator’s side;
- The translator works in the actual website layout, thus the occurrence of ill-fitting or out-of-context translations is minimized;
- When new content is added to the website, the website owner or the translator gets instant notification.
Entering new markets is a complex business decision. But once the decision is made, technical issues, lack of resources or extensive costs should not be a barrier any longer since translation proxy providers are readily available.
Check out the preview of your translated website with Easyling’s Translation Proxy