Imagine you are in a store and you want to buy a flavoured yoghurt. You see an Airy Yoghurt with Coconut Flakes standing next to 豆腐杏仁, which is also 会给你一个禅. Which one will you choose for your child?
As reported by research:
- Conversion rate and sales increase by 69 % if the product website is translated into the customer’s native language (or by 20 % if only the product landing page is translated);
- The reported 56.2 % of consumers believe that the product information in their language is more important than the price.
We will not simply translate your website.
We will provide a full range of localisation services:
- We will assign native speakers for your project and ensure cultural adaptation of your content.
- We will localise graphics.
- We will translate videos and provide voiceovers/subtitles.
- We will perform desktop publishing of your product catalogues and brochures.
- We will translate your advertising campaigns and your content for social media and newsletters.
Our engineers will help you upload the translated content into the administration panel of your website and provide suggestions on automation of any future website updates.
Each website localisation task is uniquely defined; therefore, a single approach cannot be applied to all projects. We practice a project-based approach and develop customised solutions for our clients.
The localisation of the top Ukrainian job search website Work.ua from Russian into English required such a customised solution. We wrote about this project as a case study for the popular Ukrainian online magazine about technology
Here is our standard step-by-step workflow process for website localisation projects:
- Establishing Goals and Objectives.
We discuss with the client their localisation business objectives. This way, we can offer the best price to quality ratio.
- Project Development.
Depending on the purpose of localisation and the nature of the content, we define the project tasks, language specialist criteria, technical specifications (including terminology harmonisation and compliance with local standards), algorithm interaction, and the final localised content delivery/uploading format.
- Project Preparation.
At the preparation stage, we download/prepare the source texts, determine the scope of the project, approve the final price, create and approve glossaries, test and vet translators, and prepare and approve keyword translation options for any future search engine optimisation (SEO), etc. For large projects, we may also create and approve a style guide. If needed, we may arrange for our translators to travel to the client’s office to familiarise themselves with the client’s product onsite.
- Project Implementation.
Using mother-tongue translators residing in the target country is critical for high-quality localisation. When vetting translators, we also take into account their industry experience to ensure accurate understanding of the industry-specific language. At this stage, we localise any images and documents available on the website, video materials, including subtitles and voiceovers, and advertising campaigns.
- Quality Assurance.
In accordance with the ISO 17100 and EN 15038 industry quality standards and our own practices, any translated website must be verified by a reviewer and a proofreader to prevent any inaccuracies, mistakes, or typos. We also use additional automated quality assurance tools.
The next quality assurance step requires testing of the localised content after it has been published on the website to make sure that all the information is displayed online adequately and appropriately and that there are no untranslated segments or DTP issues.
- Updating Glossaries and Translation Memories.
Upon approval of the localised content, we update the project glossary and translation memory for any future website updates or any other website related projects.
Tell us about your website localisation needs, and we will develop the best solution that will help you achieve your localisation business goals.
Is Website Localisation a Must?
Now that you have learned about the difference between translation and localisation, you may wonder, “Does everybody need to have their website localised?” or “When would a simpler approach, i.e. translation only, be enough?”
The simple answer is that localisation is strongly recommended as it means not only translation but also cultural and regional adaptation. We of course understand that website localisation must be cost-effective and ensure returns on the localisation investment (ROI).
Therefore, we recommend the following:
- For translation of the field-specific (technical, medical, legal, or financial) sections of the website, opt for a project that involves translation with subsequent revision by an editor without necessarily requiring native speakers as the task in this case is strictly confined to accurate translation of the text and industry terminology. It will be more budget efficient.
- For marketing projects, you should ask for localisation only by mother-tongue translators as the conversion rates and sales will depend on the quality of the translated website.
- For advertising slogans, taglines, and any other copy content, request transcreation (creative translation) by native speakers to make sure you get your brand message across.
- For localisation of the company name, brand name, names of products or services entering a foreign market, request name verification to avoid any cultural blunders or naming-related missteps.
Why Only Native Speakers Should Work with Localisation Projects
For marketing and copy content, we strongly recommend that you hire only native speakers. The quality of the translation will be much higher. You may wonder, “Seriously?! Why bother?”
Here is the thing.
Language specialists who translate into their native languages achieve better results because they feel right at home when it comes to the language itself and the subject matter. In the end, the client receives a first-class translation that will be understood by customers as it has been intended.
This does not mean that a non-native specialist will necessarily do a poor job. The quality may still be relatively high. However, this will increase a risk for lower quality. The translation may be accurate, but it may not sound natural or sufficiently enticing to the target audience.
If you only need to convey the gist of your message and the style is not a priority, you could probably tolerate a few awkward sentences. With a marketing project, however, you need an impeccable translation to avoid any major editorial intervention or retranslation of the entire text from scratch.
We sometimes receive such requests from our clients, “We need a high-quality and understandable translation. We had it translated before, but the result felt like a machine translation. It was too literal and, in some places, even incomprehensible. This is a very important project and we cannot afford another mistake”.
How You Can Ensure the Quality You Want
All you need is this:
- The translator has a subject-field knowledge.
- The translator is a native speaker of the target language.
Native translators are more likely to produce something that is more accessible and engaging in comparison with non-native translators. The target audience will receive the message better.
Because word-by-word translation is insufficient. The translator must be familiar with the target culture and aware of any linguistic subtleties. In addition, the translator must be aware of the product or service consumption culture in the target region. For you, this means finding a linguistically impeccable and perfectly accurate translation.
A sceptic may object, “That’s not true! Non-native translators can provide high-quality translations, too”.
We have to insist:
Yes, sure, some linguists translate fairly well. These are typically specialising translators who have been brought up in a bilingual environment or have lived abroad for many years. Many people often write in a foreign language and believe their writing to be of high quality. Only native speakers, though, would spot subtle flaws in a non-native translation, however high its quality may be.
Do not take any chances. Contact us today for the localisation of your website by native speakers because the quality of the translation will ultimately ensure the success of your website and, by improving your online reputation, increase your sales.