A quick guide to website translations

Monday, 12th October 2015

Guest Blog by First Edition Translation

“If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.”-  Willy Brandt

A company’s website is often the first point of contact with their clients and having a well-written, well-designed website is essential for every business. Deciding on the final text, the layout, the images are all important parts of planning your new website.

If you would like to reach international clients, you have probably considered translating your site into foreign languages. Just like any other aspect of your website, this also requires careful consideration. The following tips might help you with this.

Which languages do you need?

You might already have the answer for this question. Depending on your existing client base and on your plans of expanding to other markets, this might have already been decided.

What are your target countries? What are the official languages in those? In the case of countries where there are several official languages, is there one language that is favoured by your (potential) clients?

What should be translated?

You can either have your whole website translated into the chosen languages or only a few pages. It is also a good idea to have one page specifically written for the purposes of translation where you can introduce your company and your services. You might also want to consider the regular translation of dynamic content on your website, so that you can keep your overseas clients up-to-date on the latest developments.

What’s next?

Once you’ve decided on the language(s) and have the final, approved text, you are ready to get started with the translation process!

First Edition Translation recommend the following steps for website translations:

Preparing the text for the translators – Although it is possible to translate the text directly in a content management system (CMS), translators usually prefer working with editable documents, such as Word files. This way they have more control over the text, they can easily check for typos and keep the translation consistent.

Translation by a professional, mother-tongue translator – First Edition only ever uses professional translators who translate into their mother tongue. We always choose a translator who has the necessary knowledge and experience in translating industry-specific texts.

Revision by a second professional translator – During this step the translator checks the accuracy, consistency and style of the translation against the source text and ensures it is ready for publication.

Uploading the content to the website – This is to be carried out by your design team, if the translation wasn’t carried out in an online CMS.

Proofreading – The translator checks that no mistakes were introduced during the fourth phase, all the text is where it’s supposed to be and all the language-specific characters display correctly. They might suggest some last-minute changes after seeing the website “in action”.

Final proofreading and testing – Here at First Edition we add one extra step to the process: our in-house project managers also go through your translated website before it goes live to make sure that everything is fine, and all the links lead the reader where they are meant to lead them.

The last step is the most exciting one: Going live with your brand-new website!

Hopefully you have found these small tips helpful. If you have any questions about translating your website, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us via our very own shiny new website www.firstedit.co.uk created by our specialist web developers at Realnet!


Guest Blog by First Edition Translation