Website Translation using Agile Workflows
Website translation has long been viewed as essential for companies wanting to consolidate their international business. However, the recent pandemic and the resulting focus on digital working for companies across the world has made website translation – or website localisation as it is sometimes called – even more crucial for success. Those who previously lagged behind in terms of online presence have quickly realised that if they want to enter new markets or strengthen their international footprint beyond the pandemic, they must adapt quickly, or risk being left behind, and website translation is central to those efforts.
According to a recent survey of more than 3000 global consumers in 10 non-Anglophone countries, 75 per cent prefer to buy online if the website is available in their native language, which illustrates how important website localisation is for reaching overseas audiences. For companies with an established international presence, website translation is not so much an optional extra, as a crucial component of their global strategy, which involves multiple translations to cover the huge volumes of content that customers demand from their brands in a highly competitive globalised marketplace. However, those responsible for organising website localisation on behalf of global brands know that there is more to this task than just pressing a button; to be most effective, skilled translators must be used to create compelling content in the relevant foreign language. From a process point of view, another crucial component when it comes to website translation is to devise tailored workflows that facilitate integration with various content management systems (CMS), so that that large scale website translations are a seamless process.
Global companies are working with increasingly large amounts of content across multiple platforms. Translating this into multiple languages can seem a daunting task – especially if a brand experiences a surge in growth and must upscale its website translation in multiple languages. There is also the added concern of how to handle such large amounts of data and information in a secure, compliant way.
Thankfully, technology is available which allows businesses to seamlessly push copy directly from their CMS into cloud-based translation management systems, which are compatible with the likes of Drupal, WordPress and Joomla.
Many translation providers are experienced in working with IT teams to help configure a company’s CMS in the most appropriate way for translation, creating a workflow which ensures relevant content can be pushed to the translation process quickly and efficiently. Doing so can save huge amounts of time and money, allowing client teams to concentrate on their primary role rather than worrying about website localisation. A streamlined process such as this can also ensure that new and updated content can be quickly and easily processed for translation, which is especially important for brands that produce regular content that needs translation.
Some translation providers are even able to develop their own CMS connectors, which can be particularly useful where clients have a highly customised CMS, which isn’t compatible with off-the-shelf products. In this case, it can be appropriate to design a bespoke connector to allow all translatable content from the site to be transferred into a translation management system and pushed back into the CMS once translated. Other options include proxy servers, which facilitate easier and faster delivery of website translations. These solutions act as a mirror of the source language site and allow translations to be deployed on the fly with no exporting of content required.
Translation of marketing content into another language often involves more than just translating the original content as it is. Different target audiences and cultures need messages that are tailored to their specific markets, with their own cultural and linguistic considerations. This is especially true of highly creative content where straight translation might not have the desired impact. This process is known as transcreation and falls somewhere between translation and copywriting. It involves a greater degree of client interaction in order to define preferred tone of voice and the key messages that should be communicated, however it can yield fantastic results.
An important consideration for a global website localisation project of any scale will be data security. Communicating between multiple parties working in different territories, all of which have individual processes when it comes to online security can become challenging.
There is also potential for the content itself to be highly confidential – for example, if it relates to industries such as pharmaceuticals, technology or finance, or which details new product launches. In these cases, it’s more effective to use a centralised system, which facilitates secure transfer of content, and prioritises version control.
Workflows exist which ensure translations take place within secure, online digital platforms that are accessible from anywhere in the world, meaning content can be imported and exported without the need for long email chains or compromised security using third party software.
International websites which are dynamic in terms of new content creation and in providing users with new technologies to enhance their experience, should rely on an equally innovative and aligned translation workflow for their website translation requirements.