Designing a user-friendly website means all elements of the user experience (UX) should fit neatly together like a puzzle. The images, copy, navigation and design all motivate the consumer to explore the site further and hopefully make that all-important purchase. If you are launching a global website, translation plays a key role in the UX and should be considered from the start of the website creation process.
The localization of your content is influenced by the needs of your target audiences. Unfortunately, the translation of a website can sometimes be overlooked, as many feel these "final touches" can be added towards the end of the process. If you want to reach global audiences, translation should be an integral piece of your website from the beginning. Websites need to be highly adaptable for their environment, which also means adapting to the location that their content is being shown in.
The benefits of including translated content towards the beginning of the website design process are great. It will help position your website as an international entity from the get-go, boost SERPs and SEO and will help you understand how to tailor your website for various languages, locales and buying cultures.
Website Translation Tips
In order for translation to positively affect the UX of a website, a few factors need to be taken into consideration and followed:
- Know the multilingual capabilities of your content management system (CMS). Translation capabilities differ from CMS to CMS. Check out GPI's Translation Plugin site to see how easy exporting and importing translated content to your CMS can be.
- Research your audience. Detemine which languages and locations you want to target. Once you decide which global audiences you want to attract to your website, thoroughly research their languages, cultures, demographics and online and purchasing habits. Some of the questions you will want to answer are: "which search engines do they use?", "what social sites do they visit?", "do they prefer mobile searches?" All of these questions, and many more, will help you create the best UX for your customers.
- Utilize professional translation services. To avoid costly translation blunders, try to avoid machine translation software when translating the content of your website. Professional, experienced, and subject matter tested translators understand the needs of your target audience and will be able to offer creative solutions to any translation challenges.
- Translate the meaning, not the words. Localize. Translating websites is about how the message of the content will come across to a particular audience. Double-checking certain words and phrases, images, colors and the tone of the copy when translating will help ensure the content is understood and respected globally.
Copywriting for a website is creative and challenging work. Translators understand this, they know that they need to understand the context of the website and what the site is trying to deliver. Translating your website from the initial planning phase will help the content be understood. This is why translators, developers and designers should work hand-in-hand in order to present the public with a globally interactive website that will reach more people and be understood by more consumers.
Further Resources on Translation Services
Globalization Partners International (GPI) offers comprehensive website translation services ranging from initial translation glossary development and copywriting to global SEO and online testing.
For more information about our globalization and localization processes, please feel free to download our Language Globalization Guides. You may also benefit from our resources and blogs:
- Best of 2015: Document Translation Blogs
- Chinese Website Translation Basics
- Insights into Google Translate and Machine Translation
- German Website Translation Basics
- 12 Steps to Website Globalization
- Tools to Reduce Language Translation Services Costs
- What is a translation memory (TM)?
Please feel free to contact GPI at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about our language and technology services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs. You may request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.
About the Author
Marina is a native Spanish speaker from Rosario, Argentina with over 15 years experience as a certified English-Spanish translator and interpreter. She graduated with a dual degree in Technical-Scientific and Literary Translation and Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpreting from the Instituto de Educación Superior Olga Cossettini in Rosario. She has extensive experience with most well-known CAT tools including the range of SDL tools such as SDL Trados Studio, MultiTerm, Wordfast, SDL Idiom WorldServer, Translation Workspace, XBench, etc. She has also served as a CAT Tool Instructor conducting an average of 50 courses and workshops for many associations, private institutes and conferences. Over the years she has provided Spanish language translation and interpreting for a multitude of translation agencies, global Fortune 500 companies, governments and NGO’s. When not working she enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and movies with her family.More Content by Marina Cavallera