Translating Your Website: Best Practices

In today’s digital environment your website is one of your most vital marketing tools. In a globalized economy, connecting with customers around the world also means speaking to them in their own language. LingPerfect has extensive experience translating websites for many companies in different industries.

From our experience, there are a number of things to consider when preparing to translate your website. With these key steps we can work with you to manage the process seamlessly and successfully!

  1. Determine your goals: What do you want to accomplish with this site? Who is your audience? What is the purpose? Is this an internal website for employees in your foreign offices? Is this site designed to bring in new customers? The answers to these questions will help you determine the appropriate budget, scope and method for translating your site.
  2. Define your Budget: When you think back to the amount of work and technical engineering that went into creating your website, think for a moment of how important it was to know that your investment would be worth the time, money and effort. The same applies to your international sites. In addition to tailoring the content, you will need to have budget and time set aside for addressing the technical build, images, graphics, videos, voice overs and other elements that made your original site a success. If you do not have in-house engineers who speak the language of your target market, you will also have to think about testing links, checking the layout and additional items to make sure the site is perfect.
  3. Define your strategy for non-translated data, URLs, partially translated pages: Our expert technical engineers can work with your team to ensure all elements of the site will be handled properly. This includes content that needs to stay in English for the functioning of the site. We can also work with your team to translate URLs and develop notices on the site if your target audience will be entering pages that are in English. There are many ways to go about managing this process and we can help develop your strategy prior to starting translation.
  4. Technical Preparation: Is your site going to be translated into a Non-Western font? For Asian languages and Arabic, you should consider preparing everything in Unicode before translation begins.
  5. Does your team need assistance separating code from translatable text?: Our engineers can work directly in your XML, HTML (and other files) to separate the text for you. This ensures that the coding is preserved and you receive the exact files needed for the build. Not only is this more efficient, but it avoids possible errors that occur when text is pasted in by individuals who do not know the language they are managing.
  6. Prepare for language expansion or contraction: Foreign languages will affect your layout. If you need to keep the text restricted within a given space, define the parameters at the start of the translation process. Translators can work within character limits, but they may need the “green light” in order to be more creative the text.
  7. How will you manage graphics with embedded text?: Graphics and banners with embedded text look great and have a way of making your website stand out from the crowd. Taking these embedded graphics into another language can be costly and time-consuming, but it could also be an important part of your marketing strategy. Our consultative approach will help you determine which graphics you would like to use and if certain graphics should be changed. Did you know the color red has very strong negative associations in Korea? It’s our job to know these things and we would be happy to offer consultation on the layout, colors and images of your website.
  8. Empower us with the tools to keep your branding and messaging true: When copywriters write, they are equipped with tools from their clients: style guides, brand guides and company information. These enable them to successfully create the right content. Translators will greatly benefit from having similar materials and understanding what you are looking to achieve with your website.
  9. Think about Search Engine Optimization (SEO): We can do more than help you translate your SEO terms. We do full research into determining which terms are the best for your target market. Direct translation of the terms from English will not produce the same results in your new market.
  10. Update your contacts, numbers and measurements: Before translating, it’s best to have updated contact information, phone numbers, addresses and measurements as part of the media pack.

Our team looks forward to working on your next website localization project. We can be always reached at sales@lingperfect.com