Are you talking to me? Translate!

Are you talking to me? Translate!

Today’s business can no longer be confined to servicing your neighbourhood. But more importantly, the Internet has created a culture where the whole world is able to look in on you.

While English is considered the de-facto language online, there are really millions of web sites and web users who do not speak English. And the progress of browser technology and computers mean that many languages have found their way online. Sure, you have Google Translate, but are you sure you want your information to be read in that way?

There is a simple solution – professional translation. There are many such services. For convenience, you can use online translation services.

Before you take this path, make sure that you are clear which languages you want to target. Using content management software with multi-language capabilities will save you a lot of time and effort, however, you still need to define the languages you want to appear on your site.

Unless you are a huge multi-national company, it is doubtful if you need more than 2 languages on your website. Beware of this trap. Too many languages may mean that your maintenance costs will increase, or worse, you will have broken content as you struggle to keep up with the translations or to keep the various versions updated.

4 Replies to “Are you talking to me? Translate!”

  1. This is true. I have come across a ton of websites over the last year or so which are not written in English. However, I seem to find that Google Translate works well? What do you mean when you say infer that others wouldn’t want to read your website that way?

  2. Good point. Google Translate works. However, it is far from perfect. People will find it mildly irritating putting up with some of the imperfect translations, but there will be some phrases or sentences which gets totally distorted in translation. Surely you have experienced that? But more importantly, your message is not just the words. It is your site design, your choice of words, graphics and many other subtle things. A raw translation can hardly be the communications tool of choice for you. After all, you are trying to sell and idea or even a product. Let’s not leave it to chance. If the translation works, good, else, it might even be damaging. Are you wiling to put the success of your business in the hands of fate?

    But for the myriads of other languages, sure, they can choose to use Google Translate. We advocate you do your own translations for your KEY markets. Hope this clarifies.

  3. I agree, we tried quite a few of the online automatic translator services, but we found that none offered natural speech conversions. i.e the converted text did not read like it had been written by a local.
    we eventually has the site translated by a professional, we wish we had gone down this route to start with as it would have saved a lot of trouble.

  4. Well, Jonathan, we always learn from our experience and that’s how we get better with what we are doing. Thanks for visiting, hope to have you re-visit again.

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