Are you a start-up company or a company that is just entering the international market and would like to translate your website? This seems like a great undertaking, but it is actually quite an easy task. You just have to know what languages you require and how to organize them.
Before translating anything, you should ensure that the content management system that you use supports the special characters of the desired target language. Then, a decision should be made on exactly what should be translated. In order to be as cost-effective as possible, especially when starting out, try to only include text that has a low likelihood of change, as updating translations is associated with extra costs. For example, current news or job positions normally do not need to be translated into several different languages. In addition to this, make a decision on if the downloads located on your website should also be translated or not. In addition, for SEO purposes, it is sensible to also have all the website descriptions and Meta tags translated as well. It is for this reason that it would be wise to have the person responsible for designing your website prepare the text to be translated. Furthermore, talk with your web designer and how you may want to implement translation of any graphics containing text.
It is a matter of preference, but the most effective way to arrange your source file would be to provide all of the text to be translated in an Excel file as a spreadsheet. If you add all of the text in the source language to cells corresponding to the text fields on your website, this should make it very easy to manage several different languages at once. Some people choose to use a Word file instead because they feel more comfortable with this application. Another option would be to have the translation agency extract your website and translate HTML files directly. This way you can view them on your browser or have a webmaster add them directly to your website if this method works well depending on your existing content management system.
In the case of Excel, for the sake of example, the first column entails the source language and the successive columns will contain the target languages. Your graphic designer can copy and paste the respective text to the corresponding text field on your website. In order to avoid confusion, the graphic designer can hide the languages that he is currently not using. In addition, for quality control purposes, the text can be pasted into a Word document to make use of WORD’s spelling and grammar checker in addition to the quality assurance applications within CAT tools. And don’t forget, this format is ideal for any human proofreaders as well.
After you have finished this file, send it to a translation agency and request a quote. In any website, there is generally a great deal of repetition. Please ensure to ask the translation agency or translator that you are hiring to take this into account and give you an appropriate discount. After all, you should not have to pay full price for translating the same thing 5 to 10 times.
After you receive the quote, before confirming it, it would be a wise idea to ask the translation agency if their translators would be willing to check your website after the translations have been added by your graphic designer. Most agencies would agree to do this free of charge, but usually only if this is has been arranged beforehand.
It is a good idea to only translate a single language to begin with. By doing this, you may be able to identify issues that can be rectified before translating your website into several different languages.
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