What makes a great website translation?
After achieving success on the home market, many companies start considering entering a foreign market and translating their website into a foreign language. Sometimes, however, they seriously underestimate how much their success in a foreign market hinges on quality website texts and translations.
A great website translation does not read as just a translation
Website translation often involves localisation. In layman’s terms this means that when you are translating a website, it should be adapted to the target market. This can entail creating an entirely different design for the website, different use of language (for example, in some languages, using the informal ‘you’ form instead of the formal one) or minor formatting differences (currency, units, dates). The aim of localisation is to make the text feel as natural and familiar as possible to readers in a foreign cultural environment and information field.
A great website translation is optimised for search engines
However, translating a website is not just about localising it to a foreign market. In addition to foreign customers, it is also necessary to consider foreign-language search engines, because your website will for the most part likely be reached through web searches. In order for foreign customers to reach your website, the website translation also needs to be optimised. While localisation is targeted at people, optimisation is targeted at web robots that display search results based on certain algorithms and technical indicators.
A great website translation uses carefully selected keywords
Keyword selection should be based on the most popular target language keywords in your industry. However, you should also consider the competition for the foreign-language keyword in the target market, as well as how foreign customers use search engines to search the web. If you are not a native speaker of the target language, finding the best keywords and comparing different keywords for website translations can be difficult.
A great website translation rests on the correct use of language
For some reason, the importance of the the most appropriate and expressive use of language on a website is frequently ignored. Translating your website may initially seem like a large investment, but in reality your potential customers will always see translated website texts first. A flawless website translation is particularly important if you wish to appear trustworthy to your customers and show that your products or services are of high quality.
For professional translations, choose a professional translator rather than a native-speaking employee
Of course, it is frequently desirable to have your website texts translated by someone from within your company, but even in that case it is still advisable to have the translations reviewed by an editor who is a native speaker of the target language. However, even if your texts are translated by an employee who is a native speaker of the foreign language, e.g. a warehouse worker or accountant, but for whom translation is not something they do on a daily basis, the result will likely not be as good as if you had used the services of a professional translator.
A great website translation fits the website layout
When translating website texts it is also important to keep in mind that translations can sometimes be longer than original texts, which may lead to layout issues. For example, button, menu and image texts may no longer fit properly within their confines. Thus, it is a good idea to consider how different translations might suit the layout of your website already by the website design stage.
Transly Translation Agency works with website translations daily. We have translated websites into Russian, English, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian and many other languages.
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