4 Tips For Effectively Translating Your Website

When you decide to change your website to incorporate a global reach, one of the first things you will need to do is translate your site. Like with any web design change, you are going to come across a variety of different ways to translate your site, but the following tips will provide you with the most effective ways to do so.

1. Use a translation service.

When it comes to translating your website, it’s a good idea to avoid using translation software or websites like Google Translate. The reason you want to avoid these translation tools is because these tools will typically only provide a verbatim translation, which means that your translated content will not be grammatically correct.

This is why you should use a translation service instead. Professional translation and transcription services provide excellent quality and fast turnaround for businesses, and since these companies use real people with real translation and linguistic skills, you can rest assured that your website content will be translated accurately.

2. Don’t forget the images.

If you have text inside your images, you want to make sure that you translate this content as well as the content found elsewhere on your site. Oftentimes this content is overlooked during the translation process, but the content inside the image is still valuable to your audience. Make sure that you are translating all the content on your images to provide your users with a thorough understanding of your site.

If you don’t want to translate the content on your images, it’s best to remove the content altogether. If your web users see content on the image in a different language, they will likely try to translate the content on their own using a free web-based tool. Since these tools don’t provide accurate translations, it’s possible that the information can be misinterpreted or confuse your audience.

3. Pay attention to navigation.

Any and all drop down menus on your site, including those found in your site’s navigation, need to always be translated. The navigation of your site (including your site map) is the one main place that your audience will use to navigate through your site. If they cannot understand what your navigation says, they’re not going to be able to get around your site successfully. If your site is not user friendly to your audience, they are going to leave your site and go elsewhere.

4. Pay attention to the design.

Some companies make the mistake in changing the design and layout of their site when they create a newly translated website, but this is not a good idea. You want your brand identity to be consistent among all channels, no matter what country your audience is visiting from. If you change the design and layout of your website, you’re not going to have much success. When you translate your website, make sure that you keep the design and layout the same as your original site.

You should also make sure that the color choices you use in your site are not portraying a negative connotation to the other country, as certain colors that mean one thing in your hometown may mean something else across the globe.

While design, navigation and images are essential to delivering a culturally aligned localization or translation a savvy webmaster cannot deny the importance of accurate and linguistically alligned professional translations. For many small to medium businesses and organizations it is virtually impossible to maintain in-house translation teams sufficiently skilled to deliver superior content. The best and most scalable option is to explore affordable professional translation services or hiring an independant contractor via elance.

Carrie Fisher is a freelance writer and aspiring author from Miami. She is currently doing some online gigs while she stays at home with her three children. In her spare time, Carrie likes to read and spend time with her family.