Challenges to Anticipate when Undertaking a Website Translation
You have done your research and recognize the numerous benefits of having your website translated into another language, or multiple languages. Whether you are a small home-based business, or a large scale company, you have realized that incorporating new languages into your online presence will help you reach out to new markets, expand in existing ones, along with various other benefits.
So now that you have made the decision to undertake a website translation. You might be wondering: What’s next? What are some things I can anticipate throughout this process?
To help make the process smoother for you–using a recent case study as an example–wintranslationTM has compiled a list of possible challenges to anticipate and tips on how to prepare for them.
Our client in this case was a leading supplier of standby power generators and temperature control equipment with offices across the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada. They chose to partner with wintranslation to have their full website translated into French.
Challenges to Anticipate and Tips to Prepare for Them
Challenge #1: Languages are of Different Lengths
Something that most people might not know is that different languages translate into varying lengths of text. In this case, for example, we were dealing with an English to French translation and as a written language, French is almost always longer than the English. This difference in length will often lead to slight differences in layout between the original webpage and the one which has been translated.
Example from this case:
Compare the original text in English (top) to the much longer translated text in French (bottom). You can see how the difference in length affected the layout in this case!
- Since your translation may be longer or shorter than the original, make sure that your template allows for some room for adjustment.
- Keep in mind that your new translated website may not look identical to your original language—but this is an accepted fact for translations. Our project managers will work with you to make sure that your website is as consistent as possible throughout all your languages.
Challenge #2: Not All CMS’s are the same
The design/layout proved to be a challenge in this case, as the CMS that the client was using was specialized, and not compatible with plug-ins which normally would have aided in translation. While time-consuming, our project managers were able to work-around this by manually copying and pasting the text in and out of most of the site.
- Before undertaking your website translation, make sure you know what the CMS of your website is. If you are generally not familiar with websites, make sure you have access to the company/developer who designed your website. A translation company will need more than just the website address in order to translate your website.
- To help expedite the process, make sure to know in advance whether you will be importing the text for translation yourself, or if you need us to do it for you.
- Most CMS based websites have plugins which allow localization specialists to export the text and import it back. However, if your website uses a unique CMS, make sure that your developer is able to export and import the text from the database. If this is not possible, our engineers will be more than happy to check your CMS and provide you with customized solutions.*
- If you were translating into right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew, make sure your website CMS supports bi-directional format.
* To avoid any unexpected costs from popping up during the process, before commencing our work, we will provide you with a customized quote based on the CMS you are using. On top of that, our project managers will work closely with you to come up with solutions and test everything as we go.
Challenge #3: Underestimating Word Count
In this case (as is often the case), the client underestimated the word count required for translation. The final word count ended up being almost double what was provided to us at the start of the project! Fortunately, even with unexpected events, we are always willing to work with clients to ensure that projects are completed by the deadline.
- How have you estimated the word count? Make sure you are counting correctly! You should try and overestimate because there are always things that show up un-translated at the end. If you are not sure how to estimate, ask the translation company to provide you with an accurate estimate. Be advised that in order to do this, they will need more than just a link to your website.
- Don’t forget to include text from any images requiring translation into your word count!
Challenge #4: Details Are Often Overlooked
In our experience working on website translations, there are often details which are overlooked. Here are some tips for you to consider to make sure nothing is missed, from beginning to end:
- Check if you have un-editable images that you may need localized, as they won’t be exported with the text.
- It’s easy to miss pages or toggles, so you should leave extra time after the proposed deadline to troubleshoot any issues.
- Expect to require site testing by the translator to make sure everything displays correctly on the screen.
How Our Approach Works
How did wintranslation manage this project in an accurate, professional, and efficient manner?
Time and Cost Efficiency
- By using a translation tool like memoQ we were able to save our client a few hundred dollars for this project, and reduce the delivery time by a few days. memoQ allows us to create translation memories, so once a sentence is translated, it will be saved and reused again and again, saving time and money!
- We also used the memoQ translation tool to keep everything consistent. This is especially important when translating a sentence multiple times to ensure it is being translated consistently. There are many ways to translate a specific phrase and memoQ helps translators ensure that they use the same translation every time.
Research and Technical Terminology Management
- We put in a lot of extra research when it came to technical terminology. Our translators checked multiple sources of reputable companies and associations in the same field to make sure it was the correct, and current terminology.
Utilization of a Specialized Team
- We made sure the team working on this project was specialized for the language being translated (French). We used a team of two different translators: the first to do the translation, and the second to edit and revise everything. In addition to that, the project manager assigned to this project was fluent in French and was able to expedite the entire process and ensure quality control.
We Work with our Clients to come up with Solutions
- We worked with the client in this case to navigate a specialized CMS in order to come up with the final product.
- We will work with our client throughout the process to make sure that no details are missed.
- Keep in mind that we will ask you all the right questions before getting started! This will to help prevent any problems during the process and also will help ensure deadlines, and budgets are met!
With these tips in mind, you can feel confident getting ready to initiate your website translation!
For a free quote for your project, fill out wintranslation’s free quote request form.