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Globalization and the increased accessibility to the internet opened an opportunity for businesses big and small to connect with prospects and users from anywhere in the world.
The question is, is your business suitable for a global audience? Do you see visitors from Russia or China but your website is only in English? For a rather small investment you can start to market to larger global markets and grow your revenues or simply start your journey towards a truly global brand.
Of course, the first step (and where we can be a true partner to your organization) is to translate your website. Did you know that only 25% of internet users browse in English? By translating your website into 5 languages (Chinese, Spanish, French, Arabic, Portuguese) you are able to reach 77% of the world’s population.
There are 3 different approaches for web localization.
1.- Plain text.
The most basic approach to translating your website is plain text translation. In this case, the webmaster will just copy and paste the content in a common format (e.g., MS Word, TXT) and send it to a language service provider in order for them to translate. After it has been translated, the webmaster will copy and paste the content back into the CMS (Content Management System). However, there are a couple of challenges with this approach:
- The burden of work is put on the webmaster for copying and pasting back into the CMS.
- There are more chances of errors occurring. As the work of copying and pasting is done manually and it depends on the thoroughness of the webmaster, there are chances something will be missed in the process. This becomes evident as the content is published and the project manager finds out that they have to go back and forth to the translation team in order to fix the problems.
2 – CMS approach.
Another alternative is translating directly on the CMS. This can be done either by duplicating the website (the duplicate being in a different language) or using a plugin (The most popular for WordPress is WPML). The way plugins work is by helping you export the content in XLIFF or another structured content format which can easily be worked on by the language service providers. Then you import the content back and voila…or it maybe not that easy, because for some languages you have to still format the layout. To give you an example, Spanish yields about 30% more text than English so the small cute buttons on your website can quickly become a problem in other languages.
3 – Proxy Solution.
A proxy website translation solution is ideal for large portals where content is uploaded very often. The way it works is that translated content is redirected to a cloud server that shows the translated content while maintaining the site structure, in other words, it shows the original website but on the language of your choice.
This is a simple and clean way to translate websites, that requires minimal IT or webmaster involvement. Through a simple line of code on the website (we provide step by step instructions), we are able to extract the content, host it in our translation platform and professionally translate it. This technology is particularly relevant for dynamic sites, as our robots crawl the site regularly in order to find new content, which is then translated by our team. The client just focuses on the English or source site, and we take care of the other languages.
Think of translation proxy as a mirror that sits in front of a website and applies translations on the fly, which can be fully automated in real time by machine translation, or pulled from a translation memory of professional translators, and it is visible to different audiences in their local language. The proxy makes it very simple for you and the language service provider, because you don’t need to set up multiple versions of your website for each target language nor do you have to keep updating each time you add more content to your website. This means less development time; the proxy system identifies each time content is changed and it is flagged for translation, making updating your website easier and faster.