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Navigating a Sea of Words

website translation becomes manageable

website translation becomes manageable

How To  Make Translating Websites An Easy and Successful Process 

You’ve always got deadlines!  They might include your company’s eight-page (English) brochure, which needs to be translated into Chinese  in two-weeks. You know it needs to be translated into Simplified Chinese, because you know your customers’ needs. You also know this is NOT the best job for an off-the-shelf machine-translation, because your predecessor made THAT mistake and it’s become one of those company stories no one wants on their resume.

But, what about the big jobs? Projects like a full-scale, website translation of a million-or-more words translated into multiple languages, are both highly visible and commerce driven. What you need is a talented, focused translation service agency that’s sailed these waters before and is intimately familiar with special  tools and navigating complex  translation processes.

Things you’ll want from the translation agency and its teams of professional translators.

Experience

Knowing your chosen partner for translation services has successfully performed multiple website translations is your first stop on the journey. They should have experience  translating websites that perform as informational, marketing and ecommerce functions as well. These teams of professional translators and localization engineers should know and recognize  the results of delivering well translated and localized websites.

Having guidance and expertise helping you navigate a Sea of words is a must! Website translation into multiple languages entails several steps for success.

Key Questions to Ask

“Has the selected Translation Services Company performed a project of this scale before?”

“What is their recommendation?”

If the answer is “strictly human translation”, run! You might just as well try to row your boat across the Pacific Ocean. The span is too great. By the same token, if the answer you receive is “strictly machine translation”, confirm again. This strategy is like strapping your ship’s helm and pointing it at your destination. It might work. You might end up at the right country, but probably at the wrong port.

This strategy will not always provide you with a seamless, grammatically sensible translation of content.  

There is another way- a hybrid solution of machine and human translation. After the machine translation does its job, human translators will adjust and improve the translation, a process called post-editing. This approach is very much like a navigator aboard your ship. What they know will aid you in traversing this sea of words and ultimately delivering translated content that is ready to be consumed by your intended audience. machine translation human translation websites

This language-navigator knows their:

Instruments

Specialized machine translation is an excellent choice for large projects. It’s a tool and a reliable choice if properly managed. Use of this process by skilled translation experts can work through a sea of website copy and is punctuated by the steady hand that oversees, corrects and adjusts, and helps the engine’s learning as needed.

Environment

When planning for the arrival of your finished translation, a multilingual website includes more than just translating the words, but conveying their meaning in a culturally relevant manner (aka “localization”). Much like dealing with the ocean’s current, wind and weather, the language your source files are writing in, may include “word-pictures” which defy or confuse machine translation.

Please keep in mind- while machine translation is useful in translating large websites, it is not suitable for all applications and types of content, which is why it needs to be tested, evaluated and improved by experts so it produces the quality required.

The Translation Team

Each project manager has field-tested their crew. They trust in the support of their team members because the project manager knows a successful crew understands their roles and duties.

The team that delivers your translation project may include the following:

  • Project manager- Person in charge of overall execution of the project which involves resource allocation, Execution of TimeLine and budget. Ensures clients’ needs are fulfilled and coordinates exchange of information.
  • Localization Engineers – In charge of technical aspects and import and export of translatable content for the rest of the team
  • Linguists and SEO Experts – Glossary creation and Keyword research for each language selected
  • Translators- Translation and localization of content by human translators. If machine translation is involved, the help of trained and experienced translators is enlisted to manage the machine translation engine.
  • Proofreaders- Revises translated content.  When involving machine translation, a group of individuals post-editing the machine output will feed the revised translation into the machine to improve output for subsequent content translation. Both approaches are critical to creating quality translated content, because they validate the accuracy and clarity of the translation performed by either a human or machine.
  • Desktop Publishers/designers- Adjusts images and other graphic elements that undergo changes during the translation process.
  • Testing Engineers- Evaluates the behavior of the translated versions of the website while using the original website as reference. Tests forms, links, navigation and content display.

 

The website translation team is a multidisciplinary team of experts that work in synchrony

Destination

 Your translation company should know precisely your destination- or how your translated content will look and when you need it completed by. A reliable translation services team understands that website translation and localization is a big deal, and does not treat your project as if it were ‘just another translation assignment’ but values your brand’s goals to reach your intended market. As the customer, you should trust that any moments of “stormy weather” will be managed properly by a skillful group of professionals.

The critical path of navigating a sea of words  in the Global world is to have a knowledgeable team that  selects the right approach, professionals and technology to produce a successful website translation project at the hands of  a Steady and strong Captain. The question is: have you done your homework to manage your website and brand with adequacy for global positioning?

 

Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As president of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs.