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Website Translation: Walking in Your Client’s Shoes

website translation services

Last updated on May 18th, 2021 at 12:32 pm

You’ve been assigned the exciting task of taking your website global!  This means, you need to create content in the language of your global clients. That is a big step up for your company.  Once you get your translated and localized website up and running, you’ll be reaching a new world of clients! You will have multilingual content for exposure, brand recognition and new sales in other locales.  It’s only upwards from here!

However, as you begin planning your localization project there might be two pesky questions hanging over your head.

  • How much can I afford to localize?
  • How much should I localize?

We are familiar with these common questions.  As a translation company it is our job, after all, to understand our clients’ objectives and requirements before diving into the localization process.  No one is more familiar with your company than you are, and you’ve set aside a budget and developed an idea of how much web content you wish to translate and localize.

The Risks of Partial Website Translation

Here are two scenarios- 1) An online furniture store has Portuguese translations of their product and categories- but not all the items of the product description are translated.  2) An instructional video is dubbed in Spanish, but the screen text is left untranslated.

These are examples of partial translation and localization, a solution often chosen in response to the two pesky questions!  The less work there is to do, the less it will cost you.  However, when answering questions related to budget- there are other elements to consider, including:

  • Usability- Ease of use
  • Passing the message and information in a complete and clear way.

All are important and are related to your client’s experience of visiting your website. These considerations could affect your sales and engagement with your brand, so they are important to think about when considering the financial impact of not localizing certain information.

When you choose not to localize certain information in a webpage- for instance, leaving English and Japanese text together in the same page, you risk confusing your target clients since you’re only getting some information across to them.  If your clients are confused, they are less likely to purchase from your website and your company might miss out on potential sales!

Having confused clients is not the only risk when it comes to partial website translations.  You might find yourself turning off your consumers in a new market due to lack of attention to their needs, or even violating certain legal or regulatory requirements that could prevent distribution of your product in the target market.

Step into Your Clients’ Shoes by Asking These Questions

One of the most important things to do when planning your website translation is to stand in your clients’ shoes- especially when it comes to usability of the site:

  • What areas of the website are the most important to be translated?
  • What information is especially important to your visitors?
  • Will it make sense to leave the images in English to save money?
  • Do I need to translate the company blog?
  • Do I have all important information localized? Such as, addresses fields, dates, measurements, currency among others.
  • Do I have the contact forms and information translated? That is a must and will help conversion!

A good solution is to have complete translations of a fewer number of pages, as it will enhance your visitors’ experience.  Offering partial translations is just like leaving all the rooms of a home partially painted because you only have a limited amount of paint- you’d be better off having just a few rooms fully painted.  Translating a website is similar, it is better to proceed step by step, area by area of your site according to your budget. 

As a rule of thumb, it is important for us to listen to you and know your objectives.  For all your hard work and devotion to your company- you also deserve to know all the available options we can offer you to make your multilingual, localized website successful!  If you have any questions, or wish to learn more about website localization, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.  We will be happy to analyze your case and advise you based on our broad experience in multilingual solutions for global reach.

Flora Yu
Flora Yu
Flora was born and raised in New York to parents from Hong Kong and Taiwan. She has a degree in Accounting. She is fluent in Mandarin, and contributes a unique perspective as someone who was raised in 2 different cultures. She finds humor and opportunities to learn as she constantly searches for the balance between the East and West.