Take these 3 things into account when translating a website
Posted on January 16, 2018
Are you going internationally with you website or webshop? The language barrier is often the biggest challenge. Naturally you want to have personal and engaging content to reach out to your potential customers. Maybe it seems tempting to not translate the texts into all languages, since a lot of languages seems almost exactly the same. But there are some crucial differences that you have to take into account. For example, a Dutch person will search for a ´Shirt´ (Hemd) in a webshop, while a Belgian will add a ´Underbody´ (Marcelleke) to his chart. In addition to word usage, there are more points to pay attention to when translating text (even when you are teaming up with a professional translation agency!).
We already mentioned the usage of the right words. But did you already figure out that it is also necessary that you speak to your target group the exact same way as they do? Take the French-Flemish for instance, the spelling differs from French and in the same way Britons don't not feel personally addressed by American English. Therefore you should always call in professional native translators to translate your website or webshop. Not only are translators linguistic, they are real culture experts. They have no trouble adopting any tone-of-voice and know how to write appealing content for your visitors. So that you can provide your fans with engaging and fun content, which automatically prevent those massive language blunders and increases your chances of success.
Most website traffic is still coming from Google. With that fact in mind, you can jump into the conclusions that it is definitely important to keep the focus on SEO while translating the website. That's why it's more efficient to partner up with a translation agency that has knowledge of web and content management systems. This agency can export not only all the content of your pages, but also navigation, buttons, metadata and design elements (alt attributes of images). So they can translate every single item of your website. Often a separate keyword analysis is necessary to determine the search behavior of your international fans. A literal translation of well-scoring metadata and keywords in your native languages is not guaranteed in any other country. Determine per country which keywords are most suitable for your brand and adjust the text to these new words. Also remember to translate the complete URL structure, all subcategories and the subpages.
It seems unnecessary to mention, but an international website is not finished until everything has been translated. This includes: logos, buttons and other design elements. The literal translation of these items often goes flawlessly. But there is more when it comes to translating the entire look-and-feel. Customers with a different cultural background could for example have different motives to visit your website. In certain cultures a different slogan or even brand will catch on easier. Have you ever heard of Hungry Jack´s for example? This is the Burger King´s franchise in Australia (true story)! Moreover, it is good to think about how the visitor goes to the actual translated website: is he/she automatically forwarded through cookies or can a language or country be chosen manually. For this kind of questions, it's better to work together with an internet agency than a translation agency.
To translate not only the text, but the total experience of the website, a collaboration is needed between an internet agency, translation agency and client. In this way you know how to take on all the challenges to make your website or webshop a great success. At CONNAXIS we are happy to help you realize your online ambitions. We have all the knowledge to translate the complete experience of the site for a new target group, so what are you waiting for? Send us a message and start expanding your horizons!