Why not take a few cost-saving steps before diving into website translation and localization? When dealing with any web page, translate and build your online content in a smart manner. This way, your media translation service can reduce the amount of cumbersome (and unneeded) translations that need to be localized or updated, which will save your company money, while still delivering quality translated website content. Here are a few tips for keeping your website translation budget on target.
Selecting the Right Languages for Targeted Website Translation
Close to 7,000 living languages might be in use today (experts often disagree on what constitutes a unique language). Before approaching a professional translation agency for website translation, sort through your web traffic stats, and select languages to localize accordingly. Your web developers can help you figure out the linguistic regions where the bulk of your international online traffic originates from.
For example, if 30% of your traffic comes from French-speaking regions, French might be a good language to budget translations for. If only 5% of your online traffic comes from Spanish-speaking areas, you might want to skip Spanish translations or localization — although if your company is keen to increase its presence in Spanish-speaking countries, you actually might want to invest more into Spanish website translation. Think surgically and strategically about your web traffic, and your future business goals.
Remove Infrequently Used Web Page Content and Use Translation Memory Tools
If you’re not using it, and no one seems to be visiting certain web pages, get rid of them. Why invest in website translation for overlooked content? This goes for information that is out-of-date, no longer relevant, redundant, or doesn’t apply to the region you’re targeting (Vietnamese pharmaceutical customers don’t need to read about Medicare in Texas). Your local in-country teams can help you sift through what website material should stay, and what material should be jettisoned. By clearing out the unnecessary digital bulk, there will be less content to translate overall, and therefore less associated media translation service costs.
Another way to reduce the amount of translation is to store all your translations in a translation memory (TM) tool and reuse it with each website update. Websites are intended to be dynamic and constantly changing. Using TM tools will minimize any re-translation work needed during frequent updates, speeding up the release schedule, ensuring consistency and minimizing update costs!
Preparing Your Content Management System for International Website Translation
The content management system (CMS) used directly affects the user experience. Before ever engaging the services of a professional translation agency, there’s a lot your web development staff can do to reduce future website translation costs. You have to use a flexible framework that can handle plug-ins that support international characters, text expansion and contraction (different languages and writing systems come in different sizes), as well as different kinds of character sets, text and font, including bidirectional (like Arabic) and double-byte characters (like Chinese).
Always try to use Unicode fonts from the Universal Coded Character Set (UCS). And keep user interface elements like buttons, images, text boxes and menus flexible (i.e. without fixed size parameters) to accommodate different scripts. Also, avoid using too many images with embedded text (costly to translate). Before diving into a website translation, it’s also advisable to ensure that your CMS can easily swap between different international formats for numbers, dates and monetary currencies — as those tend to change as you travel around the world.
By consulting with a proficient media translation service versed in website translation before you revamp or update your business websites, you can set up your web pages in a manner that will make localization a lot easier — and subsequently less expensive. When building a web page, translate as efficiently as possible. This means working with a professional translation agency that can guide you through these cost-saving steps ahead of time, making future translations and website translation updates simpler to handle.
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