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How Do I Translate Website For Foreign Markets?
Truegho




msg:3966020
 11:42 am on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I am contemplating translating my website into different foreign languages to market it worldwide. However, as I am UK webmaster who knows no foreign languages at all, I need help and advice on how to do it. Here are my questions:

1. Is it REALLY worthwhile taking the time to translate ALL my website's pages, or just the main index page?

2. What is the best online website translator?

3. Will I get deluged with thousands of emails in a foreign language which I just cannot understand?

Thanks.
<snip>

[edited by: engine at 1:15 pm (utc) on Aug. 5, 2009]
[edit reason] See TOS [/edit]

 

LifeinAsia




msg:3966249
 4:12 pm on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

1) It depends on your content, market, goals, etc.

2) NONE. Do not waste your time with online/machine translators. Spend the money and have real people do it.

3) You'll probably get some.

StoutFiles




msg:3966264
 4:37 pm on Aug 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

NONE. Do not waste your time with online/machine translators. Spend the money and have real people do it.

Yes and no. If it's just a word or two to label tabs/sections of your site, then an online translator is fine.

bill




msg:3966725
 7:41 am on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Never use machine translation for a production website, ever.

As already stated, if you're going to do it right hire a proper translator. Then, if you're really serious about the language market, hire a copywriter/marketer who is fluent in the target language to rewrite the content to meet the local market's lingo. Straight translation is often not enough.

Then once you have a properly translated website make sure that you have someone on staff who can handle any business inquiries/support issues that may arise in that language.

Rumbas




msg:3966821
 12:07 pm on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree, NEVER EVER use automated online translation tools for your website - they are not good enough. Try this test:

Take some of your content and put it though Google Translator and translate it to fx. Spanish. Then take that translated spanish content and run it through again translating it back to english... you'd be surprised of how bad it is :)

LifeinAsia




msg:3967089
 3:16 pm on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

In Rumbas' example, it's actually not going to demonstrate how truly bad it is (but will give you an idea), since going back and forth between the same 2 languages will use many of the same "rules."

Another good way to see is to find a non-English site (assume the content is flawless for that language), then use Google Translator to translate into English.

Another thing you can try- first run some of your content through Google Translator from English to Spanish, then run that translation from Spanish to German, then run that translation from German to English.

Leosghost




msg:3967108
 3:40 pm on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another thing you can try- first run some of your content through Google Translator from English to Spanish, then run that translation from Spanish to German, then run that translation from German to English.

I've been convinced for years that's how the regional tourist authority here does it ..starts from french ..autotrans to unintelligible english, goes from there to equally unintelligible german and dutch ..

Of course no doubt the boss of whoever is responsible thinks their employee can actually speak / read / write all of these languages fluently ( whereas even their french has mistakes ) ..and actually how ( if the boss doesnt speak any foreign languages ) can they know that someone lied on their CV ?

Usually people hire others to do what they cant do themselves ..such as speak/read/write other languages ..

Easy example of how just one word ( two actually but it counts as one in french ) "n'importe quoi" can get mistranslated ..and lose it's sense ..look it up on line ..

I'll give you a clue the wicktionary and about are wrong ..because it's meanings ( that's right it has more than one ) are contextual ..and almost diametrically opposite ..and if you use "n'mporte quoi" as a reply in some situations ( it can also depend on your tone of voice ) it can be taken to mean that you are inferring that the person you are talking to is a liar ..or an idiot ..or incompetant etc ..

Or you might be just saying to them that it doesnt matter that anything will do ..

autotrans is "n'importe quoi"
ou
autotrans c'est n'importe quoi ( which french speakers would take to mean autotrans is crap )..used in that phrase ..:)

KatrinR




msg:3967272
 7:20 pm on Aug 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

1. Translation and localization (adapting to the local market) can be pretty expensive.
You can do it in steps. Depending on your objectives, you could start with a one page summary per language, or select pages that are really important for your target audience, and add on step by step additional pages if needed (but plan this process in advance to save money).
Don’t ‘tease’ your audience into a multilingual website by having some intro paragraphs translated and any deeper level is still in English. Tell your audience when link contents are in English only, customer service doesn’t speak the foreign language (or responses are delayed because it goes through a translation process), phone mumbers work only in the UK, etc. This shows respect, and your foreign visitor will appreciate it (v.s. being upset if not informed)

2.You received clear voices on that. Only human translators are able to comprehend both the linguistic and cultural nuances essential to helping you succeed in the global market.

3.First you want to market international and then you want nobody to show interest? ;-)
Yes, it’s important to get ready for customers worldwide and how to communicate with them. One solution to that is mentioned under 1.

Hope this helps

Katrin

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