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Cooking up the perfect website translation!

I’m no Mary Berry in the kitchen but when it comes to translating websites you could say that it’s as easy (or as hard) as baking a cake. With the right ingredients and recipe you can create a masterpiece that even Paul Hollywood wouldn’t be able to find fault with and the same applies to the translation of your website. If you apply the right knowledge, tools and process your website could be localised for your international customers within weeks, driving business from all over the world and creating a global brand. Our tips for the perfect bake include:

  • Read the recipe – Make sure that you spend time at the beginning of the process to ensure that your content is right and your site is optimised for your target markets – a good translation partner will be able to advise on this and provide you with suggestions. For example, if you are targeting China – avoid black and white team bio pictures, this emulates pictures on graves not the arty image you might be aiming for!
  • Select the right tools – How are you going to insert the content back into the site once it has been translated? Most translation providers can work with complex web formats so speak to your provider before starting the laborious task of copy and pasting the content into a word document, you will only create more work for yourself at the end of the process and risk causing errors by copying the wrong content into the wrong section – have you tried to copy and paste Arabic text – you may end up with the infamous ‘soggy bottom!’
  • Top quality ingredients – Discuss with your translation partner what you are looking for from the translation, the tone, the address, what level of freedom the translators have with the text. It may be that you have thought about the content and tweaked this to cover all of your markets, but if your content is created for the British market, you may want to consider an element of transcreation and allow the translators to tailor this to the locale you are targeting. The linguists are experts in their field and should be living in the locale they are translating for so who better to adapt the content?
  • Time to bake – Make sure that you allow enough time in your project plan for the translation stage, a common problem is leaving the translation stage until the last minute. You wouldn’t write your English content in a day so why would you leave the translation until the last minute? Most translators are used to working to tight deadlines but the more time you provide, the more creative they can be!
  • Taste test – Once the translations are completed and uploaded to the site you should always include a linguistic review stage to the process, content will expand or shrink depending on the language so you need to ensure that the translated pages look as good as your English pages, why spend time and effort getting content right to display it incorrectly. You wouldn’t see Mary present a dull Ganache now would you?

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