Website Translation - Tips

Perhaps more than ever – given recent political events – businesses in the UK are considering how they’ll continue to, or begin trade with other nations. For most companies of any scale & vision, having local language-specific sales & marketing brochures, information and tools has long been a given – whether or not they have offices, local representatives or subsidiaries “overseas”.

But does that focus translate and permeate as far as their websites and related digital services? Not always as effectively – especially for smaller to medium sized concerns.

It was thus both refreshing and timely to help one of our clients – specialist patent and trade mark attorneys NJ Akers & Co – when they approached us for help in ensuring  that key pages & content on their site was accessible in English and Chinese. Heading off on a visit organised by the Department Of International Trade to develop & consolidate some of the opportunities in this key global market, they wanted to make the “right” impression.

We delivered both a bilingual website and an accompanying brochure. Here’s some of the key tips we’d share if you are thinking of something similar:

(a) Remember that many countries have populations that speak different languages. In this specific example we knew that China has seven major dialects and two separate, official written languages. Given time & budget, the client’s local representatives recommended the most widely used “version”.

(b) Never, ever rely on Google Translate for a professional result. Machine translation is notoriously unreliable. Professional translators are the safest way to get accurate, quality copy for your website. They will appreciate the nuances of the original language and can properly contextualize them. This is even more critical in sites that require the translation of technical terms.

(c) Successful localisation starts at the design level. For example, the same paragraph  in German takes more space on the page than the English counterpart. As we discovered, Asian languages use one or two characters where English uses an entire sentence. This can significantly impact your layout design.

(d) Think about content delivery networks so that sites load as speedily as they do on home turf. Check out local regulations regarding privacy and remember that some markets will ban keywords that are fine at home.

If you’d like to know more about how to get your own website set up, or a brochure designed so that it is fluent for French, great for Germans and spiffing for Spaniards why not call SeaDog IT's own 经验丰富的专家团队 - specialist experienced team?