Localization may seem like a demanding process, and it is, but it’s the only way to seriously establish a presence overseas. Here are three essentials for any localization project:
1. Accurate translations
Translation obviously plays a critical role when you’re building out a multilingual website. How else will you attract a larger global audience if you don’t speak their language?
If you’re the least bit serious about running a multilingual website, don’t use machine translation. Despite recent advancements in machine translation technology (e.g. Google’s neural MT, Skype’s speech recognition), content produced by automated translators is far from ready for commercial use. Not only does machine translation sound inaccurate and unnatural, it looks like spam in Google’s eyes. If your business plans to be discovered and used by native speakers of another language, then you’re going to need proper translations by an experienced translation partner.
Human translation may sound like a huge investment, but the reality is that there are many ways to translate affordably. Especially in the case of technology focused platforms like Gengo, crowd-based providers combine machine-like speed with human creativity to provide fast, high quality output at low rates.
2. Consistency across sites/ pages
Usability concerns stay the same no matter where you are in the world. As such, you shouldn’t confuse international visitors by having gaps in your design or translation. Visitors should have the same customer experience when navigating your site, whether the UI is presented in English, Japanese or German.
For the best multilingual user experience, you need consistent style, design, and language support across all your sites and pages. This is where having a multilingual theme makes it easy. For example, AIT-Themes’ deluxe WordPress themes offer built-in multilingual support with no third party plugins required. You can simply select your languages and begin building your WordPress website from the get-go.
3. A streamlined workflow
If you’ve ever run a global site, you know there are a ton of moving parts. That’s why it’s essential to have an easy way to create, publish and update your multilingual content. This is especially apparent when you have a need for ongoing translation or regularly update your content.
This can be accomplished by using an important tool called a translation management system (TMS) or by connecting your current content management system (CMS) to a human translation API like Gengo’s. This will shave off any time wasted by manually passing files back and forth with your translation partner, and ensure all new strings are translated automatically.