Localising websites one piece at a time
Website localisation requires a coherent approach to translating numerous interrelated parts, each with its own technical and linguistic requirements. Web translation goes beyond the basics of brochure work and instructional materials. A website today can be as sophisticated and useful as a fully featured piece of enterprise software, and getting it right in a new international market demands a sophisticated, coordinated, well-organised approach. As a project progresses, work on multiple areas is often pursued in parallel to maximise efficiency and meet deadlines. Teams must communicate well, and processes must be in place to drive global launches to completion on-time and within budget.
Key components of most website translation projects:
Global-ready assessment: A global-ready assessment is often a critical first step in the localisation process, which can save countless hours of work and keep a project on time and on budget. This step includes a systematic localisation analysis of a site’s front and back end to examine numerous issues, such as:
- Are the site’s pages coded to correctly display the character sets of the target languages?
- Will the layout of the site design be flexible enough to accommodate different text lengths post translation?
- Is the backend system set up to handle varying data standards, such as date, numbering and address formats?
Glossary, style guide and keyword development: The development of a glossary and style guide, as well as selecting the appropriate keywords for search engine optimisation, is an essential step in the overall success of a web localisation project, one that guarantees consistency of style, tone and terminology across languages. Created by our expert translators and language leads, these keyword lists and guides serve as the basis for website translation, and ensure your site’s content will be optimised for search traffic.
Translation and Editing: Your site’s content files are prepped in a translation memory environment, which stores the translation in a database that supports and assists in translation. This process ensures a consistent and efficient translation process across all languages. Once the content is translated, it is handed off to another linguist for editing, guaranteeing that your site content is fully reviewed by at least two professional linguists.
Engineering: Our seasoned engineering team handles all file types and technologies, content management systems, databases and CRMs to ensure exceptional website engineering — whether your site is coded in XHTML, ASPX, PHP or Ajax, or is static text or dynamically generated content from a CMS. In addition, every expert in managing translation memory database files, should keep your localisation investments secure and to handle updates seamlessly.
Testing & QA: The testing and QA phase of a website translation project is usually comprised of two critical passes: localisation (or technical) QA and linguistic QA. Trained testers and native speakers test your site on native operating systems and browsers to ensure the functionality and linguistic quality of a localised website, and to identify and flag any issues that can arise during the process.
SEM localisation: Just as with an original website, localised websites require marketing strategies to drive the desired volume of quality traffic. A SEM localisation approach should be holistic and will recreate SEM campaigns for local markets. Go beyond simple translations of meta-tags, PPC ads, titles and descriptions to create powerful international SEM localisations.