by Cynthia Spiers
As a marketer, I’ve lived through my share of website localization projects. Most were a nightmare.
For starters, the traditional way of localizing a website presents myriad challenges. Here’s how it went for me. First, I needed to somehow extract all of the English source content I wanted translated from the web content management system. At one company where I worked, an engineer had to build a connector to help pull out the relevant strings of text and import them into Excel documents. Not being incredibly technical, working through this process caused me plenty of headaches, and I was on the phone with the engineer frequently.
Once all of the content strings were captured, I emailed those Excel files to a project manager, who in turn shared them with translators. (Some of the sites I worked on supported as many as 20 languages!) That’s a lot of files and a lot emails traveling around the world.
The translators completed their version of the spreadsheet and returned the translations to the project manager, who had them checked for quality and returned them to me. I’m pretty organized, but managing all of this content, and validating its accuracy, was no picnic!
Next came getting all of the strings back into the website. I honestly don’t remember the specifics here. I think I’ve blocked them out. But I do remember the many layout issues that resulted. Translated text didn’t fit correctly. German words were incredibly long, while Asian languages took up less space than the English. Page layouts were a mess. Some of the translations, because they were translated out of context in an Excel document, weren’t correct and had to be redone. The entire process took months!
Maybe you’ve found yourself frustrated by the old-fashioned approach to website translation too. Here are 7 things about Smartling’s Global Delivery Network (GDN) that can change your experience dramatically:
- You can view all of your new content right within the Smartling dashboard
- Selecting it for translation requires the click of a mouse
- Translators are automatically notified that they have new content to translate
- Translators translate within the context of the actual web page
- Translators have clear visibility into the intended meaning of the content and how it will appear on the page (so they can make corrections in real time)
- The new content populates the correct language pages automatically
- As the content owner, your role in this process takes minutes
As a global marketer, I understand the importance of communicating with customers in their native language. But this hasn’t always been easy to do. Now, thanks to Smartling, I’m happy to report, it truly is. You can learn more about Smartling’s GDN here.