Bleed-Through Protection for Translated Sites: What You Must Know

The title of this post may seem a bit scary if you’re new to translation. But even for people in the know, bleed-through on translated sites is, at the very least, unseemly. It can make it look like sloppy localization implementation and can be immediately off-putting to local users.

So, what is bleed-through? Why is it so bad? And, what can you do to prevent it? Read on to learn more.

What Is Bleed-Through?

Imagine this scenario: you have a perfectly translated page. You edit the content in its original language. Let’s assume that you’re using human, professional translators (and most companies do). So, there is naturally a time gap between when you make changes to the content in the source language and when the corresponding translations appear on the translated page.

If you’re using a translation proxy when you translate website content, the original content can bleed through, or appear among the translated text, in this transitional phase. A proxy tool is able to detect changes in the source content, line it up for translation, and then publish the translated content on the appropriate localized site. But if the proxy tool does not have enough bleed-through protection, the source language content may just leak its way to the translated site. So, you have all this content in Chinese, and then abruptly, you may have some text in English popping up from the original site.

It makes for a very weird user experience and can damage your brand reputation. It can also jeopardize the credibility of all the previously translated content.

How to Achieve Bleed-Through Protection

Smartling’s translation proxy tool, the Global Delivery Network (GDN), has the perfect solution for bleed-through. This is how it works:

  • GDN caches the pages of the translated site.
  • It then checks for new content on the original site.
  • If new content is available, GDN ingests it and requests translation.
  • Meanwhile, the GDN continues to serve translated content that was previously cached, until the translation is published.
  • Once translation is published, cache is auto-reset and new content shows up perfectly translated.
  • Thus, there is no bleed-through on sites served by Smartling.

When Not to Use Bleed-Through Protection

Sometimes, timely information is more important than translated information. In such cases, it’s better for companies to skip bleed-through protection. But, those situations are usually rare, and companies prefer to display only completely translated content.

The best part of using Smartling’s GDN is, of course, that the entire process is highly automated. Once you’ve set up your translation workflows, there’s very little you need to do except produce new content on the original language site.