The numbers tell the story on why it could be worth your while to use a translation company to make your website multilingual.
If your website is in Spanish as well as English, you have the potential to reach 683 million people, in 78 countries, on six continents.
If it’s in Chinese as well as English, the potential online reach expands to more than one billion people, in 56 countries.
Compare those numbers with an English-only website, whose potential reach is 473 million people in 54 countries.
Let’s say, then, that you’ve decided to hire a translation company to help you up your game. How do you find a company that’s a good fit with yours? Here are five key aspects to consider.
- Native speakers. Find out if the company uses native speakers in the languages you want translated. They will have the best grasp of idiom and local context. Note that this isn’t the same as asking someone on your staff who is a native speaker of the language to serve as translator. Translation is a profession, with its own skill sets.
- Domain expertise. Check to see if the company provides translation localization services to other clients in the same field as yours. If you operate in a highly specialized field, it’s best to work with a company that has experience in your domain.
- Beyond content. Although your focus is on making sure you translate website content accurately, make sure you’re also familiar with the software platform the translation company uses. This will make a difference in how your customers experience that content.
- Bring-Your-Own (BYO) software. A good translation company will allow you to supply the translation software for your project. This helps to protect your intellectual property, that is, your translation memory.
- Due diligence. As you would before contracting with other service providers, do some due diligence on whom you’re considering. One thing that you can easily do is to see if the company offers any language options on its website and then get the quality of the translated pages checked.
It’s worth the time and effort it takes to vet translation companies before you bring one on board. You’ll be most successful in your multilingual efforts if you have a translation company that you can stay with, and who will stay with you, getting to know the nuances of your tone, messaging and style that help to distinguish your company from all the rest—in every language.