When you need to translate website copy from one language to another, the fear of getting sub-par content from a business translator—and turning your target audience away—can freeze you in your tracks.
Fortunately, there’s a way to circumvent that unnecessary worry and get high quality website translation. And, it starts with not only hiring a professional translator, but also establishing a solid process to support translation. But it also involves providing good source content, putitng some thought into the review process, and so on.
Here are some pointers to help your business translator create spot-on and high-quality website pages all the time.
1. Incredible Source Content
Quality source content leaves as little room as possible for translation errors. Draft content in plain language before you hand it over to your business translator. For example, anywhere you can replace a longer word or instance of industry jargon with a crisper, shorter term, do it. Make your copy as lean as possible. Address the reader as “you,” and use active voice instead of passive constructions. All these steps will help the translator understand the content easily and work quickly.
2. Context Referencing
If you don’t give your translator the context in which the reader arrived at the page, why he or she would be there, or what your goal for the page is, they’re working in the dark. Instead, use translation software that will show the translator where exactly the piece of text sits on the website. That way, when they come across a word that could have multiple meanings, they’ll be more likely to pick its most accurate translation.
3. Develop a Brand Style Guide
To preserve your brand messaging across language barriers, it helps to build a style guide which helps translators know the tone you prefer, the different conventions followed by your company or industry, and so on. You may also want to have multiple style guides for marketing content, technical support, etc.
Making these style guides centrally available to all of the translators and content reviewers with whom you work makes their maintenance much easier; you don’t have to mail out new ones each time there’s an update.
4. Build a Glossary
A translation glossary can be super effective in helping business translators work quickly – they don’t have to keep researching words they’re not familair with but maybe very commonly used in your industry. It also avoids linguistic incinsistency, in that a term will only be used in the way you want it to be used.
By saving your company’s word choice preferences, your brand messaging stays intact and you’ll be able to prevent confusion over words that may have a double meaning.
5. Easy Review Process
Make sure you have a tight feedback structure where your reviewers can work directly with your translators to collaborate on the highest quality translation possible. Annotations, in-context views, and reviewer sign-offs will make sure every piece of content is double-checked, and that translators are notified, so they can learn from any corrections.
If you’re eager to start your business’s website translation process, begin with one piece of content that’s important to you. Work slowly through this process, polish this piece of content and you’ll be surprised how easily and quickly you start receiving quality work from your business translator.