Translating News: How Can Technology Help?

Multitasking is second nature to a newsroom. So is it for translation. Hence, when it comes to translating news, the requirements become quite complex.

News sites need to offer quality content from the best international contributors and many of them also feel the need to maximize their reach by publishing multilingually. Though challenging, for some companies this approach is paying off, at a time of uncertainty for the written media.

The Huffington Post launched its first non-English edition on January 23, 2012, in partnership with Les Nouvelles Editions Indépendantes in France. They now have 12 international editions covering 14 countries and 9 languages. International editions of the HuffPost platform account for 50% of their audience and reach to 60% of the planet’s GDP. Local editions offer more than just translated content but, as Nicholas Sabloff, executive international editor, put it: “We translate all that has universal interest.”

In the Spanish-speaking world, El País is the best example of who is undertaking internationalization successfully. It publishes digital editions in English, Catalan and Portuguese. Their news site ranks 15th globally in terms of digital audience, including 3.9% of readers from the United States and 4.2% from Brazil (239.9% more than last year).

Centralize Translation Needs

There are two reasons why translation software makes the perfect match for translating news: it centralizes the translation process and allows you to “stay in brand”.

Publishers have to deal with many different kinds of content, which also means different newsroom desks, translators and methods. Automation allows you to combine in-house staff with third-party resources and to customize workflows depending on the type of content, translation method, or language pair.

Meanwhile, the translation memory will be gathering all translated content from different teams, for all your translators to use as a reference. Add up the possibility to generate a style guide and a glossary and you’ll have hit the jackpot: speed, quality and consistency.

SEO Considerations for Translating News

There is yet another powerful reason for news companies to translate using cloud-based software: search engine optimization. News-oriented site SEO is different from “normal” SEO. Here it is of no avail doing a keyword review upfront. What you need is the journalists –and of course, the translators– to think of keywords when they’re writing, and to use them in their titles. If you offer unique, keyword rich articles within a well optimized template, they will rank remarkably well. And don’t forget that getting your content indexed as soon as possible is very important for Google News, so time is of the essence.

Translation software covers the chief needs of publishing sites in terms of SEO, helping translators work in coordination with each other, fast, and in context. There are translation proxy tools able to automatically detect new content, request translation to the right member of the team, and send the translated text back to the site, depending on your publishing preferences. Using a translation proxy also allows collecting all content in the source language like metadata, text or menus to be submitted for translation.