So, you want to set up your next office in China. Or Sweden. Or Brazil. You have consulted experts on legal, tax, and other issues that will help you with your international expansion. But what about translation? How can you make website localization a hassle-free experience that demands little or no time from your marketing and developer team? Read on to find out.
The best way to achieve translation without the headaches is to plan, prepare, and then commit to continuously improve your processes, even after a project is complete.
What is it exactly that you want translated? All the text on your website or only some pages? Do you also want your mobile app translated? Once you have decided on these, get into the details like how many words will you be translating? Or, how many pages? Such data is required to determine the number and type of resources you will need, and allows the translation agency to provide a more accurate estimate of the time and cost.
Don’t just give instructions about style or terminology over email or verbally: Document them in a style guide or glossary. A translator style guide addresses style, tone, grammar, syntax and spelling conventions, as well as cultural and language-specific standards for accurately representing your brand to specific target audiences. A translation glossary contains key terminology and approved translations in all your target languages.
Review the translation output often and on time. “Pseudo-translations” or “test translations” are especially important in large projects as they can help your developers determine whether your web or mobile application will be able to process the translated content.
If you’re using a language service provider, you must also ensure that you own the rights to translation memory: a database of past translations that speeds up project delivery, improves quality, and reduces costs.