Realizing you need a web page translation tool to automate your translation process is the easy part. The hard part is choosing the one that best fits your goals.
Here are some core features you should look for when shopping for a translation tool that’s worth your while:
1. Easy website launch process
Not only should translating content be easy, but also the process of pushing the changes live to users in your target countries. A translation proxy can help with that. It helps with many pre-translation steps as well like internationalization. Basically, what it does is prep the website code and all content for localization. The proxy tool then automatically collects content and pushes it to the translators. Once translated, the content is pushed into the appropriate localized website. All this is done with very little or zero involvement from your developers.
2. Working with the translators/agencies you choose
Good translation software will give you the flexiblity to work with the individual translators or agencies you’ve already fallen in love with. If it restricts your choice in some way, walk away. It’s always a danger sign and indicates that the system might lock you in.
3. A method for improving translation quality over time
Make sure your web page translation tool uses pattern-matching technology for repeat- and partial-phrase matches. Storing this in a translation memory bank lets you recall content without having to re-translate. Thus, translations that were once reviewed and approved can be re-used saving time not only in translation, but also in review. This also contributes to quality because it ensures linguistic consistency. Some tools even have features that can incorporate your company’s style guide and company-specific terms into the tool itself, rather than having to e-mail these details to the translator separately.
4. Scaling with you
Lastly, you want a tool that can scale with you, so you don’t find yourself looking for another tool a year on simply because your content and the number of languages it needs to be translated into has grown.
Tools that use content management system (CMS) plugins and application program interfaces (APIs)—which allow you to move source content in and extract finished pages—are the best options because they automate tedious, manual work so you can both build your web page count and geographical reach.
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