Website Localization

December 8, 2014 |

Website localization is many times confused with translation, but it actually involves much more than that. Website localization includes combining efforts of different specialists to achieve more results than just having a website in a different language.

One of the key aspects to take into account is the target audience. Even though many people can read in more than one language, most people tend to browse the web in their mother tongue rather than a secondary one, and they feel more comfortable if the content of the website they are visiting is in their own language.

Many countries share the same language but not the same cultural context. So defining the target audience is essential to create the desired impact on the reader and in some cases avoid offending them. Some words have different meanings in countries that speak the same language so linguists have to design a strategy to overcome this, such as using a neutral version of the text or creating different versions for each country or region. This aspect is also important for SEO professionals, as the content will affect the results shown by web search engines for a different version of the site, so if different words are used for the same result in two or more countries, many users could not get the results expected.

So far we have translators and SEO professionals involved in website localization, but it doesn’t end there. When translating a website, the layout has to be modified as well due to several factors. The same sentence can have more or less words in different languages, so the space used to show the text will change. In addition to this, some languages are read from right to left, so the programmers have to work with the translators to make the website look properly in each language. Every item could change, from buttons to text boxes. Even the way that the content wants to be shown. For example, some languages don’t use italics, so this has to be solved in a different way.

The structure of the website at a programming level is not less important. There are many ways of creating a site and this will affect not only the difficulty to translate the website but also to update it. Most websites need to be updated at some point as the company evolves, the market changes or the content is not up to date. If a website is correctly created to support multilingual content, updates will be much simpler and cost effective to make. In many cases it is a good decision to change the structure of a website before translating to avoid future complications.

The key for website localization is having a team of professionals working together in each specific field to achieve effective global visibility.

For an overview of our translation expertise, visit our website translation and localization page.


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Category: Translation Services

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