Showing posts with label website translation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label website translation. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Translation

In the past 20 years Globalization and the internet have revolutionized the way we do business. Companies are now aware of the importance of an online presence to succeed in the international market place. The scope for development in the sector is amazing. As of 2011 over 80% of the internet was in English yet approximately 26% of internet Users are native English speakers. This figure gives an idea of the amount of development that is required over the coming years to translate the internet.
Yet its all very well translating your website into multiple languages but if it shows nowhere in the search rankings for that language a business is defeating the purpose of translating the website in the first place. A lot of companies make the serious error of website translation without SEO in mind rendering most of their translated content ineffective. That’s a sizable investment in something that could have been easily avoided if the translation and SEO projects were run in conjunction from the start.
Content creation and website design are two of the most important components of SEO. Once the optimal SEO design of the source website is created and the optimized source content uploaded we are ready for the translation and optimization of the of the language versions of the website. A lot of translation services companies offer SEO and translation services together but what exactly does this entail.
Firstly, the keywords must be established in the translated language. This is a critical part of the project and depends very much on the budget of the company. Being such a new and pioneering field most companies have to outsource their SEO needs and it tends to be very expensive. One must bear in mind that a lot of key words have already been invested in heavily and the bottom line is that if you don’t have the budget for a significant linking campaign for a competitive keyword there is no point in going for that keyword. Most good SEO consultants will advise a client as to the keywords they can achieve within their budget with the hope that the client can find a niche within their market. The profitability or competitiveness of certain keywords can be judged by certain barometers.
Once the keywords have been established for each page it’s very important the translation must be carried out with SEO in mind. This means that a certain keyword must appear in certain places on a web page without being mentioned too often which could result in penalization by search engines (key word stuffing). Some suggest that the keyword should appear in the title, description, heading ones, body twice and the alt tags. This is by no means a protocol as one also has to bear in mind that search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and search criteria. The appearance of the keyword in certain areas can often lead to very cumbersome translations however producing a seamless translation that reads well with the keyword in place is a skill in itself and the reason a lot of translation companies that handle SEO can afford to charge that little bit extra for SEO translation.
Once we have achieved the optimal design and the optimized translated content has been uploaded the SEO process begins in earnest. The key is to get internal links from other spaces on the World Wide Web. This process can be very expensive and very hard to measure. It is achieved in a number of ways such as reciprocal links, articles, press releases, social networking, links directories, associate websites, free utilities and many more. The translation vendor still has a role to play here and should be responsible for the following in the various languages:
• Search Engine Optimized articles • SEO’ed press releases • SEO’ed new website content • SEO’ed social networking content • SEO’ed link templates
The translation company really needs to be hands on throughout the link building process otherwise results will not be achieved.
To summarize, an SEO and translation project is huge commitment financially. One must also bear in mind that all internal resources especially the publishing resources must be aware of the project and write with SEO in mind to get the best results. Translating with SEO in mind requires a very conscious mindset. One also has to consider that SEO is an ongoing project that the client always has to remain in top of. At the end of the day if the SEO investment is justifying itself then it’s worth maintaining this investment.

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Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain that offers cut rate SEO translations rates, click here to review them or get an SEO translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!

Monday, March 26, 2012 re-vamp English version of their website. has just re-vamped the English version of its website. The website has a free website translation widget in the most popular languages of the world and different designs. In addition the website also has a business directory with everything from translation services to computer services.

Due to the popularity of the “flags with border” website translation widget design the company has introduced an additional three variations of this design called: “All major world languages”, “major European languages”, and “French, German, Spanish and Italian”. The new designs are due to popular request and mean that the user does not have to mess about with code. All they have to do is a simple no frills cut and paste onto their website for seamless website translation
Mark Kieran had the following to say, “The website, while still popular really needed a re-vamp aesthetically. Also, we kept receiving the same requirement requests for the same design. To save time for us and users we decided to add the code for variations of the most popular design based on the most popular requirements. The result is that we are now receiving lees requirement requests but more use of the different variations of the design, “flags with border”. It’s a win-win situation where we have managed to keep everybody happy.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Website Localization: Background and Methodology

Website Localization

To the average person the word Localization, (L10N), means nothing, but when we say it is the adaption of a product to a specific locale and mention the word translation, they can identify with this. However, there is much more to Localization than simple translation and in this article we will explain in detail website localization.

Website Localization is the process of translating a website (menus, help, tool bars, etc.) from one language to another without altering the code and adapting the translated website linguistically and functionally to a specific locale. This is done with the use of specialized software (CAT Tools). For all those companies who wish to publish their website in more than one language, translation companies offer a broad range of website translation services better known in the industry as “Localization services for websites”. Bearing in mind the complexity of localizing a website, some Translation companies take care of the whole process and where necessary coordinate with the designers and engineers of the client company to make the translated website function in the market it is destined for. One must also bear in mind the degree of ownership the client and the translation company have during the process when sourcing the original translation quote. The typical process involves the extraction of the translatable text from the website into a compatible Translation Memory environment format, translation and revision of the text within the Translation Memory environment by the translation company, re-engineering of the target text back into the original website format, linguistic and functional testing and bug fixing which can be done by either the client or translation agency. The project process will have a bearing on the price of the translation project and it is important at the onset of the project to clearly define who is doing each task.

What are the Services included in Localization of websites?

The following is a more detailed breakdown of the different stages of website localization and the ownership of each process. For instance, during the implementation of multilingual websites one must also bear in mind that the target Language is culturally suited to the particular region the site is destined for, for example the idiomatic differences between the Brazilian Portuguese market and the Portuguese Market.

The translation of websites includes:

Extraction of Translatable text

HTML and CSS (Static Text): Most websites are in hyper text mark-up language with the abbreviated extension .html and the cross website style governed by Cascading style sheets (.CSS). Most the translatable text is located in the .html files however, there are exceptions where there is some translatable text in the .css. The translatable text maybe extracted into word format, excel format etc. which are compatible with most translation memory environments or the html files maybe translated directly in tools that have translation memory and localization capability. In this case the translator must have the capability to work with the localization tool chosen by the client and will do a lot of the localization such as string re-sizing as he is translating. In the first case the translated files are re-engineered back into the .html website format by an engineer on the client or translation company side. The process and the owner of each task must be defined at the start of the project as it has an obvious effect on cost.

Graphics:Translatable text within graphics needs to be localized. A lot of graphics such as .png, .gif, .bnp contain text such as slogans that need to be extracted and localized. In most cases the translatable text in these graphics is not comprehensive and they are simply transcribed on a word or excel sheet

Audio: Many websites contain an audio component such as a presentation or Help tutor. If the source script for this is unavailable then the script for the audio needs to be transcribed for translation.

Dynamic Components of the website:Dynamic websites add a great deal of complexity to the localization of websites. A dynamic website allows the user to interact with the website for example performing calculations, compiling reports etc... It allows the input of variables from the user and an operation and output from the server system based on the variables received. The most commonly used coding languages for interactive websites are VBScript, JScript, PerlScript, ASP, PHP and various Database languages. Extracting the translatable text from this code is often a complicated process and is often translated in excel sheets with screen shots for reference.

Multimedia Components of the website: Apart from audio which is dealt with previously in this article there are other multimedia components of the website used to enhance interactivity enabled by plug-ins such as applets and Adobe flash. The text in these multimedia components need to be extracted.

Translation and revision of Website

Once the all the text has been extracted it is converted into its translatable format. Again the types of format of the files, the role of the translation company and client in each task and the use of TMs have a huge bearing on the process and should be decided at the out-set of the project.

HTML and CSS (Static Text): In many TM environments the HTML files can be translated directly, saved in the Translation Memory and many of the localization bugs fixed as the translator translates, however, in a lot of cases the translation company receives the html files in word or another format where the translation is carried out. The translations are then revised using a third party, the client or translation company depending on how the process was already defined.

Graphics: With the graphics a screen shot of the original localizable graphic and a space for the translation is prepared say for instance, in an excel sheet.

Dynamic Components of the website:With regard to the dynamic translatable text, again there are various localization tools with translation Memory capabilities that can handle all the aforementioned code and database files. Again the localization process decided upon and the role of each stakeholder has a huge bearing on how the files are received by the translator.

Audio:In cases where there is an audio component of the website the original script may available for translation, otherwise the original script has to be transcribed into a word or excel file. The target script is then recorded in a recording studio according to certain parameters such as sex, character...etc.

Multimedia Components of the website: The translators can use the original website version of the multimedia component for reference while translating in excel.

Localization Engineering of translated and revised target files

HTML and CSS (Static Text): If the translator delivers the html files directly then this process is a lot simpler as the engineer on the client or translation company merely has to upload the files on the server for the next stage of the website localization process. However, the process becomes a little more tricky if the files are delivered for instance in word. This means that the engineer, be it on the client or translation company side, has to do a lot of re-tweaking to dump the translated text back into the source text for the next localization phase. It complicates the engineering phase with an extra process that involves, depending on the format, text editors, WYSIWYG offline and online editors such as Dreamweaver and iWeb respectively.

Graphics: The translated text for the graphics must be re-engineered into the graphics via a graphics editor such as Adobe photoshop, Corel Draw etc......In most cases we need the original art work of the graphic to manipulate it.

Dynamic Components of the website: Again there are a number of approaches to this step. The engineer may just copy and paste the target texts back into the dynamic code using a simple website editor such as dreamer weaver or a development environment such VB studio.

Audio: Once the audio has been recorded it has to be post edited or tidied up by removing glyphs, static, long silences etc...

Multimedia Components of the website:The translated text is re-engineered back into the multimedia file using various software available on the market.

Localized Website Build

Once all the translated website files are ready they are uploaded into the correct directories on the server for the next phase of localization.

Functional Localization Testing

There are various functional tests that can be run on the files, conducted by the localization engineers: - Link testing: There are various tools that quickly tell us what links are broken and need to be fixed. A lot of editing tools have their own link check feature. e.g. Xenu and Dreamweaver.
- UI Testing: In the case where the translator has done no re-sizing of truncated and cut text or overlapping menus and dialogues, as he has not had the capability to do so with the file format he received, the engineer is responsible for this task.
- Cross Browser Testing: The engineer is responsible for ensuring that the site renders correctly across various browsers and has various tools at his disposal to carry out this task.

Linguistic Localization Testing

Now we have a fully functional website we have to have it tested online and in context by third party reviewer, a client reviewer or the translation company reviewer, whatever was decided upon. The linguistic bugs are documented and fixed by engineering. It is of the utmost importance that the linguistic bugs are updated too in the translation memory, otherwise the same bugs will keep popping up in later updates!

The same cycle of linguistic, functional testing and bug fixing continues until we have a GOLD version of the website that can now go live! As yo can see the process is very complicated and I have only scratched the surface. There are so many other questions to be asked during website localization such as will there be a partial localization or complete localization, is all the website worth localizing? For instance there maybe, out of date news which shouldn't be sent for localization to save time and cost. What SEO considerations have we taken into account for the localization of the website. Are the title, Headings, description, meta tags, alt tags translations effective key words. A literal translation of an English key word may be a very poor key word in another language. Carrying out SEO with translation in mind is opening up a whole new can of worms and there is a good article on this here with more details. Does the client have a style guide to follow on fonts and formatting? Is there a Glossary for particular words? To summarize when deciding on the optimal website localization process for us, other factors that influence our decision include the resources at our disposal, our budget, the tools we have and the deadline we have to meet.!

"Website Localization: Background and Methodology", is an article in the series "Localization: The definitive Guide" from One Stop Shop Translations. Other articles include:

- Software Localization: Background and Methodology
- Online Help Localization: Background and Methodology
- End User License Agreements Localization: Background and Methodology
- Software Documentation Localization(Quick User Guides and User Guides): Background and Methodology

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Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

For our latest website translation rates click on this link or get an economically unbeatable software translation quote here.

Remember that translation of software is not just simple straight forward translation but a complicated process that involves many stages and specialized expertise!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Blog Translation Widget

One Stop Shop Translations has recently launched it's sister site The website website has gone live offering a customizable translation widget in over 30 languages. There are three different designs of the widget and 15 languages available on the website. Tailored design of the widget and addition and deletion of languages are available free upon request.

Translatemefree CEO, Mark Kieran says "this translation widget is an ideal way for those without a budget to translate their website or blog into various languages. It is also unique in that translatemefree offer tailored designs upon request so that the design fits seamlessly into your website design. While the widget translations are only 60-70% accurate the general gist of a text can be understood".

In addition to the free website translation widget the site offers a human edited directory. The directory contains all the latest links for the translation industry professional.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hiring Translation Services and Due Diligence

As a translation services manager on the client side you are probably aware of the many questions you should ask when hiring translation services companies. Your department is centralized with linguists and project managers specialized in the area. But often, especially in many smaller companies, employees are tasked with sub-contracting large translations under the assumption that their task should be simple thus ignoring due diligence and causing mayhem.
Typical problems often ignored include differing file formats requiring different engineering tasks and ensuing costs. On the linguistic side there are many considerations to be taken into account to ensure quality such as the volume and deadline, the translation agency quality procedures and the flavor of the language into which the document is being translated.

The following is a series of questions and answers to consider when outsourcing your translation services needs:

1. What is the source language and target of the document? One must bear in mind that certain language combinations are harder to come by than others which has a bearing on availability and cost. Translating from English to French is a much easier outsourcing process than from Zulu to French.

2. What is the flavor of the target language? For instance a French translator from Paris translating into Algerian French can lead to a lot of quality issues.

3. What is the reason for the translation? For instance in the case of a legal translation, does the translation need to be sworn or certified.

4. What is the standard required for the translation? Will it be published and be the corporate face of the company or is it just for internal purposes only?

5. Is there a particular style of the translation? For instance does it have to adhere to an in-house style guide? Are there particular terms for the translation to adhere to? Perhaps the layout has to adhere to a particular in-house style?

6. What is the field of translation? Is it a legal, business or medical translation? In this case ensure the translator has the relevant experience translating in this particular field, ask the agency for a translator profile.

7. Check and see if you can provide the translation services company reference material such as previous translations, glossaries etc.

8. What format is the document in? Depending on the format there maybe additional engineering costs for the target language. Do you have the capacity to do these tasks in-house or is it more cost beneficial and realistic to outsource these tasks? Ask for a quote and ensure that you understand the additional engineering costs that are involved and decide from there. If you have done your homework in advance you will often get a feel for the level of professionalism and expertise that the client has.

9. Be aware of the translation metrics involved in translation and it’s engineering tasks. If your deadline is too soon you may have to realize that this will have an effect on quality and consistency

10. Will you have to send updates of the files after the agency has started translating? Has there been a system devised to cope with these updates between you and the client. Are you prepared for an elevated translation quote due to the updates and advised your boss?

11. Do you require Translation Memory technology to be used by the vendor? Are their Translation memory rates as competitive as other vendors? Shop around and get other translation quotes.

12. It often helps to proofread the source text before being sent to translation. This avoids updates and poorly written texts which lead to poor translations

13. Is copyright to be retained or transferred?

14. What are the payment terms?

15. Is there a set of business terms and conditions?