There are plenty of popular misconceptions about Website Translation Services, with the most prominent one being that it is the same as localization services. While there are some similarities between these two terms, they differ in their approach and practical implementation.
To get a clearer picture of the differences between them, let’s take a look at each in detail below.
An Overview of Localization Vs Website Translation Services
Website Translation Services are not the same as website localization services. Website Translation Services refer to translating content on a website into another language. Whereas website localization services refer to adapting that content for a different culture. So, while both processes involve making your site available in other languages and cultures, they are not interchangeable. What’s more, there are many reasons to go with one type of service over another.
For example, Website Translation Services may be preferred when you want a single copy of your website to exist in multiple languages. Website localization services, on the other hand, can help with customer acquisition in target markets. By enabling sites to be customized for specific countries or regions.
You could also use Website Translation Services if you want to offer localized versions of your site in every region where you do business. In this case, Website Translation Services would allow for efficient production cycles and reduced development costs.
The downside: if updates need to be made on an existing translated website, it has to be translated again (and again). Website localization services make it easier to produce new updates because only the parts that need changing will have been altered during the process (not everything).
The Challenges of Translating Your Web Content
When you’re deciding on how to translate your web content, you may be considering using website localization or Website Translation Services. Website localization involves translating your content and tweaking it to conform with the cultural aspects of the target market. Website Translation Services, on the other hand, are usually cheaper because they just translate text word-for-word.
Some of the challenges of website localization include altering keywords and search engine optimization. Which can make it difficult for people who are new to a culture or language to find what they’re looking for. Website Translation Services don’t have this problem and also usually cost less than website localization.
When To Consider Website Internationalization Vs. SEO
Website localization, also known as Website Translation Services, will help you communicate your message with a global audience. If you are starting a business to make sales in other countries, then localization is a must! Website internationalization requires less effort and may not be necessary if you’re only looking to reach an audience in your own country.
There are many factors to consider when deciding between website internationalization and SEO.
If your company’s goal is to sell products or services to customers in other countries. Then website internationalization (i.e., translating content into the language of those countries) should be your first choice. Website internationalization is easier than website localization and often provides more benefits.
If your company has no plans to sell outside of your home country. The website localization services (translating content into one language) might be sufficient.
Another important distinction between website internationalization and Website Translations Services is the type of translator used. Website translation service providers can use either professional translators or automated translation software that translates text word by word with minimal context. Professional translators will understand cultural nuances, idioms, phrases, etc. Which cannot always be translated properly by automated tools like Google Translate.
Consider Hiring a Native Speaker
When companies decide to translate their website into a new language. They may not be aware of the difference between translation and localization. Website localization includes much more than just translating text. It also includes changing graphics, navigation elements, and other design aspects of your website. So that it will be appropriate for your target audience’s culture.
For example, a company selling clothing in Dubai would want to use terms like Desert or T-shirt in its content because these words are commonly used in Dubai. The goal of localization is not to make your site look like it was made by people from another country. But rather to make it appropriate for your target audience’s culture and environment.
There are many reasons why you might choose to localize your site:
- You’re doing business with people who speak a different language.
- Desired product has been tailored for a specific geographic location.
- The site needs customized search engine optimization (SEO).
- You’re targeting customers who have certain cultural values.
- The language on your website needs to reflect the official dialect.
- You want to appeal to a global audience.
- The spelling, grammar and sentence structure on your site need to be correct.
The decision of whether or not you need website localization services depends on what type of content will be displayed on your website. If all you need is translation then hiring a translator should suffice. But if you need changes such as culturally-appropriate images and data formatting. Then hiring someone with expertise in both languages could prove beneficial.
Competent/Skilled Language Service Providers
Website localization and Website Translation Services both are important for any company looking to expand its market. They work in tandem to provide a good user experience for international audiences, but they are not the same thing. Website localization focuses on making changes to your website’s content and functionality so that it will appeal to an audience that speaks a different language.
Translation services involve translating all or parts of your website’s content from one language into another. That’s why translation services should be used when you need to translate entire sections of your site rather than just updating the text where needed.
Some websites have complex layouts which require more effort to translate. Others have HTML-based code with characters that do not exist in certain languages. The latter type of site needs localization first before it can be translated accurately.
When considering these two types of service, remember:
- What needs to change about your website?
- How much of the site will be localized?
- What skill sets are available within your company?
- What type of expertise is necessary to manage each project?
- What do you want each project to accomplish?
- How much time does each project need?
If you’re unsure about whether localizing or translating might suit your business best, get in touch with a qualified language service provider who can advise accordingly.