Managing multilingual websites can sometimes be complicated, especially when you are in the planning stage. Choosing the right approach to get your site translated is very important. We believe that there isn’t one “best” way of doing it and that’s why you need to get a better idea of what’s available to you so you can make the right decision.
Depending on the website and the content that needs to be translated you can either use regular website translation services or use a translation proxy. In this post, we break down the benefits of using each translation method.
What’s so good about translation proxy?
A translation proxy leverages your existing site functionality, without the need of editing source files and the involvement of developers from your end. It essentially works as a layer on top of your site allowing you to manage translated content in the cloud seamlessly.
It’s a great solution for corporate sites, catalogue-type sites, and webpages that do not rely on publishing new content on a regular basis. This means that from the client’s side there will be almost no work to be done. Translation proxy avoids the complexity and hassle of supplying source files or styling requirements and can work with almost no instructions sent to your language service provider.
Let’s talk SEO. The location of the server gives a good signal to the search engines about the location of the audience but not necessarily. If your web servers are running on a content delivery network (CDN, in cloud) or are hosted in a country with a better web server infrastructure then there is no issue. What this basically means is that serving translated pages via translation proxy yields to better result than hosting.
Updating your sitemap to include local versions is essential. You should create a new local sitemap if your local versions of the site run locally.
If you are using local domains you should consider creating a new footer on the websites containing international content.
Usually when dealing with these types of translations, when content needs to fit well with the layouts and design of the site, multiple review cycles are required. With translation proxy, this is dropped to a minimum. While the translators work they can see the changes in the context in real time and adapt text accordingly if needed. This makes life easier to make sure the text length fits the design.
If you have translation memories and glossaries, they can be integrated into the translation proxy system and the need for additional in-context QA is eliminated.
What’s so hot about website translation without a proxy?
Translating a website without a proxy requires the involvement of developers who can upload the translated files and make adjustments to the design when required.
Generally speaking, with regular website translation you can do a full content marketing strategy because you can create specific content for that country and upload it in your CMS. If you want to modify your service offering in any way, for example, if you want to offer a different product range this becomes difficult with a proxy and full translation is better. Another benefit is that if you want to make visual localization changes, such as layouts and colors, then it is easier for your developer to do it using html translation. For example, if you translate to Arabic the layout may need to change to accommodate right to left layout.
A good example of e-commerce sites is when they have special offers targeted at a specific country. For example, if you ran a rugby campaign for Penderyn Whisky in Wales, a proxy would want you to add that same content to the German website, where rugby isn’t popular.
With regular translation, you have the freedom to modify dynamic content, such as Twitter feeds and automatic updates. If your, let’s say, German site has a German Twitter account feed on the homepage, once translated into another language using a proxy, the feed will remain in German. With regular translation, you can link your other country-specific Twitter feeds to the site in the development stage.
A breakdown of the key points made in the post.
Over to you. Have you ever used a translation proxy? How well did your project go?