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Article by Elena Mokeeva about website translation

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Website translation as a way to promote your business abroad


Today every self-respecting company understands the advantages and power of the internet and runs one or several web sites advertising its products or services online. We all want to be recognised worldwide and invest a lion’s share of our budget in offline international marketing.

At the same time we often forget about the advantages of international internet marketing. All that we can think of is creating another .com website in English, adding the word “international” to its title. Why do we forget that one third of all internet users do not speak English, and thus our “international” site is passing by all this mass of potential clients (business partners)? With a constantly growing quantity of quality non-English material on the Net they are more likely to surf in their own language.

Today a multilingual website is becoming a necessity for international business due to a number of convincing reasons:

SEO Marketing. Multilingual web sites allow you to enter new markets. Local language search engines will index your site and give you new links from within this market area. In most non-English speaking countries, regional search engines in their native language play a much greater role than English-speaking Google, Yahoo and MSN. Hence, you gain better positions, more new visitors to your site (i.e. more potential customers) and more sales.

Company Image. Multilingual sites create an image of a serious and respectable international business, and will win over visitors from companies who have not made this effort.

Customer-centric approach. It allows your visitors to surf quickly and efficiently in their own language. This gives your company and products an advantage over your less prepared competitors.

Now you clearly understand that website translation can be a great help in attracting foreign public to your business. However it has to be done in such a way that people will end up buying your product.

To have a website translated means much more than getting mere text translation. There are numerous factors that have to be taken into consideration. Actually, it is more correct to speak about website localisation, when you want the site successfully working in the market of your target countries.

Localisation is defined as modifying a product to make it usable and suitable to a target market.

First of all, it implies culture-centric translation. Perfect culture-centric translation makes the reader feel as if the content was not translated, but originally written in the target language. It takes into consideration the culture, style and language of the target audience.

Using electronic translations for this purpose is not a good idea. The decision to have your site translated by a human being, preferably a native speaker, familiar with the culture, terminology and sayings of the target language, is an ideal one.

Website localisation takes into account the appearance of your web pages. Are there pictures, colours or images that would cause offence? A good website translation company will analyse your site and offer you a cultural applicability consultation.

Furthermore, decent website translators will offer an after-care service that assists in helping you with the small changes in future.

Some translation companies will even provide you with internet marketing services to help your site achieve high visibility in the target country.

Professional website localisation and culture-centric translation can become a very promising perspective for your business.

By Elena Mokeeva. Copyright © 2005.
Published by lexicool.com, December 2005.

Elena Mokeeva works as a consultant for Lingo24, one of the UK's leading translation agencies.

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