Having an international audience for your website can feel wonderful—your work is valued and appreciated by people in another country! Congratulations. Of course, the joyful celebration can be short-lived. Once you know that people in other nations are absorbing your content, you begin to wonder if aspects of your work should be translated to help make your content more accessible.
It can be scary to have your website translated, especially into a language that you don’t have a firm grasp on. You want to know that your words and meaning are being properly translated, that you’re not accidentally committing a cultural faux pas with your word choice, and that the content is effective to your purpose (customer conversion or whatever other metrics you are using to measure your success).
The following will explore some of the qualities you can look for in a website translation agency to help make sure that you’re putting your best digital foot forward. Of course, every website has its own unique purpose, so make sure to speak about your long-term and short-term aims with the translation agency to ensure that all your bases are covered.
In addition to all the standard indicators of a high-quality translation agency, you are looking for one that has specific experience with the digital world. You want a company that has translated websites in the past and are familiar with the lingo and jargon associated with online communication. You also need their website experience to be recent. You need an agency with these website translation services because the internet is developing so quickly that there’s always something new—new phrasing, trendy words, or cultural norms that develop at the speed of light. We’ve all read something that was poorly translated in the past—where each of the words was technically correct, but no one would ever choose that exact phrasing who spoke the language from childhood.
You’ll also want to ask whether or not the person translating is a native speaker living in the culture the website is being targeted towards. This can help make sure that the translation is following all the social norms and rules of politeness, which can be drastically different across cultures. There’s a long list of businesses that have suffered because they didn’t take into account the possibility that their message could be misinterpreted or lost across cultural lines.
Consider Reviews And Previous Clients’ Opinions
When it comes to major business decisions, there’s no issue with asking to speak to a previous client or two. It might feel strange to do this, but in the long run, it can help make sure that you’re making the best possible decision for yourself and your business. If a company doesn’t have any clients you can speak to in your language or refuses, this is a pretty big red flag that they don’t have the experience required to do the job well.
Inquire About Policies And Procedures
You’re also going to want to know if the agency in question can deliver the work you need within a time frame that feels right. It’s important that you ask about how edits are completed if you or your customers notice that something isn’t quite right.
Ask About Specialization In Your Industry
Beyond all of the above, you need to check that the agency has someone who specializes in the same industry that your website does. This is particularly important for those whose websites are highly-focused on hard-to-understand topics. It’s really easy for things to get lost in translation when using technical terms and referencing uncommon knowledge. Ask about the education and background of the translator that an agency in question believes is the right fit for you. You want someone who understands the cultural lingo and jargon associated with the topics that you write about.
For Written Content-Heavy Sites
If you are managing a site with a regularly updated blog or another feature that results in new words being added, you need to speak to the agency about this as well. We know that regular content is one of the biggest factors in building a strong audience and maintaining decent search engine placement.
If you’re someone who’s thinking about this, you want to be sure that they have the availability to help you over the long-term. Discuss the possibility of regular article translation before you agree to go with them—you don’t want the voice of your website shifting suddenly.
The above information should help you narrow down your translation agency options. Make sure that you take your time in this choice as it can have a critical impact on your business and how it is perceived in other languages.