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Looking to translate your website into another language? Here are 4 different options to consider, each with their own set of pros and cons. Weigh your options and decide which is the best fit for you and your business.
With thousands of different web pages being published on a daily basis, it can be a nightmare to figure out that the webpages you spent months working on are buried under hundreds of other pages just because of SEO tools and other reasons.
However, with a few tools and some tactful thinking, you can quickly make sure that your webpage doesn’t get permanently buried under other sites.
One of the most important ways to make sure this doesn’t happen is by translating key pages on your website - this not only increases your SEO but also helps you target a wider audience from different lingual and cultural backgrounds.
In this blog, we’re going to highlight 4 of the best and most effective ways you can use to translate your pages on your website and make it easier to find and more accessible to a global audience - let’s get started.
1. Hire a translator
People don’t generally take this route simply because it can be expensive and time-consuming, not to mention that you need to run a job hunt to find the right translator for your webpage.
However, one of the most effective ways to translate your web page without losing much in translation is by working with a human being who can bring their knowledge of the language, culture, and subject to the table when translating.
Some of the benefits of getting the help of a professional translator are:
- They’ll be able to understand the context better than AI and find creative ways to translate your content as it is.
- They have a better understanding of the language you’re translating the page into, thereby helping you reduce jargon and complex words which would occur if you used an automatic application to translate the content.
- They can help you customize the SEO for the page and help you get better rankings on Google.
- They understand the culture of the language they’re translating your content into, which will help them craft the content in a way in which the target audience will understand.
- You can be sure that not much information will be lost in translation.
While there are many benefits, there are also some difficulties you may run into, such as not being able to find the right person who understands the content you’re creating, or having to overshoot your budget to hire the right person.
There is also a chance that their writing style may not completely match the written style of your brand and webpage, creating a slight disconnect between both the original page and the translated page.
2. Improve your language knowledge
An even better way to translate your webpage is by doing it yourself. Yes, you read that right. The reason why this is one of the best ways to translate web pages is because there’s no one else who can capture your original voice and tone as well as you can.
However, learning an entire language to translate your pages can be long and tiresome - instead, you can learn the language enough to be able to edit and fine-tune a translated version.
This way, you can either use an automated application to translate your page, or even outsource it, but at the end of the day, you get to edit the parts that are important and make sure that it’s aligned with the original content on your page.
You can start by improving your knowledge of the language where possible, for instance, if you’re translating your page into German, you can find extremely easy-to-follow and informative online courses via Lingoda’s classes, an online tutoring platform where you can connect and learn native-level German teachers.
Some of the benefits of translating the contents of your page yourself include the following:
- Being able to bring in the right voice and tone of your brand while making sure that nothing gets lost in translation.
- Being completely sure of the content that’s going out - very often, AI translations have many errors which could make your site look shoddy and not up to the mark.
- Having the ability to add a touch of creativity to your work instead of having it be a complete and exact replica of your original webpage.
- Being able to increase your SEO and have your web page rank higher on search engines.
- Being independent and not having to rely on others to capture the essence of your content.
- Leaving little to no room for errors around grammar, spelling, logic, and clarity.
The only disadvantage to this method is that you’ll have to invest in yourself and take the effort to learn another language in order to properly translate your pages effectively. However, once you’ve figured this out, you’ll be able to quickly translate and ship more pages with ease. Practice makes perfect, after all.
3. Install a translation plugin
If you’re just starting out or need to ship a translated page as soon as possible, then the cheapest and most effective way to do this is by installing and configuring a good translation plugin that can do the job for you in no time. If you’re tight on a budget, you can even opt for a plugin that’s free - there are numerous ones out there that do the job just well.
The only drawback to these is that you may not have access to all their features, and you may have a limit on the number of words you can translate per page. However, they help you get a quick translation of your page that’s quite accurate, though you may need to proofread it with someone who actually knows the language well.
Another method is to purchase a paid plugin, which will help you do a better job at translating the exact material. Keep in mind that you’ll still need to proofread the content or even run it by someone familiar with the language, but the chances of very random errors are reduced when you use a paid plugin.
Keep an eye out for a plugin that also helps you proofread the translated content, so you can avoid most of the errors this way.
Some of the benefits of using plugins is that:
- They’re affordable and sometimes even free, so this will help you if you’re just starting out and are on a tight budget.
- They’re super-fast. If you translate it yourself, you’ll get the job done perfectly but you may have to dedicate a solid amount of time to writing, editing and proofreading your work. With a plugin, you’ll get the translated content in under a minute.
- It’s reliable. Even though the content may have a handful of errors, it’s mostly error-free and can be used for a first-cut of your webpage. Additionally, you can always use an error-checker online to quickly check if the translated content is good to go.
Some of the major drawbacks include not being able to creatively capture the meaning in the translated language, since it’s going to be a plain and bland translation of your English webpage.
There’s also the chance that a lot may be missed in translation, especially if you’re writing an extremely technical webpage.
4. Use a translation management system
If you have more time and resources, it's best to opt for a translation management system rather than using a plugin.
Here’s how a translation management system works:
- The first step is to upload the content that needs to be translated to the system that you pick. Make sure you pick a reliable one so you get the most benefit out of it, especially if you’re going for a paid version.
- Next, you’ll be able to immediately get a first-draft of your translated content. This has been translated by a machine, and will most likely be a word-for-word translation of your content, similar to what a plugin will generate.
- Once this is complete, a human will then go over the content and make edits to the machine generated content before it reaches you. This way, someone who’s proficient with the language will be able to spot and rectify most of the errors made by the machine, thereby allowing you to quickly upload the content to your website as and when you get it.
Some of the benefits of using such a system include:
- Being able to get your work done faster, while also having it checked for errors and other writing style errors that a machine may not pick up on. In a way, you get the best of both worlds since a machine and a human are involved in the process of translation - giving you speed, efficiency, and a certain flair to your content.
- You don’t have to shell out a lot of your funding on out-sourcing the job to a third-party to translate it for you. In a way, you get the job done faster and better than only depending on a plugin or an external translator.
The drawbacks include not being able to fully incorporate your brand voice and writing style in your translated page, since it is done by external parties.
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