It's important for professional translation
companies and solo translation services to have the ability to discern which piece of information is essential enough to carry over a website when it's being localized to a new market. After all, the main advantage human translation
has over machine translation is its ability to discern what works and what doesn't whenever original content is being translated into another language.
To be more specific, whenever translators are hired to do a professional translation of an English site, they must not assume that all information contained therein should be automatically translated. Translation services must evaluate first whether or not a certain piece of information that's relevant to an English-speaking audience is also pertinent to a foreign audience.
Disseminating Information when Translating Websites
A human translation firm must first ask the following questions about the source material of a website before going ahead with its translation work:
- Are you targeting a culture that depends on information-rich writing to fully comprehend what a product or concept is all about?
- Are you translating for an audience that needs little to no text or relies mostly on images and the visual medium in order to grasp concepts and ideas?
- Does your client have an English website that employs a lot of specialized and technical information?
- What are the best ways for a translation agency to apply these concepts with or without the use of language?
Studying the written content of a given website is critical to the overall success of a localization procedure. After all, prudent adaptation is not only essential for proper translation of aspects such as units of measurement, currencies, or dates, but it's also important when presenting the correct company image to a target audience.
Company Image and Website Localization
Find out first if your client intends his site to focus on his company or his products and services. Both matters bring with them certain considerations that rely on the reaction of the intended culture. For example, if the client wants to promote itself to a new audience that respects hierarchy and seniority, then you must feature website information about senior members, professional qualifications, number of contacts, and extensiveness of company experience. Other cultures find such actions as self-indulgent and arrogant, so you can skip on doing such things for those markets.
Translators must also analyze the linguistic style of the international market. For instance, if the pursued demographic is composed of straight-up businessmen, then the punctuation, grammar, and vocabulary of the translated text must demonstrate this. If the audience is relaxed and youth-oriented (that is, non-business types), then a more informal language (don't overdo it, though; it will cause hilariously bad results) should be used instead.
Just as Americans have Formal English and Informal English, other cultures also have their equivalent of that standard. Making use of the wrong type of language for a given visitor will cause your localization project to go down the drain; it can even become a never-ending source of embarrassment for both you and your client company as well. Therefore, you must remember to always keep your website translation suitable for its audience.
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