Translating a Website for a Foreign Culture

Since the rise of the Internet, our world has become a lot smaller than before. Every country can now cheaply and instantly connect to each other across the worldwide web. In terms of ecommerce, this eventuality has paved the way for companies seeking to use the widespread influence of the information superhighway to access an international customer base in the most economical and streamlined way possible. Most companies believe that all they really need is a freelance translation service or a professional translation agency in order to penetrate different international markets. However, there's a fundamental flaw behind that reasoning—a flaw that could cost your business millions of dollars if not corrected immediately. Localization and Translation It's one thing for a human translation agency to translate a website into another language, and it's another thing altogether to translate it effectively for a foreign audience. In order to truly drum up the sales of your organization's wares in other countries, you need to accommodate the local tastes and flavors of your intended market. Localization—the act of adapting a product or service to a given locale's culture, mores, sensibilities, and socio-political structure in order to make it appealing to the locals—is exactly what the doctor ordered when it comes to accommodating your website to the international market. The Benefits of Website Localization The principles of website localization is relatively simple in terms of concept: Do unto others what you would want them to do unto you; adapt to their culture and market just as they would try to adapt to yours if they were in your place. At any rate, the process brings about numerous benefits when properly executed. Here are just some of them:

  • Website localization crosses language barriers: To be more specific, website localization is a process of taking an English-oriented, westernized webpage and turning it into something your target audience could understand, appreciate, and not be offended by. In order to truly utilize the limitless potential of the Internet to connect different cultures together, localization is a must. By doing so, a company will be able to break language barriers and open new windows and doors to other countries. In order to truly be a global enterprise, they need to accommodate the culture and language of the Chinese-, Arabian-, Spanish-, and French-speaking countries.
  • Website localization optimizes your use of translation agencies: Human translation is the type of professional translation that uses trained human translators to comprehend the context behind a source text; in contrast, machine translation is incapable of doing that. So as not to waste the human resources needed to translate a website for a given target market, the localization process must be used to its utmost. The best way to stay one step ahead of your competition when it comes to catering to a global audience is by cooperating with your translation service in localizing your content. Don't be left behind; become a multinational corporation by doing the proper cultural research and translating your material and promotional campaigns with your target market in mind.
  • Website localization builds credibility: The more time and effort you spend in localizing your content, the more trustworthy and credible your company will appear to its global audience. Think about it; from time immemorial, the one thing businesses ever claim is that everything they do is for the customers' sake. Well, what better way to demonstrate your company's dedication to its customers—all its customers, not just domestic ones—than by valuing and respecting the culture, tradition, and national identity of your different markets and audiences?

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