If you are running an established business in your country, the next logical step is to expand to other markets which may not necessarily be English speaking. So if you have decided to provide your services or products to people who speak German, you would obviously need to translate your website into German. In today’s world, the first place where people are likely to contact you is online. There are couple of things to consider while translating your website into another language:
- The content that needs to be translated: You may have an extensive website running into several hundred pages. Do you want to translate everything or just few important pages? It may be a good idea to start with translation of key pages and expand as you go. Remember translation is an expensive activity and is like a long term investment which will certainly pay.
- What languages should you translate into? That of course depends on the market you are trying to target. If you are trying to sell to Latin America you will have to translate to Spanish (Latin American). If you are considering Japan you will want Japanese and so on. The most common languages to consider are Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German and Russian.
- Website conversion: This part is tricky and you will need to talk to your website designer or developer. If you website is in plain html, most languages will be just copy pasted into the html source code and should work just fine. You may have to install some additional language support for languages that do not use Roman letters.
- How will you communicate if a buyer contacts you? Once your website is live and you start getting queries in let’s say Spanish. How will you understand or reply to them? You obviously need to have a bilingual staff ready to handle such queries. Or for a start you can just tie up with a translation company and ask them to translate the queries and replies into Spanish.
- It is important that you engage the right linguist for translation work. Then you can just focus on doing what you do best and leave the translation work to the service provider. Poor translation is more of a hindrance even if you product is great quality so ensure that you don’t go wrong in that!