Meeting Between Colleagues

Localization

How should we start to localize a website?

1- You need to know your target market

Consumers are likely to purchase goods and services if the product information is in their native language. And even some potential clients who don’t speak and can’t read English won’t consider buying from an English website.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. Nelson Mandela
English is not the only language we should provide the content for. Internet users who prefer English make up just 25.3% of the overall Internet market share. That leaves nearly 75% who prefer to consume content in another language. One example could be China and India that both of which have over 1,200 million online users. Neither of them uses English as their first language.
That 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from websites in their own language. So, if you’re going global, speaking your target market’s language is crucial to your success.

ITS Groups Translation Localization SEO.jpg

2. Design pages by considering localization

Let's start with an example, when English text is translated into Spanish, it expands by approximately 25% and when the same amount of text is translated into Finnish, it can contract by up to 30%. These expansion and contraction factors can a difference when it comes to website and application translation!

The below table provides some guidelines for expansion/contraction. Keep in mind that these ratios are very general since there are many factors involved in translating a text.

Language
From English
Into English
Thai
+15%
-5% to -15%
Swedish
-10%
+10%
Spanish
+15% to +30%
-5% to -15%
Russian
+15%
-5% to -15%
Portuguese
+15% to +30%
-5% to -15%
Polish
+20% to +30%
-5% to -15%
Norwegian
-5% to -10%
+5% to +10%
Korean
-10% to -15%
+15% to +20%
Japanese
-10% to -55%
+20% to +60%
Italian
+10% to +25%
-15%
Hindi
+15% to +35%
-15%
Hebrew
-20% to -30%
+20% to +30%
Greek
+10%
-5% to -15%
German
+10% to +35%
-20% to -30%
French
+15% to +20%
-10% to -15%
Flemish
+10%
-5% to -10%
Finnish
-25% to -30%
+30% to +40%
Estonian
+15%
-5% to -15%
Danish
-10% to -15%
+10% to +15%
Czech
+10%
-5% to -10%
Croatian
+15%
-5% to -15%
Catalan
+15%
-5% to -15%
Burmese
+15%
-5% to -15%
Arabic
+20% to +25%
-20% to -25%
Albanian
+15%
-5% to -15%

3. Preparing the team of localization

Website localization could be considered as one of the hardest parts of your globalization plan since there are a lot of people involved which is limited to the budget you consider for it but the quality should be on the top-notch.

There is at least three main groups in each localization project:
Developers, Translators, and localization project managers.


If you look to stand out in the market, you can't ignore the fact that you need to have high-quality translations since the smallest typos, could cause damage to the global image of your company. Finding experienced translators that can work with your glossaries and apply the transcreation techniques, is essential for your website localization. These translators, are less limited to the original text and focus to localize your message for that specific region.

On the other side, you need to have an experienced developer team who understands your software or website and the language aspect of it.
They need to prepare translatable parts of your website or software, which could be in a different format, such as JSON, HTML, PO, XML, or any other type that is most suitable and works for them.
And in the middle between the developers and translators, you need a team of localization project managers who can manage and manipulate the content in a way that is more suitable for the translators.

Companies with limited budgets try to cut some costs and overlook the role of localization project managers as intermediaries between translators and programmers.
They try to pay less, but eventually, they ended up paying more since they are not aware of the localization technologies that make life easier for the companies and translators, and in the end, using those technologies could cause the result cheaper with a faster turnaround time for the companies. We will explain it more later.

4. Localizing of Your Website could not be done manually

Using word documents or spreadsheets and sending them to the translators, could be the most costly way of localization than you could imagine.  
Inconsistencies: Companies who want to save more money in this way and ignore the localization technologies, ended up with an inconsistent translation, especially if they need to change their translators in the middle of the way. 
Pay more money: Why do you need to pay money to the translator to translate almost the same content for different pages? Or why do you translate the same paragraph over and over on different pages?
More turnaround time: When you don't need to put time into translating the same paragraph for different pages, besides money, you can save time.
For small changes, you need to pay just for those changes. Using the localization technologies help businesses to deal with Fuzzy content, not new words. which saves them money and time.

ITS Groups Translation Localization.jpg

5. Test your localized website

Make sure to test all links in each language and look for the broken ones and the formatting. Not all languages are left to right! So, it needs to change the coding in your website for those languages.

Check your site on different mobile devices and browsers and make sure those languages could be seen properly everywhere. Ensure that you deliver the best user experience in each language. Test everything multiple times. If you don’t find the issue, you can ask your users and clients to report any misfunction on your website.

Let's hope they care since 40% of online browsers will leave the site if it takes more than three seconds to load.

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