PART II. How to Localize your Website
If you don’t know how to localize your website, you must know that there are different solutions available. Keep reading to discover the pros & cons and decide what is best suited to your needs.
At Kotoba Translation, we have a vast experience helping companies to localize their websites for international markets. We offer tailored solutions for each client. We integrate our translation work into your content creation and website development workflow so that translation does not become a hassle.
Popular web browsers like Chrome or Safari already have translation plug-ins built into their settings or available as an extension, and these are normally powered by Google Translate. This allows users to set their language preference and the content will be automatically translated (not localized!) without taking into account the context or the cultural differences.
Website localization in Content Management Systems (CMS)
Many websites are built in content management systems (CMS), so let’s consider the technical options for translating some of these websites.
The sites that use a CMS can take advantage of plug-ins and modules that can push translated content into the sites. However, you must be aware that many of these solutions either use Google Translate or are similar to Google Translate and they are not perfect translations. However, it is also possible to create an account in your CMS for your translators, reviewers or LSP, and they will be able to localize and proofread the content directly in the CMS, without the need to export and/or import the content. Moreover, the translators will be able to preview content and check each word in context. Easy for you, easy for them.
- WORDPRESS has its own translation plug-in: WMPL (WordPress Multilingual Plugin). WPML is a powerful extension for any WordPress website or theme to run multilingual content. The plugin allows translation for pages, posts, custom types, taxonomy, menus and even theme’s texts. When you are ready for translation, you just have to add items to your translation basket, assign them to your translators of choice and they will receive a notification that new content is ready for translation. Then they will be able to log in the WordPress Multilingual Editor and localize the content.
- PRISMIC is a content repository that does not have any plugin. Instead it provides a simple interface and editor where you can set different tags in your content to inform translators of the documents that need to be translated.
Website data can also be exported into different types of files: .json, .php, .html, .yml, etc. At Kotoba Translation we are quite familiar with many of them and this is how we work to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
First of all, you will need to export the files with the content that you want to translate from your website or content management system and send them to your preferred translator or agency.
Processing these files is easy with the help of CAT (Computer Aided Translation) tools, like SDL Studio or even Crowdin. CAT Tools recognize the Keys and Values, making sure that the Keys remain in English and only the Values are translated. Furthermore, it helps translators to be consistent with the terminology and run spellchecks.
*However, one of the downsides of file-based localization is that translators cannot see the content in context. They have to check the website directly online or in screenshots or using a .pdf file provided by the client.*
Once the translators are done, you just have to import or load the files in your site again.
With the evolution of translation management technology, new localization platforms have become a popular way of localizing content.
The method is simple: directly upload the source files of your project into one of the supported source file formats and give credentials or access to your preferred translator or LSP. There are even some platforms that offer integrations so that the content is automatically sent (full new pages or untranslated strings) directly into the translation management platform.
One of the benefits of localization platforms is that, if you want, you can always decide who to assign the translation to, track and manage the progress, etc.
Some of the platforms that we work with:
- Transifex: The source content and translations are automatically synced to a global content repository that is accessible at any time.
- Crowdin: A cloud-based solution that streamlines localization management for your team. It's the perfect place to effectively manage all of your multilingual content.
Using the right tools will significantly increase the success of your website localization project. If you have not decided yet or still have doubts, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to help you based on the characteristics of your project.