No? Then this post is for you. Yes? Then (surprise!) this post is also for you.
If you said “no”, keep reading. If you answered yes, you can skip this part and go to the next one. Unless, and that would be great, you’re curious anyway, which I hope you are.
If you don’t operate across multiple countries with different languages, do you plan to do so? Or have you had a chance to think about it at all?
Nowadays, with the Internet and all things globalized, it seems obvious that businesses want to expand internationally. Some don’t, that’s true and also understandable. But many companies have planned or at least thought about going global. Have you thought about making your products an international hit in other countries than your own? Or, maybe you started going global using one language that you feel people will understand? Yes, I mean English.
I know people say that everyone speaks English. It wasn’t true in 2012 and it’s not true now. Many people do, but not everyone. And out of these people who actually speak English – most of them still prefer to search the Internet and purchase products in their own language. Including me.
I speak English, but in my private time, I prefer to use Polish when buying things. If you like to support your information with numbers, here they are.
So, you’ve got your numbers, you have the idea that maybe it’s good to introduce your company abroad in languages other than English.
What’s next? It depends on your ideas, your company’s budget, and needs.
You can select the 20 most popular possible languages among Internet users and translate all of your content into those languages. From your product content, through your website, including your blog, to your marketing content. All of it. Into 20 languages. Sounds big? It does to me.
Choose a smaller number of languages and for starters just translate your main website and your product descriptions.
One or two languages, the main website and that’s it.
Which approach is the best? The one that suits you and your company.
There’s more than one solution. Your company is unique and because of that, your plan needs to be carefully tailored.
Apart from making your own plans and doing your research, talk to the people in the translation and localization industry.
A translation company that has the experience and knowledge will be able to advise you on the best path for your company. And don’t worry. A translation agency worth its salt will not advise you to go wild and translate your whole content into 20 languages knowing that your budget and your plans cannot allow that. They are not there to take it all. They are there to help your company grow.
Translation services providers that focus on their clients, focus on their clients' growth. That’s why they give advice appropriate to the company’s individual situation.
So, whether you want to start big, medium or small with the translation of your content, the decisions you will make will be the right ones, supported by the appropriate advice.
It’s good to remember one thing: when you start translating, you might start to feel and see the need to add more languages later on. This means localization in your business strategy is the path worth following.
And it also means saving money and time. When you add more languages to your already translated content, thanks to your style guides and translation memory, you will save quite a sum on the next translations and a lot of time, which is essential when introducing your business in new markets. You probably already know this. In case you need to refresh your knowledge, here’s the article about it.
Now that we’ve established that it’s good to localize your content and it doesn’t have to mean translating into multiple languages at one go, there’s one thing to consider: how to do it right.
It’s free, it’s fast.
And it’s not effective.
I mean, you will have your content translated, but will it be the content you want to send to the world and make it sell your products? I highly doubt that. Humans use the languages and humans are the ones that understand them best. With all their linguistic tricks and traps. Not to mention the differences in the regional cultures, laws and customs. If you consider translating your website or any other content only with the use of machine translation, you might want to get to know more first.
Because of human translation.
Because of the human touch to your machine translation.
Because of the experience and expertise.
Because of the well-established and working process.
Because of the tools that help speed up the process without damaging the quality.
And let’s not forget one more aspect: because of the true professionals.
Yes, I know you know what I mean. Just to be on the safe side, though:
Because all of the translation companies that are out there will offer you all those qualities I mentioned above. And probably more.
So, how to choose the right localization company and not go crazy from all the research? Use the checklist. Answer the questions, make the decision and still have time to grab a coffee and relax. You’re welcome.
Now, if you are currently operating across multiple countries with different languages, you know all the above inside out. I only need to ask you 2 questions:
If yes, then congratulations, I am happy for you. I really am.
If, however, you feel there’s more you can get, use the checklist too. Just to make sure your company and you really get what you deserve.
After all, there might be a translation company that offers more. Like improving the quality review process and the quality in general, just by providing an appropriate tool that makes it possible and easy for its clients.
Or, maybe you need a translation partner more focused on the quality of communication with you so that all the changes you need to implement or the questions you ask are addressed quickly, clearly and with full focus on your needs. You know what you need. And what your company expects.
Make sure you get exactly that.