CPSL is an expert team of translation and localisation specialists and here we share 7 suggestions to help you begin the process of website localisation, it just takes a little thought to generate good results.
Reaching out to an international audience online requires localising your website, and that means more than just plugging your HTML into Google Translate. Good website localisation will keep your message and your branding consistent across multiple languages and cultures, and ensure that you make the impression you want on different audiences all around the world.
Whether you’re planning your very first multilingual website or have been through this process before, keep the following points in mind when you start working on website localisation:
Website Localisation Top Tips
1) Website Localisation Language Selection
The languages that you choose to translate into will dictate the total size and nature of the audience you can reach. Tie your choice into your research on your potential market; you want to provide a customized experience for the widest possible audience. You can use culture settings to extend your reach by making visitors’ browsers automatically select a given language.
2) Language-Sensitive Stylistic Choices
Make sure that your stylistic choices accommodate all of the languages you’re targeting. Different languages use different punctuation and lettering, so you’ll need to design with a certain amount of font flexibility.
3) Website Localisation Terminology
Identify key phrases on your site that absolutely need to cross language barriers with their meanings intact. Create a glossary of these key terms so that translators and other website localisation professionals have guidance on how best to convey them across linguistic and cultural barriers.
4) Website Localisation Includes Multimedia Files
You can’t call your website localisation effort complete if you leave critical video or audio files untranslated. You should either have a local voice-over added to these materials or create a tailored transcript / set of subtitles. This process can take a significant amount of time; make sure you account for it in your localisation schedule.
5) Localising your images
Whenever possible, avoid embedding text into images that will be used for a multilingual website. Translating crucial text that’s trapped in an image can add considerable graphic design work to the already complex localisation process. You should also check all of your images for evidence of cultural bias that could adversely affect the user experience of your international visitors.
6) Localised Contact Information
URLs and email addresses are already international, but addresses and phone numbers don’t cross borders so well. Check all of the contact information on your site to verify that you’re pointing customers to the appropriate local office, if you have one. If you’re providing international contact info, make sure you also give your visitors a brief guide on international calling / mailing protocol. Anything you can do to think from their point of view will help them to think of you in a trusting way.
7) Per Market Law & Legalities
Make sure you take a look at the laws governing marketing in each of the countries you’re going to be operating in. (Better yet, let an expert consult with you one these matters!)
Other countries may impose restrictions on marketing that you’re unfamiliar with. Examples include banning negative / competitive claims and prohibiting the automated collection of data. You don’t want to have your localisation program delayed because of potential, unexpected legal trouble.
Website Localisation Expertise
Sometimes, having a global localisation expert team on hand is the easiest way of planning out a localisation strategy and looking at all the areas in a logical way. That then saves both time and costs to the business.
CPSL have been specialists in website localisation since the dawn of the internet so we’d be happy to take a look with you at your expansion and new market plans and see where best we can help. Scroll down to see the contact details of the office most convenience for you and one of the team will be happy to help.