As an e-commerce entrepreneur, imagine having your press release read worldwide, or doing business with prestigious overseas clients.
Your small business may not be there yet, but thanks to an increasingly global economy, those dreams are becoming a reality for many companies.
And your turn is now.
As the business world continues to go global, the need for language-translation services is greater than ever. Better yet, there are now possibilities for even one-person operations to have access to them.
This sort of one-click marketing expansion is just another advantage of the Dot Com lifestyle.
Translation experts shared their thoughts on the latest industry trends and what businesses from mega-conglomerates to kitchen-table start-ups need to know.
Why are businesses translating content?
Businesses have many different motivations for translating content for international audiences. It may be to facilitate an overseas business partnership or to expand their market reach and sell to global consumers. But regardless of the reason, businesses are becoming more particular about which pieces of content they put energy into translating, and for whom.
“People are moving away from taking a [piece of content] and making 19 or 20 different quick translations,” said Dougal Cameron, chief operating officer of e-book publishing platform Pubsoft. “There’s more of a focus on why it’s translated for a specific audience. A good translation can make a huge difference in how content is received.”
Ian Henderson, chief technology officer and chairman of global language service provider Rubric, noted that a low-quality translation can give a bad impression of your business. “Poor quality negatively impacts your branding,” Henderson told Business News Daily. “If you’re an overseas hotel and [a native speaker] reads your description online, he or she may seriously question your reputation based on a bad translation.”
What are your translation options?
When a business wants to translate a piece of content, it generally has three options: machine translation, a professional translator, or crowdsourcing. Each one has its costs and benefits, and each serves a specific purpose.
- Machine translation tools, such as Google Translate, are usually free to use and give you an instant translation when you copy and paste text into it. Keep in mind that these tools only provide basic translations and are often not completely accurate. Every language has idioms, and artificial intelligence isn’t ready for most of them.
- Professional translators are native or fluent speakers who will provide a high-quality translation of your content for a fee. Unlike machine translators, a professional can take grammar rules and colloquial phrases into account to make the content flow more naturally.
- Crowdsourced translation may take some time to complete, because you’re dealing with volunteers who likely have little translation experience. However, crowdsourcing is less expensive than hiring a professional translator and still provides a comparable quality of translation.
Which one should you use?
The translation tools you use for specific content depends on your business priorities.
“You might use high-end translation for your advertising or creative copy, machine translation for internal use, and crowdsourced translation for user-generated content,” said Robert Laing, CEO and co-founder of translation service Gengo. “The main trend is getting smarter about your content and choosing the right quality appropriately.”
Cameron agreed, advising businesses to determine whether a professional translation is worth the investment based on the nature of their content. For example, instructive how-to content with simple language may not require much more than a free machine translation. An engaging article or book, on the other hand, should be professionally translated to preserve meaning and linguistic elements.
Consider a marketing platform that can add translation software
One of the most reliable companies to offer translation services as an integral part of its basic package is the DeskShare.
To date, it offers services in 19 languages.
The company’s Site Translator software is designed for website owners and web developers who need a simple, do-it-yourself solution to web site language translation. With a few mouse clicks, you can translate virtually any site designed in HTML, ASP.NET, PHP, PHP3, or PHTML into multiple languages.
So when you’re ready to jump into global markets in their native tongues, here’s your solution.