Grow internationally – with culturally authentic translations
How can you internationalize while authentically localizing?
The importance of cross-border trade is increasing – and with it cross-border eCommerce with new opportunities in cross-border retail. But entering new online markets is complex: translating a website, online store and product documentation into the relevant languages is not enough. The different cultural conditions and legal aspects, as well as the respective local customs for handling purchases, are just as crucial for success in international markets. And the project process – including smooth data transfer – needs to be well planned.
Sure: A correct translation is a must. But success in foreign markets requires a solid localization strategy that goes far beyond mere content translation. This requires a thorough analysis of the intended target markets: What does the local competition look like? What are the most common shipping options and payment methods? What legal requirements and legal aspects need to be taken into account? It should be checked in advance whether the requirements of the target markets can be met and whether the return on investment is positive. In legal matters, a lawyer specializing in legal advice for global Internet commerce can help.
Examples of important sub-areas to localize content, web stores or websites:
- Optimized terminology and source texts
- Foreign language search engine optimization (SEO)
- Targeting and local marketing
- Currency and size conversion
- Checking product names for suitability for the local market
- Culturally appropriate images, symbols and colors
- Length limitation of menu texts, headlines and text blocks
- Smooth data handling processes
- Processes and technologies for internationalization
Efficiency is crucial when internationalizing a website. And smart workflows can greatly reduce time and costs. But what exactly is important in the translation context?
As a rule, product data is managed in product information management (PIM) software and then fed into a CMS. It is therefore advisable to export the product texts directly from the PIM system. It is also possible to export from the CMS, but this involves a certain risk: If the CMS is connected to a PIM system, there is a risk that updates already made in the PIM system have not yet been transferred to the CMS. This must be ensured in advance.
There are various technical options and automations for the assignment and translation workflow that simplify the exchange of data between the customer’s systems and those of the service provider, including some already established plug-in solutions.
The language service provider itself works with so-called translation tools for Computer-Aided-Translation, or CAT for short. These are software products that support the translator in his work. The system saves all translations performed, so that recurring translation segments can be “recycled” and billed more cheaply. This speeds up the translation process and reduces costs.
Optimized processes for website translations using TeamViewer as an example
Smart interfaces for more time and cost efficiency can be made with just small changes.
The TeamViewer Challenge
TeamViewer is a global technology company and leading provider of a connectivity platform that enables remote access, control, management, monitoring and repair of all types of devices. To translate the company’s website, TeamViewer IT professionals initially exported the HTML texts manually. The translators then delivered the finished texts back in the same format. After a review by internal experts, developers at TeamViewer entered the corresponding corrections via copy & paste. An immense coordination effort – and costly, as IT specialists had to deal with the export and re-import of translation texts.
The (simple) solution
The website texts to be translated from TeamViewer are created using WPML, a multilingual plugin for WordPress. The texts to be translated are freely defined and uploaded as XLIFF files without any detours via a portal. After immediate editing in the translation tool, Transline uploads the finished target texts again – and TeamViewer can insert them directly into the right place on the multilingual website. With reliably high translation quality, TeamViewer thus saves a lot of time and money. And thanks to significantly reduced review effort, the texts are also “live” much faster.
Author: Georgios Tsouknidis