Multilingual sites poses technical and structural issues (choice of server, the domain name etc. ; those will discussed later in an separate post, not here) . Let us discuss on the strategy for creating sites with an international or foreign versions of a site in English language.
This work indeed exceeds by far than that of a simple translation, and the whole credibility of your site that is played. It is therefore necessary before embarking on such a project to ask some questions:
Who are my readers?
You know your English speaking visitors, but keep in mind the characteristics of the other non English speaking readers: perhaps they knows less well your brand? Your products? Your territory? The results of this market research will guide the practical content of your site.
In fact, you may find the need to add location maps of your destination, to explain the techniques for making your local produce, adapt your message to the local tax advantages. And finally it all the hierarchy that must be thought specifically for the foreign audiences. Do not be afraid to remove items and add others.
The goal is that visitors feel “at home” on your site and be completely confident in your ability and legitimacy to its needs.
What languages you need to choose?
The answer to this question is fundamental.
Indeed the use of socio-cultural specificities will be radically different. An example? Promoting special Thanksgiving will not be relevant for the Dutch who fell back on the English version of your site in the absence of its small national flag on your homepage. An English version “default page” will therefore be characterized by neutrality. If this approach does not fit the structure of your customers, it will decline to consider the site in several languages.
Choose the major non-English languages: German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and add more as you need. The reason behind choosing these countries is: these countries, if not at all dying for the information, very rarely visits a English website.
There is no need to translate to Hindi Language for India; simply because, almost all visitors from India can write, read in English as good as other countries: so, investing for Hindi or Bengali translation will not be cost effective at all. We gave you just an example as we know the speech-demography of India. But, it is not possible for anyone to know about all these tit-bits around the glob: for that you definitely need a consultation with a master of this field.
Who will translate my pages?
Immediately put aside the automatic translators and the call for professional translators. The translation job is inevitable and it will be better used if your translator is more aware and familiar with the referencing website.
For classic translation, it does not always correspond to terms that local people use in their applications. Customers prefer perhaps idioms, abbreviations or acronyms. The translator must know how to use these particularities, ask him or her to write like native speakers speak, because these are terms that are searched on the engines: your valued keywords. Finally, foreign language texts should receive the same attention as the English content: a preliminary study of keywords, writing custom title tags and descriptions, etc. Finally, it will be very wise to give the translator a version of your site already adapted and rewritten in light of all the particularities identified.
And if there was only one thing to remember? Bet on trust! Offers, product information, topics, tone, services … do not overlook any aspect of your site that will build a quality relationship with your visitors.
Is not that translation gadget works well?
These are simply junks. They are made to get a backlink from your website and promote their products. If a Chinese speaking person needs to translate an English website; he or she will use Google online translator. He or She came to your website simply because he / she can read English very well.