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localization and website translation

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What is website localization?

Nowadays it is hard to imagine a world without technology or the Internet. Especially during the pandemic the need for online communication has become bigger due to many people’s social and professional lives being moved online. Additionally, websites are visited by users from all around the world, and the demand for international goods is rising. This means that companies providing those goods are looking to open their business to a wider, international group of future customers. Online communication is extremely convenient for both the customer and the business, and so many companies decide to look for website translation services. This often includes website localization, which implies adapting a service or website to a certain group of consumers who speak a certain language, use a certain alphabet, or live in a certain region. A well-localized website is like a good business card given to international customers from all around the world.

Website translation and website localization

It is worth mentioning that localization is a more complex process than website translation. Many translation companies offer those services, which don’t stop at just translating the text. We work on the graphics, culturally-bound elements, as well as dialects. For example, Latin American Spanish and European Spanish. This is because of the differing audiences that the translated website is aimed at. When in need of a website translation, one needs not only translated content. It is highly recommended to work with a translator who knows the culture of the target language country well and is able to appeal to e.g. Spanish-speaking or Chinese-speaking customers.

It is clear that website localization is a complex process, which includes translation, editing, graphics, standardization of units of measurement and currencies, as well as working on key-word related content, allowing the website to reach a wider audience.

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The process of website localization

  • The source text must be adapted to the target market. This means that if the business needs to reach the Japanese or French market, the website must be adapted to a Japanese- or French-speaking client base. This includes language, customs, or the potential customers’ preferences.
  • Graphics and visuals need to be adapted. For instance, minimalist website design is often preferred in European countries, whereas users in many countries in Asia prefer a more pronounced approach to design, including many links. Additionally, one needs to remember e.g. that Arabic texts are read from right to left, which means that product photos often need to be adjusted.
  • Currency adjustment is a crucial element of website localization. That is because foreign currencies might put off the customers who worry about foreign exchange during the transaction.
  • The preferred payment method also differs from country to country. For example, US customers favour credit card payment, whereas e.g. people from the Netherlands use the iDEAL payment system. Different time zones and date formats should be taken into consideration when dealing with website localization.
  • When it comes to legal matters, the information concerning laws and regulations needs to be adapted depending on the country where the target language is spoken.
  • The web address should also be adjusted, so that customers can access the website using their mother tongue.
  • In addition, information regarding international shipment or even work offers or internships should be added or adjusted during the process of localisation.
localization website localization website translation

Website translation into different languages

One could claim that the existence of online machine translators such as Google Translate has made professional translators redundant when it comes to website translation. That statement could not be less true. Such machine translator can never accurately translate the content, which means potential customers might lose their interest or even lose the trust they have for the business. It is more comfortable for customers to read easily understandable content instead of having to guess what the company meant. This is why it is worth it to invest in website localization; customers will find offers they can read about in their mother tongue more appealing. 

Localisation and search engine optimization

SEO (search engine optimization) is a process that aims to improve a website’s traffic through making it easily searchable in search engines by using key words. This increases the website’s popularity and makes it more recognizable, and thus increases the company’s potential income. This Internet marketing strategy is also often referenced while providing a website translation or localisation.

What's important when it comes to website translation and website localization?

The demand for website localization has increased due to the introduction of new technologies, globalisation, demand for foreign goods, as well as the need for international communication. The needs of customers worldwide have grown and their demands can be met e.g. through providing website translation services. A localized website is a great advantage for companies who would like to reach international clients with their products or services and make their website more accessible for them.

Written by: Zofia Mierzwińska
Translated by: Marta Helis



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