Your website should be accessible to all, shouldn’t it? Well it should if you intend on using it to generate profit or sell your products. If you are serious about generating revenue from your website then read on to find out why you need to translate your website in 2015.
Languages of the Web
Not everybody views your website in English alone, some visitors will auto-translate your site using machine translators such as Google Translate if they feel more comfortable in that language. Although letting users use machine translators to translate your content may impact on the message you are trying to convey or product descriptions you are using to sell your products.
English is by far (as of 2013) still the number one language in use on the web (according to internetworldstats.com) and by far the most common among major web pages. Although by simply having your website in English you are potentially missing out on the many millions more users across the world that are browsing, searching and viewing webpages in different languages.
One language in particular, Chinese stands out above as it alone accounts for the second biggest language on the web with Spanish coming third. Obviously with English and Spanish languages, visitors may be searching from different parts of the world using that language such as South America and Spain in Spanish and Australia and USA in English while the Chinese language is only particularly dominant in China itself.
Why Translate Your Website?
So why should you invest money, time and effort in professional website translation services instead of using existing machine translators? Well for a start machine translators, although to a certain extent accurate do not accurately translate context, grammar and the message you are trying to convey. This can really impact the user experience and limit conversions. To really connect to your foreign language visitors you must take a different approach through localising your content and even your design.
It may be the case that Chinese users prefer a more visually crowded design with vibrant colours and less text, while German users prefer a more corporate design using a formal tone for content. Differences in culture can lead to different user expectations and experiences when viewing web pages.
Writing content for a UK audience and you may have better results by writing in almost a ‘chatty’ informal tone, if your plan is to simply translate your English content from the UK to say French then you may encounter problems where certain phrases or context simply cannot be translated. To counteract this you may need to have your website localised by mother-tongue linguists who will be able to help you convey the right message you want to get across to your visitors more naturally.
Global Voices offer professional website translation services using experienced mother-tongue translators. Get in touch and see what we can do for you.