If want to know how to drive more global traffic to your website, then website translation and localization is the way to go. You really can’t have one over the other as translation and localization is an inseparable tag team. Under the scope of user retention, the duo is vital for your website’s overall user experience.
With this article, you’ll get to know how a professional translation agency can be your best partner in crime. They’ll be able to answer your website translation and localization needs. You’ll also get to know what are the top languages and internet user markets.
UX with Website Translation and Localization
The Rapid Growth of Non-English Internet Users and Non-English Content
Indeed, English is still the lingua franca of the Internet but it might not be the case in the future. More people around the world are owning more smartphones and have easier and faster Internet access. That trend then drives up the demand and supply of non-English content.
And those numbers are going up every single day. It’s quite hard to imagine it that way since we’re exposed to English content every day in social media and Google. This reality presents major challenges to website owners now and more so shortly.
For that, they need not just any professional translation services, but specifically website translation. The same goes for website localization services. If you’re familiar with SEO strategies, you’ll know how difficult it is to optimize your website enough for it to rank well in Google’s list of search entries. How much more difficult this will be when you have a multilingual website.
Getting Quality Website Translation From a Professional Translation Agency
Is Google Translate or other online language translator software enough for website translation? Well, if it was that simple, then why doesn’t everyone do it? That’s because website translation isn’t that straightforward than just plugging in the source text and copy-pasting the translated text.
That’s like saying professional translation is just a simple as getting your bilingual/multilingual friend to translate for you. The reality is that professional translation of any kind requires advanced language skills beyond bilingual/multilingual abilities.
Indeed, machine translation and the latest AI translation software is doing wonders never seen before. However, they still cannot match the accuracy and quality of human translators, especially in critical and sensitive translation work.
Machines simply do not understand the cultural and social context. They don’t have the algorithms to decode context us humans naturally do—for most of us anyway. That being said, you should be relying on a professional translation agency for website translation services.
Any professional translation agency makes sure that the translators they connect with have native-level language skills. Not only do they provide general translation services such as technical translation, but also niche and specialized translation services. These include legal translation, healthcare translation, and financial translation to name a few.
Why Website Localization is Critical For Your Multilingual UX
All website owners are looking for ways to not just attract but also retain their audiences. But things get complicated when trying to retain a global multilingual audience. Indeed, website translation is a way of attracting them, but is it enough to retain them? Especially if you’re competing with established local websites?
What makes a good translated multilingual website is one that is localized. As said in the beginning, translation and localization is an inseparable tag team. Localization is simply adapting content suited for the target audience. But just like website translation, website localization isn’t as simple as its definition suggests.
Factors in Proper Website Translation Localization
Localization, in general, involves taking into account a plethora of factors specific to the target audience. Depending on your website, you should incorporate local currencies, time zones, units of measurement, etc. But other factors in proper localization strategies go beyond that.
These include linguistic nuances (dialect, slang, creative expressions), relevant cultural and social norms, aesthetic preferences (layout and color scheme), and also religious and political norms.
The first three are reactive measures to make your website relevant and attractive for your target audience. But taking into account religious and political norms is a proactive measure. You don’t want to be citing any of these in your website’s content. Depending on the subject at hand, it would invite backlash and even hate from your target audience.
Getting even just either of these wrong will most likely affect your website’s UX. You might even see a significant drop in website traffic. But of course, there are plenty of other reasons why your website isn’t holding up well.
Nevertheless, proper localization includes factors that are highly specific to each country, their culture, and their society. You can only learn so much by looking them up online. You need to coordinate with your professional translation agency and request for website localization services.
Quick fact; professional translation agencies are sometimes called localization companies since most of them do provide localization services. Their localization consultants will also help you with your regional SEO strategies. Since Google has regional servers, it will help you rank your website in your target audience’s regional search queries.
Top Languages And Global Internet User Markets
1 Chinese (Mandarin and Simplified Chinese script)
Apart from China having the world’s largest population, it also has the world’s largest internet users. So translating your website from English to Chinese is a fantastic way of making it accessible to an additional billion people. Most of them reside in mainland China but there are plenty of Chinese ex-pats and immigrant communities living abroad in the U.S and Europe.
The catch here is that reaching out to the mainland Chinese audience is quite tricky since Google is banned there. Baidu is the dominant search engine in mainland China. So translating your website to English to Chinese just won’t cut it. You’ll also have to submit your website to Baidu and adopt SEO strategies meant for the Baidu platform.
2 Hindi Website Translation and Localization
Coming in second is Hindi since India is the second-largest internet user audience. Just like China, India houses more than a billion people and half of them are Internet users. India is already rolling out more IT infrastructure, especially in rural areas, to boost Internet access rates.
Also, more Indians are owning more smartphones ever year. Thus, the country presents great opportunities for website owners. There is a catch though. Although Hindi is the national language of India, it is just one of India’s regional languages.
India has more than 20 regional languages with millions of speakers and a couple hundred more with also sizeable pockets of speakers. Nevertheless, translating your website from English to Hindi is a great way of adding reaching out to more than hundreds of millions of Hindi speakers worldwide, not just in India.
The combined numbers of every speaking Spanish-country worldwide makes the Spanish internet user another lucrative audience. You can reach audiences from Spain, Latin America, the Caribbean, to even the large Spanish immigrant population living in the U.S.
You might be expecting another catch and yes, there is one. While you can certainly get away with general English to Spanish translations, you’ll enjoy less success that way. You can maximize your retention rate if you localize to each Spanish-speaking country as they have their own cultural and social norms.
If you want your website to have a following from Europe, then you should try translating it from English to German first. Germany has the largest number of internet users in Europe. You can also find German-speaking internet users in countries bordering Germany.
And yes, translating and localizing to the German audience also has a catch. Depending on your website, you should take note of the different cultural and social values, including color schemes that the German people react positively to.
These countries and languages were selected due to the number of their internet users. You can also find plenty of success with other languages such as French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Korean if they are your target audience.
Website Translation and Localization As The Future Norm: Final Takeaway
The number of non-English internet users and non-English content isn’t slowing down at any given moment. In fact, website translation and localization is one of the top priorities of many global industries. It’ll continue to be so as we become more connected economically and digitally.