The idea of translating your website to serve other audiences better is transformative to growing the business globally. With that said, it’s fraught with difficulty because there’s so much room for things to get lost in translation. In this article, we cover why it’s important to be accurate with website translation and what can go wrong when you aren’t.
Open E-commerce Sales Up to the World
When using an effective website translation, a secondary version of your site is presented and accessible to other audiences. This expands the number of potential customers where your product can be sold, and either shipped to or downloaded from in the case of digital-only products.
Audiences that speak Spanish or French, for instance, add many millions of new potential customers when the website is accurately translated. With any website translation service, it must provide accurate translations that go beyond mere word-for-word conversion. For example, Brightlines Translation offers a range of website translation services to provide for business different needs. Their translation doesn’t just look at word translation but accurately conveying the original meaning in a foreign language too. This includes using appropriate words or even slang, where it’s commonly used and appropriate in particular circumstances.
Avoid Blunders in Product Naming
Product names often need to be renamed for an international audience. Also, when marketing to individual countries where the product will sit on a virtual e-commerce shelf, it will need to be appropriately named for that county. Some words and phrases are used to refer to things and others are definitely not used. This fact flies in the face of word-for-word translation that might mistakenly use a word that strikes local people as wrong or not in common use.
Going into a new market with a product name that doesn’t mean what you think it does, looks unprofessional. Potential customers will find the brand name either in poor taste or unappealing. Loss of sales and momentum is sacrificed as a result.
Be Taken Seriously from the Start
When you think about a product description on an e-commerce site, it needs to explain the product well. Otherwise, it may put off likely buyers who either dislike what was said, find it incomplete, or are non-persuasive.
A product description with a poor translation for the Spanish, French, or Italian version of a website does the site a disservice. The translation will read in a clunky way, lacking proper flow. It’s likely that poor grammar will also give away that a non-native speaker produced it.
This situation will annoy or disappoint potential buyers because it suggests to them that the company behind the website was either too uncaring or didn’t feel that their market mattered enough to the site’s owners to bother with a better translation.
Quality Won’t Sell with Poor Translation
If your products are designed to suggest high-quality or even that they’re luxurious items, the website needs to demonstrate this at every turn. This is especially true when the potential customer is visiting online and not speaking or meeting with representatives of the company in person – the website does the talking for them. Even with a beautiful website that visually wows them and represents the polished products well, it all gets let down when the language is poorly translated. The product will no longer seem high-end or as valuable. Also, the price charged may suddenly appear excessive.
Avoid Looking Amateur
Mistakes happen with most companies. However, it’s expected that when going international – even on a website – that businesses have all their ducks in a row first. Presenting a foreign language website with non-native speaker language translation suggests to people that you’ve just started in the business. Maybe your company has been trading for two decades already but hadn’t looked toward international expansion until now? Nevertheless, a few poorly chosen or misspelled words will make the site and brand look like an amateur. And that’s never a good look.
Build on an Initial Success
When going into a new international market and making a success of it, it can spur interest in expanding to other international markets. For companies that started with one foreign country, or translated their website to a second language, it can spur them on to venture into selling to a second foreign country or foreign language. Lessons learned on the initial go-around can be applied for the next time to hopefully make everything run smoother. The initial success can embolden the team responsible to maintain their professional focus and obtain a similar success in other international markets.
Website translation can seem like such a small thing. And yet, it opens a world of new possibilities for companies that go the extra mile to do it. When taking this important step in business expansion, additional care must be taken to avoid poor translation and making bad mistakes that harm the prospects of the business. These kinds of things are thoroughly avoidable when choosing better quality translation services.