Published: May 30, 2019
If your website is in English, you’ll be able to communicate your content to about 27% of the global market. However, the bigger question is, what percent of your customers will you be able to reach?
For many, English may be the only language needed. However, depending on where you do business and the diversity of the communities you serve, you could find that your website needs to be communicated in multiple languages. If this is the case, you’ll need to consider if you need to manually translate and create multiple sites or if a simple website translation tool would be sufficient.
The Truth About Manual Website Translation
Manually translating a site ensures complete accuracy, but comes with a lot of leg work. First, someone must actually go through and translate the entire site. You may or may not have someone on staff with the time and language abilities required to do this. Then, you have to actually have an entire second site built with this translated content or adjust the site to dynamically swap the content. Depending on the language, this can also lead to small design changes, such as accommodating differently for languages that read right to left (as opposed to left to right).
However, there are benefits to this added work. For one, you can ensure that everything is translated exactly how you want. This ensures any figures of speech or statements of emotion are carried through. Because you have control over how the language is written, you’ll also have the ability to do certain things translation tools can’t, like translate text within images. Manual website translation is also really helpful for search engine optimization (SEO). It allows you to optimize the site for keywords in another language. This is helpful if you anticipate your audience will be searching for you using another language.
So what does this mean for you? Basically, manual website translation is beneficial for ensuring clarity and SEO across other languages, but is only worth the additional cost and extensive effort if a significant portion of your audience is using this other language.
The Truth About Website Translation Tools
A website translation tool allows you to leverage technology to easily translate a single site, rather than putting in the work of creating and translating multiple sites manually. With this option, you need not find (and pay) individuals to translate your content or create (and pay for) multiple sites or subdomains. While translation tools may not always be 100% accurate, they still get the job done and help you break down communication barriers by providing language options for your customers.
So what does this mean for you? Website translation tools are the ideal option if you don’t have the budget for manual translation or if the other languages are more secondary, rather than primary audiences for your business. If this is the case, just offering the second language will be of help to that audience and using a tool is far more efficient than manual translation.
Selecting a Website Translation Tool
Google Translate’s Website Translator tool was once the most popular go-to website translation tool. However, it’s no longer being offered. Luckily, there are many alternatives. For instance, Bablic is a robust website translation tool with a variety of paid options depending on the size of your website and the number of languages you plan to leverage.
So what does this mean for you? If you were planning to use Google Translate’s Website Translator tool for your website, unfortunately this free option is no longer available. However, there are still plenty of effective options that can help you effectively break down language barriers.
Have more questions about tailoring your website to multiple audiences? Let’s chat!