Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More on website localisation..

In the past, there were only two user interfaces in many corporations' cross country websites, that is, a native language website and an English language website. However, because of constant development of international business and increasing number of country-differentiated clients, misunderstanding appears in a lot of aspects and of course, client loss increases. But multilingual websites could effectively help solve such kind of problems.

The basic rule of website translation is not to change the original structure of the original website. Under the rule, the translated website is almost the same as the original one unless clients have some special requirements. Such kind of translation could help clients save cost, but it might not fit the local market culture, habits or other aspects.

Website translation and localization is different from usual document translation. Many other factors besides pure text translation will be involved in the process, such as:

(1) color option or culture consideration - calendars, for example, can differ for different countries.

(2) The code issue must be solved in the translation procedure. UTF-8 is a general code accepted by browsers of most countries and areas, so messy codes hardly appear if you use this code. But there are still some countries' browsers incompatible with this code.

(3) The letters sizes in the website need to be adjusted accordingly. Most western website languages' words are around 8pt in measurement because that size letter makes the whole websites look beautiful. However, characters in Arabic websites are usually more than 12px; if not, viewers couldn't see what the character is clearly. The words in Asian-language websites also need to be a little bigger. Once the words were adjusted, the structure of the websites was necessary to make some adjustment too for maintaining original appearance of the website.

(4) Website optimization is a value-added service. This job includes keyword arrangement in the web page, keyword density management, keyword translation of the webpage code, and the translation and the adjustment of relevant description. After the website go on line, it need to be submitted to important local search engines.

(5) A full-set service is not just confined to text translation, it also contains flash, picture and other elements. If clients are unable to provide such code, translation companies might spent more time on translating and localizing websites.

Website localisation is not easy, but it is worth the effort and the cost if you are serious about expanding beyond the parish green.

For all your English to Arabic and vice versa translations that will help you expand your business into the Middle East visit Arabic Language Experts at

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