Nowadays, one of the most important business cards of a company is its website, especially if the company sells its services and products in foreign countries. Thus, it is imperative for the website to have a fluent and correct original text and that the text be translated into required foreign languages in a correct manner. Apart from translators, this also requires the services of an IT specialist who would in the first place retrieves the text from the website, and combines it with the styling and code of the webpage after translation and editing.
Translation of websites is largely a part of localisation, for in addition to translating, several other changes may frequently be required:
- Pictures and colours, for example, need to be modified in order for the website to be acceptable in another culture.
- Other changes may be prompted by habits, for example, in what sequence people have been accustomed to read information, or how it is presented.
Here, one may draw a parallel with advertisements. What is amusing and interesting for a French person, may seem inappropriate or simply weird for an Estonian.
Complexities in translating websites
Website translation is made complex by the fact that the text has not been submitted as a file but information should rather be collected from the website. At the outset, it has to be agreed with the client, which pages are to be translated in the first place. It is common that the page in the native language carries more information than that in a foreign language. This is prompted already by the fact that some of the information bears local importance only.
However, if some part of the website is not translated, it may still be necessary to change the styling thereof, for some of the links, menu bars, options and the like may be removed as irrelevant for the page in another language. This may result in some blank spaces, which need to be filled in the page. For that purpose we offer the services of our designer and are prepared to cooperate closely with the client.
Next, it has to be inspected where the text to be translated actually is, for all menus, error messages, text buttons (Save, Cancel, etc.), website titles, website links and the like require translation. When translating a website, one should consider that there is always more text than initially estimated.
Our translator and IT specialist work together, and if necessary and applicable, they also consult with the client’s specialist who is familiar with the solutions on the website that is to be translated. Our certified specialist can help translators in their work with websites and the end result is always a correctly translated and well-functioning website.
Language editor has a role to play in the translation of websites too. It should be noted, however, that the main attention is more often than not given to styling and the programming code, leaving the linguistic side of the page in the background. In most cases this is due to economic considerations, but in reality this may retaliate, for sloppy language and a text full of errors does not leave a good impression on anyone.
It is wrong to think that for a translation it is sufficient to have a translator. It always pays to have somebody review the text with an unbiased eye. Even a language editor may find several errors from the text reviewed by another language editor. Thus, the development of a website should involve a language expert from the very outset so that a text with errors would not be submitted to translation, making the work of translator considerably more difficult. Scriba confirms that an editor always reviews your translated website and puts the finishing touches to the page.
Calculating the cost of website translation
If you wish to know the approximate cost of the translation of your website, please use our price calculator. In your browser, under the View menu select Page Style and thereafter No Style. Thus, you switch off the styling and leave only the HTML part. Thereafter you can select the entire text and copy it into our price calculator.
Your website will not be damaged in any way as a result of this simple operation, for the change was only made in your web browser. You can retrieve the styling similarly: open View menu again and under Page Style select Basic Page Style.
For website translation
- At the outset you should decide on the translation volume, for not all information, such as messages of local importance, etc. is necessary for foreigners.
- Next you should retrieve the entire text. For that purpose our IT specialist reviews the HTML-code of the page and forwards the text material to our translator. One should not overlook the text presented in pictures.
- Last but not least, it will be checked whether all the words are properly fitted into the menu bar, for in comparison with the Estonian language, in German, for example, words tend to be considerably longer. If at all possible, such an expression or a word should be chosen, which fits into the required space without having to make major changes.
Testing of translated website
After translating and editing a new text is put on the website and a foreign-language page is generated. Prior to submitting the translation to the client, several aspects need to be checked.
- Upon leaving something blank, is an error message or something equivalent displayed which ensures proper functioning of the interface.
- It should also be remembered to check visual material, for combinations thereof with shorter or longer text may cause problems.
Free automatic website translators
Several sites on the Internet provide, apart from translation machines of ordinary text, programs which allegedly enable translation of a required website within a couple of minutes. Among the best known of these are Yahoo! Babel Fish Translation and Google Translate.
For one’s own use to read French or Spanish newspapers, for example, these machine translating programs suit rather well, for regardless of a somewhat clumsy syntax and occasional funny expressions, the program still helps convey the meaning of the text. Starting from the beginning of 2009, Google Translate can also be used in the Estonian language; other programs require a command of some foreign language.
Fee-charging automatic website translators
There are quite a few companies that provide machine translation for a fee. For example, the programs offered by Language Weaver have been described in greater detail in our translation programs page. It may be interesting to know that the translation software company Systran has created special software for translating websites.
Namely, one may buy SYSTRANLinks software that is essentially a website solution. The program has to be added to the website where all the visitors can select the language in which they wish to read the page – SYSTRANLinks will translate the entire website within a couple of minutes.
Additionally, the program can be taught terms, which are commonly used for certain definitions. However, the grammatical correctness of the translation cannot be guaranteed. The major drawback lies in the fact that the software knows only the most widespread languages, and the addition of the Estonian language into that list may take quite some time.» Ask for a quotation on website translation…