Things to Consider for Website Localization and Globalization
For many businesses, a website is the only way that customers interact with and learn about their products. Websites have all but taken over in the digital age. With so many people around the world accessing the internet each day it is no surprise that companies want to translate their websites. When companies translate a website, they can both localize and globalize it. While these two processes seem to be the opposite, they are both essential to reach new customers.
What are localization and globalization?
You may already know what translation is. Translation is converting written text in one language to another language. But you may not know what localization and globalization are! Localization and globalization are two aspects of the translation process that serve different roles. Localization is translating for a target audience in a specific location. Globalization is getting your website ready for one or more localized translations and all things for business in the global market.
It’s important to remember that translation, localization, and globalization all go together. When a business uses all three of these processes correctly, it can mean a very successful website and increased attention in other markets.
What Can Your Company Do to Facilitate Globalization?
Globalization starts when creating your company website. Many companies simply don’t think about globalization when developing a website and need to go back and make major structural changes to accommodate translation.
Here are the main ways you can globalize your website:
- Code your website in a way that allows it to be used in multiple languages and locations. This can be done by choosing a global template so that your customers have the same type of experience across different languages.
- Use Unicode. Unicode is an international standard that allows languages to be represented across all major operating systems, platforms, and coding languages. When choosing a font for your website, make sure it is Unicode so that it can carry across all languages you will translate your website into.
- Use responsive layouts. This way, your page elements can shrink or expand according to the language. This is especially helpful when translating from English into languages that expand when translated like Spanish, German, and Polish. Certain languages also shrink like Chinese and Arabic.
- Determine what parts of each page and what content will be translated. While your homepage should certainly be translated, do you want your blogs translated as well? What about your banners or pop-ups? Knowing what should be translated on each page helps with planning for additional languages.
- Make SEO content available for translation. By translating SEO content, you give your company the same prominence within search-engine queries as in your home market.
What Can Your Company Do to Facilitate Localization?
Once you have globalized your website and created it in English, you are ready to localize it. Localization is an important and collaborative step to take with your linguist. Make sure to localize things that attract your target market and appeal to it.
Here are some important aspects:
- Localize all SEO phrases and key word searches
- Translate and modify website graphics to be as culturally appropriate as possible. All text in these images should be in the languages of the markets you are trying to reach.
- Convert dates, times, and currencies to match local markets
- Make sure formatting, coloring, and multimedia are culturally sensitive. Even something as simple as choosing the write accent colors can send a message to your new market. For example, red and gold are seen as auspicious colors in many Asian cultures. Furthermore, blue and pink are thought of as masculine and feminine in much of the Western hemisphere but this doesn’t necessarily apply across the world.
How to Choose a Translation, Localization, and Globalization Service
Now that you understand all the aspects of translating a website it may seem like it would be hard to find a company to help. That’s where you’re wrong! Acutrans works with companies across the United States to consult on globalization and localization as well as translating and localizing websites. With a dedicated team of in-country specialists, Acutrans has a finger on the pulse of global cities like Mumbai, Mexico City, Berlin, and Shanghai. Reach out to the Acutrans translation department to get started on a consultation today.