Localising your website

Our Five Point Guide to Localising your International Website

Digital globalisation is the cheapest way to expand your business internationally. The internet has put an end to the traditional barriers to entry into foreign markets. Now, no expensive infrastructure or tangible international assets are required, paving the way for thousands of small online businesses to pedal their products across the world.

However, just because some of the barriers have been removed, that does not mean success overseas is a given. Creating a successful multilingual website that opens doors in new markets is a serious undertaking. If you take a look at any successful international company, let’s take McDonald’s as an example, you’ll see that every region has its own version of the McDonald’s website.

Why? Well, a good website localisation strategy can make or break your attempts to expand overseas. Everything from the layout and design to the imagery, text and symbols you use must be relevant in the cultural context of each location.

So, to help with your international expansion plans, here’s our five-point guide to localising your global website…

1. Cultural context is key

The cultural context is everything when attempting to successfully localise your website. Every element of design, the text, images, and even the choice of colour must be considered in the cultural context of the target market. A page that works well in one language could have a completely different impact on a new audience. Taking the McDonald’s example again, a picture of a hamburger or cheeseburger on the homepage of their Indian website would not go done too well given that 80 percent of the population do not eat beef!

It’s also important to consider attitudes to business etiquette. In the UK, being informal and showing the human side of a business can work well. However, in countries like Poland and Japan, the business style and language is much more formal, so a direct translation of a more relaxed UK website may lack appeal.

2. Don’t take any translation shortcuts

Think about all the elements of your content that make it appeal to a specific audience, such as cultural references, slang, idioms and turns of phrase. All too often, businesses simply turn to an automated translation tool like Google Translate to localise their website pages – often with disastrous results.

Google Translate cannot take cultural references into account, so while it might be a clever tool that can provide some assistance with very simple translations, when you want copy that resonates with your intended audience you should always use a professional.

3. Make your message appropriate

Brand messages can mean different things to different people, with culture playing an important part in the message you convey. Crafting a brand message to let customers know what they can expect from your business is important, but creating a universal message that conveys the right message in different cultures can be tricky.

To be successful, it’s essential you make culturally appropriate changes to your branding, whilst ensuring that your overarching message and brand values are accurately recreated.

4. Check the layout

In some markets, the very fundamentals of your website will need to be changed to make your content accessible. In the Western World, we read in an F-shaped pattern, from left to right. However, in the expanding Arab market, people read from right to left, so that’s something you’d have to change to stand any chance of success.

5. Localise your keyword research

A localised SEO campaign will play an essential role in establishing your brand in overseas markets. Translating your website is all well and good, but if you merely translate your keywords, rather than checking the words and phrases your new audience are actually using, you could miss out on loads of potential traffic.

Localised link-building should also play an important part in your strategy. Optimising for Google alone might not be enough, so check out the most popular search engines in your target market. Do this well and you will benefit from a boost to your rankings and increased visibility for local searches.

Here at Linguistica International, we can advise you on every aspect of the website translation and localisation process to help you compete in overseas markets.





Linguistica Launches South Coast Based Recruitment Site

In a bid to meet its ever growing client base’s needs, UK translation agency Linguistica International has launched an in-house recruitment site. Developed to help jobseekers and employers find, advertise and apply for multilingual roles, South Coast based Linguistica Recruitment is part of the company’s commitment to offering clients superlative linguistics services across the globe.

For over 16 years Linguistica International has been delivering word perfect mother tongue translation services to businesses wanting to arm themselves with a global edge. Now, the company has launched a purpose built solution designed to place qualified, mother tongue linguists on-site in permanent roles.

Globalisation is rapidly sweeping the world and the demand for talented linguists has never been greater. Breaking down language barriers is the key to conquering global economies, and businesses that fail to realise this will be left behind. Corporate recruiters often struggle to cater for the niche multilingual market which is where Linguistica’s new recruitment service comes in. Already, the foreign language careers specialist has placed hundreds of professional linguists in positions across England’s South Coast. There’s more than enough talent out there to fill the positions, and Linguistica Recruitment helps employers pinpoint the crème de la crème of the applicant pool.

Using a tried and tested online process, the recruitment team screens high calibre candidates and selects optimal roles based on individual skills and experience. Every placed candidate undergoes written and oral tests to ensure absolute fluency, as well as an in-depth reference check. This meticulous interview process conducted by professional linguists allows employers to recruit with confidence. For businesses, the result is a curated workforce that speaks the language of their customers.

The company makes the recruitment process easy with its dedicated team of HR experts. Employers in search of high quality candidates simply get in touch to discuss requirements, budgets and other details. The team will then scour the existing database of experienced linguists and actively recruit for each individual role.
Carrie Wilson, director said, “The inability to communicate effectively with customers will categorically impact a business’s bottom line. Linguistica Recruitment has been developed to help businesses arm themselves with a global edge, while simultaneously offering professional linguists a place to actively seek out and apply for roles.”

Professional linguists on the hunt for exciting new career opportunities can use the platform to browse job listings and submit applications. Once received, a member of the HR team will be in touch to discuss suitability. As part of the agency’s commitment to ongoing excellence, candidates also enjoy ongoing support and assistance throughout the search.

Currently Linguistica Recruitment is advertising a diverse range of permanent and contract roles in a variety of foreign language careers. From marketing, project management and IT to customer services, administration and HR, employment opportunities are dynamic. Live positions include Multilingual Customer Service Professionals based in Hampshire, Polish Speaking Customer Service Personal based in Portsmouth and an Italian Business Information Manager based in Surrey.

The agency works with a myriad of top companies located in Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Dorset.

To find out more about Linguistica Recruitment, go to: www.linguistica-recruitment.com or email us at info@linguistica-recruitment.com

Language Translation and Interpreting

What are the Differences between Translation and Interpreting?

For most people, the question “what do you do for a living?” is a relatively straightforward one. You’re a mechanic, a sound engineer, a lorry driver, a hairdresser or one of any other number of easily understood occupations. When you’re in our line of work, the question is not such a simple one to answer.

The question is: are we translators, or interpreters? The chances are, whoever’s asking probably won’t know the difference between the two, but to language translators and interpreters, there’s an important distinction.

Whatever carefully considered explanation you use to describe your profession, the most likely response you’ll receive is, “ah, so you’re a translator”, regardless of the position you hold within the linguistic spectrum. But just what is the real difference between a translator and an interpreter?

What does each role entail?

There are undoubtedly similarities between translation and interpreting. Both disciplines make it possible to communicate orally or in writing across language barriers, so language is clearly the common denominator. However, there are also some differences in the way the language is used; for this reason, you’ll very rarely find a linguist who works both as a translator and an interpreter.

The translator…

When translating the written word, a linguist must work with precision to express the ideas and meaning conveyed in the source material, whilst maintaining the style, content and form of the original. Just as in the translation of a piece of classic literature, the translator must scrutinise the text to ensure all its intricacies and implied meanings are maintained. This is an activity that requires reflection, time, and an excellent understanding of both languages.

The interpreter…

The work of an interpreter allows far more creative licence. Overcoming the idiosyncrasies of the spoken word and the constraints of time mean the interpreter must work quickly and demonstrate the ability to improvise and think on their feet. The greatest challenge for the interpreter is to accurately reformulate words and phrases that may not have a direct equivalent while (in the case of simultaneous interpreting) listening and speaking at the same time. The demands of the job mean interpreters have no safety net and little time to correct errors, so it’s important to only work with an interpreter you can trust.

The importance of finding the right team

Despite the obvious differences between the two roles, both translators and interpreters must be extremely talented linguists with the ability to use language skilfully and accurately. While the two professions complement each other beautifully, very few linguists can master them both.

Given the complexity of the two roles, it’s essential that businesses communicating orally or in writing across language barriers work with a team of professional linguists they can trust to reach the highest level of skill and accuracy, and that’s where we can help!

For more information about our translation or telephone interpreting services, please call +44 2392 987 765, email: info@linguistica-international.com or use the live support feature on our website.


Technical translations

Essential Preparations for your Technical Translations

We complete an extremely diverse range of work here at Linguistica International. One minute we are busying ourselves with the localisation of a dating website to capture the European market, and the next we’re knee deep in some certified or notarised translations, where our every word must be pitch perfect.

With international regulations becoming increasingly rigorous, the completion of accurate and precise technical translations has become a vital component of our work. When the success of product exportation or global system integration relies on the meticulousness of the written word, our clients trust us to deliver.

However, while the engagement of a quality translation company is certainly a step in the right direction, there is also some essential preparation you can do to put your technical translations on the path to success.

Identify your end-reader

Before approaching a translation company about performing technical translations, it’s crucial you consider the needs of your target audience. For example, the audience for medical translations will differ between professional medical staff and patients, with each having different levels of experience and technical expertise. As such, the level of complexity and the use of technical language should be geared towards the end user.

When targeting patients, the language should be simple and straightforward. However, if your product or service is destined for medical professionals, scientific language, and technical expressions should be used.

Use industry-specific translators

Technical translations or localisations performed by translators without experience in your particular field will lack the expertise and sector-specific knowledge required to produce documents that meet your needs.

At Linguistica International, we only work with linguists who hold excellent language qualifications and have at least five years’ experience in professional translating and interpreting. However, they must also hold subject-specific qualifications and have professional experience in their chosen field. This ensures the level of technical understanding our clients need.

Avoid vague and culturally-biased language

The garbage in, garbage out adage is extremely appropriate to technical translations. You will only receive a technically accurate and precise translation if the original document is on the money. Avoid idioms, adages, cultural references and figurative language as it can lose its meaning on translation.

If these expressions are crucial to the text, try the transcreation process instead. This will take into account these phrases and adapt the document to suit the intended audience, without losing any of its meaning.

Produce style guides and glossaries

An effective way to keep the costs of your technical translation down is to produce style guides and approved glossaries which provide insight into the type of work you expect to see. This can provide long-term benefits such as quality, assurance, and contingency, as well as cost savings.

As an experienced medical, legal and technical translation team, we can advise you on the production of glossaries and style guides, and help you prepare for technical translations without overwhelming you with any unnecessary details.

To see how we can help with your technical translations, please contact Linguistica International today. Give us a call on 02393 987 765, email: info@linguistica-international.com, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.