English may be the most common language acceptable to a majority for their daily communication. But there are still a vast number of people who do not use English, like the French and the Japanese, since they would rather get the whole world to learn their language. If you want to overcome such barriers be ready to put in special efforts.
The problem with language translation is getting the right sentence. The most popular translation tools are offered by Google, WorldLingo, and Yahoo Babelfish free on the web. One method would be to add a link on your site to the web tools available. All the users have to do is to type in the URL in the appropriate box and select the language in which they want to read. Do it yourself on a regular basis and confirm that the translated form of the web page represents actual facts that you wish to convey. As far as possible, use words, which are most likely to be understood by these tools.
Avoid pronouns, which do not address clearly the object of reference. Keep the sentences simple and of medium length. All said and done, these online tools may be unable to translate some words, and either leave those words untranslated or marked with empty spaces. Besides, there are so many words which sound and mean quite similar. In many languages, the different combination’s of some words may mean very different. In addition, such software may not comprehend latest words added to the vocabulary or slang.
A more reliable way is to first analyze your potential audience and categorize them into major language groups that they fall into. The majority of the world population use at least one language out of English, Spanish, French and Chinese. Create separate websites using each language and display navigation links to enable users to move back and forth between them.
Remember that translation will not be hundred percent accurate and viewers will mostly use the English site to clear their doubts. Another helpful tool is to provide pop-ups which show the text in the original language as the user “mouses-over” the content. This may appear to be distracting, but helps resolve queries on time.
Another advantage in having a separate web page for each language is that search engines see those as different pages and pick all of them separately. This greatly increases visibility of your site. Besides, automated translation tools process only the key pages for you, since it is free and use up a lot of resources.
Using professional translators is necessary, since the quality will be at par with that of your translator. Be alert in updating all your sites at the same time. Once you have created a page in a particular language, put in place resources and manpower to answer queries by potential customers. Localising the resources in the regions using the specific language will help in regular updating and improvement in quality.
Web page language translation has helped many web based companies to expand their bases into regions beyond their immediate neighborhoods. A well-planned and well-translated website will not have the “alien look, and instead help give the user a feeling of “at home”.
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