Established 1998

Tips and Tricks for Having Your Website Translated

Posted on April 1st, 2015 by Alexika

The reason that most businesses translate their website is to increase international sales. As people are up to 4 times more likely to make a purchase in their native language, that makes perfect sense. A translated site can increase conversion rates of existing overseas traffic as well as generate new leads and clients. In this article, we discuss what issues to bear in mind when looking to have your web site translated.

Important things to consider are:

Which Languages to Translate Your Website Into?

Website Translations
Obviously this decision must be market led for your specific product or service and which markets you can service –maybe you are already receiving some enquiries from Germany and want to provide a better service to clients there and attract new ones.

In addition though, you might consider economic data such as how much business is done in which languages of the world – see for example the data on our website showing that, after English, the most important languages for global business are Japanese, followed by German, followed by Spanish then Chinese.

If this is the first venture into translating a website, does it make sense to only translate a cut-down version initially? Is a micro-site sufficient to test the waters? Or does your brand identity dictate that the full original site should be translated?

Language is a Key Part of Your Brand

This principle applies to everything written that is customer facing, whether a website, brochure or Email communication – the language used is a key element in protecting the credibility of your brand. Confidence in the brand can be created or lost by the first few words.  So certain ‘golden rules’ must be observed:

  • Translations must be performed by a professional qualified native-speaker linguist.
  • The translator must have sufficient knowledge of the terminology used in your industry.
  • Current technology should be employed sensibly to aid consistency of terminology and control costs of updates.
  • It is always advisable to have your site proof-read by a native speak before publication.

The best sites are professionally translated with language that is sensitive and appropriate to the readership, and it is possible to switch seamlessly between languages anywhere on the site. We are for example particularly proud of our work on top Spanish property site www.yourviva.com and the world’s fastest plastic and metal part prototyping service www.protolabs.com.

The Process – Easiest and Most Cost Efficient Method

Translating a web site can be done in different ways. The 3 most commonly used fall into the following categories:

  • Work with a content management system (CMS.) Does your system provide language support? Part of the arrangement with your language service provider can be that they ensure that translations are inserted correctly into the CMS.
  • Work with a proxy translation tool. This can be the perfect solution for a larger and complex translated site that is a reflection of (having the same content as) the source language site. By working with a technology that automates many of the typical steps involved in web globalisation projects, you can minimise or completely eliminate the time that your developers and engineers must spend on website localisation work. At Alexika, we work with the market-leading tool which can be used in conjunction with our professional translation service.
  • A simple method for translating a static site or a few pages  is to send Html or Word content to your translation provider, and paste the resultant translation into your new pages. Why overcomplicate if only a few pages are required? At Alexika, we use the latest version of the world-leading translation environment tool SDL Trados Studio so that formatting is retained for example when translating html or xml files.

Website-Translation

 

Your Website Has Been Translated, An Enquiry Comes In – What Next?

Part of your planning when having a website translated must be about what happens next. So your French translated we site has generated an enquiry! How do you handle it? Options include:

- conducting a language audit of your staff. Is anyone capable of holding a professional conversation in the language? Do you need to recruit for language skills or work with a language service provider?

- If you do not have spoken language skills immediately available, could you encourage most of the responses to the written through your web site, maybe through the use of forms? Options then include having a set of template responses professionally translated. You can then respond professionally in writing to a specific enquiry or order.

Having your site translated can feel like a big step, but it is one instant way to increase the size of your market. Good luck! If you’re interested in hearing more about how you can increase your presence in overseas markets, do please contact us for an informal chat.

 

Alexika Director’s charity cycle ride from Yorkshire to Paris

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Alexika

Alexika Managing Director Mark Robinson will be cycling from Leeds to Paris in May 2015 – it will be 630 km with an average of 126 km per day. Training is well underway – it is quite painful but a huge amount of fun. He is trying to not think too hard about the first day, with approx. 140km and 3000 metres of climbing..leaving Yorkshire on a bike does involve riding over hills at some point! At least there be will some respite on day 4 with lunch on a ferry…

The ride is part of an initiative by local business  business group ‘The Yorkshire Mafia‘ – if anyone wants to join the ride, more details can found on the web site of the organisers Ride25 here.

Mark is riding in support of the Yorkshire Kidney Research Fund, a charity selected for family reasons. He is paying all travel expenses himself, so all sponsorship money goes to the charity. To find our more and sponsor Mark, please click here.

MarkWithBike

 

New Study Shows How Vital Languages are for SMEs to Export

Posted on March 2nd, 2015 by Alexika

Alexika’s Mark Robinson, as council member of the Association of Translation Companies (ATC) attended the launch of an important study at the Houses of Parliament last week.

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Mark in London’s Parliament Square for the launch of the new study.

The new study by Professor James Foreman-Peck of Cardiff Business School and Dr Peng Zhou launched  in partnership with the Association of Translation Companies (ATC), shows in stark detail the impact of in-house language capabilities on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that export.

The report ‘Firm-level evidence for the language investment effect on SME exporters’ shows that SMEs utilising language assets and skills achieved far higher export to turnover ratios than others. These assets and skills included hiring staff with specific language expertise for export needs, employing native language speakers and training  staff in languages.

Roy Allkin, Chaiman of the ATC, said:

“The government has repeatedly emphasised that expanding the country’s exports is a key strand of its broader strategy to rebalance the economy. Despite this, the UK has long struggled to improve its trade deficit.”

“An earlier report by Professor Foreman-Peck clearly shows that poor language skills is costing UK plc £48bn a year in lost exports. British businesses must take notice of this latest report, which emphasises that one of the secrets of export success is to have a language strategy in place to effectively communicate with target markets.”

As well as showing an increase in export to turnover ratio, the findings highlight that companies with in-house language capabilities are much more likely to appreciate the benefits of engaging external professional language services when exporting. Rather than one form of language provision replacing the other, SMEs with in-house language capabilities tend to adopt a twin-track approach to support their global business activities.

Professor Foreman-Peck, who is Professor of Economics at Cardiff University, says:

“The results from this study point to the significance of languages for the bottom line of exporting small and medium size enterprises. While there are many factors that can influence export performance, the research was able to isolate many of the factors and give an accurate picture of the impact of language skills on SMEs when selling abroad.”

“Having a strong language strategy by no means guarantees success, but it does increase the likelihood of it quite significantly.”

 

Featured translator – Jacqui Birnie

Posted on February 25th, 2015 by Alexika

We have some wonderful translators – and it is lovely to hear their thoughts on life as a linguist. In the second of the series, we are delighted to feature German to English translator Jacqui Birnie, whom we have known and worked with for many years. Jacqui is a highly experienced technical translator and, very importantly, is also real pleasure to work with. Please see below Jacqui’s answers to our questions, giving an insight into the broad range of professional skills that professional translators draw on:

What attracted you to working with languages?

At the age of 11, when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I blithely said “a linguist”. I didn’t know how prophetic that would turn out to be, given that I’m not sure I even knew what it meant back then.

I studied French and German at university and spent a year working in Hamburg in the translation department of a large oil company. That was my introduction to technical translation and I knew immediately that it was what I really wanted to make my career in.

 What are your favourite subject areas and how did you become interested in them?

I’m into anything technical – commonly referred to as “geeky”, in a nice way I hope. I think my interest started in childhood when I had a great collection of Dinky cars and played a lot with Lego. I’ve always been fascinated by how things work and understanding the technology behind them. Even the apparently simple things are not so simple when you start taking them apart. In another life I think I would have been an engineer.

What do you enjoy most about being a translator?

The variety. I’m constantly learning something new, often at the leading edge of technology. That’s pretty exciting and it’s also really satisfying to read about something in the press and think “I translated a patent about that!” At the same time, being a translator enables me to use my language skills creatively. I’d like to think I help to make technology more accessible.

Where in the world would you love to travel to?

I’ve travelled a bit and liked it. I don’t have a specific place I’d dearly love to visit. I’ll just see what opportunities present themselves and take it from there.

We’ve all seen amusing mistranslations. What’s the most memorable one you’ve seen?

I can never remember them even though they make me laugh at the time. I do remember causing great hilarity among friends during my year abroad in Germany when I indignantly said that British butcher’s shops no longer had “Segelspäne” (sail dust) rather than “Sägespäne” (sawdust) on the floor. And I knew there was something musical about daffodils (Osterglocken = Easter bells) when I said, “Guck’ mal die Ostertrompeten an!” (Easter trumpets). Of course, you live and learn… The old adage “Deutsche Sprache – schwere Sprache” often proves true for beginners!

Thank you very much indeed to Jacqui for her thoughtful replies – and we love the Easter trumpets! Jacqui is pictured below.

JacquiBirnie

 

 

 

Alexika to exhibit at YBM15

Posted on February 16th, 2015 by Alexika

Alexika will again have a stand at the Yorkshire Business Market, this year held on Monday 27th April. We’ll be there to talk about language, translating web sites, translating documents…..and there may again be a prize champagne draw…..we may again have home-made cakes from around Europe. It was quite a day last year and we’re sure it will be again!

We’d like to say a huge thank you again to the organisers and to all those who visited our stand last year to make the day so pleasant.

The Yorkshire Business Market has been a runaway success since 2010 and is held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. The range of businesses is stunning and we’ll be again looking forward to learning about some we’ve never heard of before!

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