Translation for Websites Archives - Into23

Does my business need website localization?

If you have any international business, the resounding answer is yes.

It’s nearly impossible to get recognised as a business today without an online presence, so it would be neglectful not to have one as part of a marketing strategy. So when do you start to consider website translation? And more importantly, what about website localization?

What is website localization?

Localization is the process of having your website be international but sound local. It means adapting your website so that your brand is approachable in a target language. That means not just translating the words from one language to another but also considering the cultural context of the target language you’re translating to and the currency. A plain translation will not be sufficient enough to win over your new audience, as what’s said in one language may not translate so well to another. That’s where localization steps in. 

Related: Words that altered history – translation blunders in international relations

International translation companies specialise in website localization and translation management for businesses to ensure that a company and their brand are understood and received well in a new target language and area. 

When do you need website localization?

English

It is no longer viable to have a website with an international reach available in only one language. – Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

Website translation or any localization and translation is often seen as a burden, and its necessity is sometimes questioned. Why not just leave the website in English? If you have any international customers, you not only owe these customers the diligence of having the content properly translated into their native language, but you are missing out on revenue by not doing so. 

It’s no longer acceptable to have a monolingual website when you have an international base of customers. English may still be dominant, but this landscape is quickly changing. Estimates find that English makes up for around 60% of the content on the internet, yet native English speakers only make up around 5% of the global population.

Still not sure if you’re ready? Ask yourself the following.

  • Are you already selling or shipping out to international locations?
  • Are you receiving inquiries from other countries or in other languages different from your website?
  • What countries show in Google Analytics from your audience data? 

What about if you have customers that are bilingual or non-native speakers of other languages? Well, a study performed by the European Commission in 2014 surveyed internet users across the EU, of which English is generally well used and received, found that,

  • Just 53% of users were willing to accept an English version of a website if there were no options in their native language. 
  • 44% of users worried that they would miss out on key information on a website if it were not available in their language. This number was over 50% in countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Greece.  

The takeaway? If you are getting traction internationally and you’ve not localized your website, it’s time to. 

Related: How languages rise and fall & why English’s dominance is waning

Why do you need website localization?

Google translate cartoon

Don’t be this guy. Google Translate just doesn’t cut it when it comes to business. – Photo by mohamed_hassan on Pixabay

It’s currently estimated that 66% of users are using a machine translation when making a purchase online. Why is this acceptable when consumers could have a more efficient experience in their native language? Machine translation isn’t enough to guarantee purchase and can still confuse customers since machine translations without human editing often contain errors. If you truly want to be an international company or are thinking of becoming international, then you need a professional website translation service.

Related: Why Google Translate Isn’t Effective Enough for Business

An updated 2020 study by the Common Sense Advisory produced some eye-opening statistics. The study took samples from 29 different countries and asked users about making a purchase online and found the following remarkable results,

  • 40% of users will not purchase on a website in another language.
  • 73% of users want reviews of products in their native language.
  • 65% of users prefer content in their native language.

What’s more, in the last study performed in 2014, the following results were also found.

  • 30% of respondents stated that they never buy from English-language websites.
  • 56% of users boycott or avoid English-language websites to spend more time on sites in their native language. 

As international demand increases, especially with the ongoing pandemic, this need will only continue to increase. 

What will website localization help you with?

The benefits of localizing a website and using marketing translation services by far outweigh the effort and cost required to do it. – Photo from Pexels

Localizing a website will only benefit your company and open new opportunities that wouldn’t have been present otherwise. Here is what localization and translation can do for you.

  • Increase your ROI – As more research is performed on localization, the financial returns of the companies doing it are becoming obvious. The Localization Industry Standards Association wrote in 2007 that they estimated an ROI of $25 for every dollar spent on localization. Imagine how those numbers would stack up today. For example, in one case study, an Israeli retailer localized their website for the German market and saw their conversion double from 1 to 2%. They found nearly the same when localizing for the French market, as conversion rose from 0.67% to 1% after they launched the localized site.  
  • Enhancing Your Marketing Strategy When you localize your website, you have another opportunity to improve your SEO and marketing language, as localization gives unique opportunities specific to a language and a region. It also gives your brand a boost as it can reach more people, which will expand your brand. 

Conclusion? Website localization is the way forward for a global-minded website and business.

How to make the most of your website localization with marketing translation services

The only way to ensure a quality translation and localization of your website is to hire and partner with a marketing translation agency. It’s important to find a translation partner that knows your business and the areas that you’re aiming to localize. International translation companies have certified translators at their fingertips and know the ins and outs of translation management no matter what the project. Business translation and localization won’t have to feel overwhelming when you have professionals on your team to get it right. 

At Into23, we specialise in high-quality translation services in all languages with an impeccable turnaround so that your business can get global as fast as possible. From website localization services, eCommerce website translation, translation project management and more, Into23 has all of your translation solutions.

Get Better Results when reaching a Chinese Audience

Important things to consider if you’re localizing your business in Chinese

Chinese is one of the most important business languages. It is second only to English in terms of being the most spoken, so here are a few important things to know while creating your localization strategy.

With a large population and a growing number of middle-class consumers, the Chinese market has been a new hotspot for businesses. The Chinese market can be a successful market for your business if it’s done right. It’s easier than ever to crack this market with the growth of technology, online shopping, eCommerce translation services, and eLearning platforms. However, there are some major points to consider if you want to localize for a Chinese area or region, as there are many pitfalls when localizing to Chinese.

localize my business in chinese - hong kong

Hong Kong signs – Photo by Katie Manning on Unsplash

History of the Chinese language and its different types

Chinese is an old and diverse language. In mainland China alone, around 70 million people belong to 55 different minority groups, each with their dialect and some that don’t even have a distinguishable written form. However, with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Mandarin was chosen as the official language of the country. Today, more than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin. 

Written Chinese

localize my business in chinese - calligraphy

Calligraphy – Photo by chuanyu2017 on Pixabay

Written Traditional Chinese is around 6000 years old and is the oldest written language in the world. Cantonese speakers generally still use these characters, as do Mandarin speakers in Taiwan. Mandarin speakers in China use Simplified Chinese characters. Simplified characters have been around significantly less than their traditional counterpart as they were formalized at the beginning of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949, and at the time, the majority of Chinese could not read or write. To improve literacy, Mao Zedong initiated a new system of Simplified Chinese, simplifying around 2000 Chinese characters by reducing the number of strokes used for each character. Simplified Chinese was first used in 1956

While there are various spoken dialects of Chinese, these are the two major forms of writing. This is handy as even if the spoken dialect is different, Chinese can generally communicate through writing. 

Different dialects

Seven major dialects are used in China and its Special Administrative Regions (SARs). To reach the Chinese market with your business, you need to know where your target market is and what Chinese form is used there.

Dialect Region Spoken
Mandarin (Putonghua) Most of mainland China, Taiwan, Macau
Cantonese/Yue Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou (Canton), and Wuzhou.
Min Fujian province and parts of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Hainan, and Taiwan
Wu Zhejiang province, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, parts of Anhui and Jiangxi provinces.
Xiang Most of the Hunan province, the counties of Quanzhou, Guanyang, Ziyuan, and Xing’an, northeastern Guangxi province.
Gan Jiangxi province
Hakka Northeastern Guangdong, adjoining regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, Southern Hunan, and the older generations of Hong Kongers in the New Territories. In Taiwan, Hakka is spoken by some in the Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli parts of the country.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Mandarin and Cantonese?

Important considerations regarding the different dialect types

  • Cantonese is the main dialect spoken in Hong Kong. Traditional Chinese characters are used for writing. While many Hong Kongers can speak Mandarin and use Simplified Chinese characters, if you are localizing for this region, you should consider using Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters.
  • In Taiwan, they speak Mandarin and write with Traditional Chinese characters. Both Taiwan and mainland China use Mandarin, but they have developed different terminology and writing styles.  

All of this variation within the Chinese language necessitates using the best Chinese translation services company to guarantee that sufficient research is done to develop a translation and localization plan that matches your strategy for entering this lucrative market.

Things to consider when creating a localization strategy for Chinese 

localize my business in chinese - tiananmen square

Tiananmen Square – Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

Know the culture, know your audience, and identify your primary dialect and region

Like any good localization strategy, you need to know your target audience, its culture, its language, and the things your target market values. You’ll need to consider how your brand voice and whether this will resonate with a Chinese audience. Can you directly translate your brand content, or will you need to consider a more creative translation, a transcreation, to convey your brand voice? As China is diverse, with differences across the regions, high-quality translation services can help you achieve your marketing strategy.  An experienced translation agency can help you avoid cultural mishaps and translation errors.

Learn from past successes and failures 

Learn from the companies who have attempted and accessed the market already. Localizing in China is challenging, and even some of the biggest names have failed after not performing thorough market research. Learning from what has worked with brands that are similar to yours can help narrow your research and expedite your localization strategy.

Related: The Top 10 Translation Blunders in Advertising 

Use local social media and eCommerce platforms

Mainland China uses various social media and eCommerce platforms that are not used or are less popular in other countries. Baidu is the search engine used by most people, with platforms such as WeChat for social media and eCommerce payments. Other social media platforms include Qzone, Renren and P1. In Hong Kong, western social media platforms are popular, and a variety of eCommerce platforms, from the Octopus card to PayMe, are used to pay for products online. 

Use expert multilingual translation services

It should be apparent by now the importance of localization and translation services when expanding your business globally, especially into Chinese markets. Navigating any new market is challenging, so take the guesswork out of your localization strategy and get the assistance of translation and localization experts. 

Into23 is a translation agency in Hong Kong offering localization and translation services. We are experts in Asian languages. Reach out to Into23 today to discuss your business localization strategy to set yourself up for success in the Chinese markets.

How to get more downloads for your Mobile App?

Your brief guide to mobile app translation

Working on a mobile app and want to have it translated? Here’s what you need to know to get started. 

Did you know that 84% of the world’s population owns a smartphone? Smartphones have transformed our lives, and a large part of that has come down to mobile apps that have been created to make our lives and customer and business interactions easier, more efficient, and more convenient. If you’ve got an app that you want to take global or reach a new target audience in a different language, mobile app translation or app localization is a feature and service you should look into. Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to get started in translating your mobile app. 

Why app translation is important

Cartoon app store UIs – Photo by 200degrees on Pixabay – Caption –“Mobile applications are now a part of our daily lives. Apps are more likely to be used if they are in the native language of the user.”

Apps are used for just about everything now, with the average smartphone user using around 10 apps per day and around 30 apps per month. If you do business in any other language other than English, getting your app translated is an effective way to increase your business within a set market. A study by Distimo in 2012 found that translated apps saw a 128% increase in app downloads and a 26% increase in paid subscriptions for those apps that had them. Now, these stats from 2012, imagine how much more these numbers would be in 2022. 

While mobile app translation may sound as simple as translating content from one language to another, there is much more to consider. 

Can I just Google Translate my app?

You could, but there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t. While machine translation in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s missing an essential part of any quality translation, which is the proofreading and copy editing that comes from a human translator. Machine translations cannot consider cultural nuances and can still make obvious grammatical errors that can ruin any good mobile application. 

Related: Why Google Translate Isn’t Effective Enough for Business

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 1

So, what should you do if you want to translate your mobile application effectively?

Application localization

Mobile app translation is a necessary part of entering a new language market. However, translation in and of itself is very limiting. This is where mobile app localization steps in. Localization transforms and translates your product so it carries the same meaning and tone in the language it’s being translated into. It considers the cultural, geographical region, beliefs, local regulatory standards, and values of the target area in the translation process. It’s an adaptive review of your product to make sure that every aspect of the platform is suited to its new region. 

Here are a few areas that are often included in app localization,

  • User interface and general design
  • The tone of content and general appearance
  • Customer support base and contacts
  • Multimedia translation and localization, including images, audio, fonts etc.

Tips for simplifying the translation process

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 2

Photo by Elf-Moondance on Pixabay – Caption – “If you’ve never localized an app before, here are some important factors to consider.”

The first step in translating any app is to know your target markets thoroughly. This includes knowing your target users and their behaviour, along with proper market research. It will also require a substantial amount of project management and setting clear goals and outcomes of what you expect from the translation of your app. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you started on your software translation.

Separate translatable resources


Resources such as text, images, audio etc, that have executable code should be outsourced. This makes it so that content can be changed efficiently without having to change the base executable code of the app.

Keywords and SEO

Just like with websites, keywords and SEO are important for apps too. When you’re localizing, you need to consider your keywords, too and determine what words will work best in the regions you’re looking to enter. This localization of keywords will give you better rankings in app stores. So be sure to perform local word searches and know who your competitors are, along with what words, tone, and strategies they’ve used. 

Related: Why website translation and multilingual SEO optimisation are important for your online business

Text expansion and/or contraction


Depending on what language you’re translating into, text expansion and contraction are necessary for apps since they’re often used on small-screened devices. For example, English to Mandarin Chinese contracts by up to 20-50%, while the opposite occurs from English to German, with the text expanding anywhere from 10-30%. Not taking these factors into account when translating your app can result in serious user interface issues.

App store optimization


If you’re looking for an additional reason to localize your mobile app, both Google Play and the iOS AppStore can detect if you’ve localized, which can increase your app’s ranking. Further, by optimizing your app for the app stores, you’re increasing your chances of your app being successful. For example, when people are looking for an app, the first thing they see is the app name, meaning it’s important to have an app name that is descriptive and attractive. Both app stores also allow for a short description following the name, so use this to increase your ranking in app store results.

Quality assurance testing is a must


Having a linguistic QA specialist do proper QA testing on your app after the localization process is essential for a seamless app launch. QA testing ensures that your app works on all devices and platforms and that the translation work you’ve put into your app is flawless. QA testing ensures a better ROI, especially since users are less likely to use and engage with a glitchy or buggy app.

Work with an app localization service

If this guide has shown you anything, it’s that there are a lot of considerations, extensive planning and research that are needed to go into a successfully translated mobile app. To get the best out of your mobile app investment, it’s important to work with a language translation technology company that can take you through the translation process.

Into23 offers multilingual translation services for mobile app localization, software localization services, website localization and more. With international experience and a specialization in Asian languages, Into23 can help you mitigate risks and increase your ROI when entering the global market on any translation project. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your translation and localisation requirements.

Translation and Multilingual SEO Important for Business

If you are selling services or products online, you’ll already be familiar with the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). These benefits extend to having your website and SEO strategy translated into other languages. But just how hard is it? And is it worth it?

If you don’t translate your website you are missing out on a huge opportunity to expand in the global market place. Machine translation doesn’t cut it and as a poorly translated site will put clients and customers off, it’d be a waste of time. Avoid partial translation of a website as this will leave huge holes in your offering. For example, if you neglect to translate a key FAQ, any customer or client seeking that info would be put off.

Read on to discover the reasons why multilingual SEO is crucial for companies engaged in cross-border business.

Why translate?

If you’re capable of selling products or services across borders, it doesn’t make sense to not have a multilingual translation of your website. This is especially true if you want to reach out to more consumers in the global market place. Businesses should optimise their websites to enable potential clients or customers to easily understand the company, what it is offering, and its services or products. In order to be able to generate revenue from the international market place and reach out to global audiences, it is advisable to translate your website and create a multilingual SEO strategy.

How to develop a successful website translation strategy

You need to settle on an overarching strategy. The strategy should include a defined user experience, how the site should be navigated, and how it should look and feel. So, what language should your website be translated into? A good place to start is with the language you use in the CMS to create your content. Assess which market would bring in the biggest return on investment.

From there, it’s not a straight forward process. You need to consider which parts of the website you will translate and into which languages. The best website translation services will help you decide the optimum level of translation.


The importance of UX in your translations

Some changes are simple and easy to do. For example, changing a price in pennies to dollars, or adding a some translated press releases. These changes are useful, though to many they appear as merely cosmetic. However, other changes can be pretty challenging to translate as they require a high level of skill and accuracy. For the content to have the same impact in another language and indeed culture, the translation needs to be refined and based on the knowledge and cultural references of the audience that will be accessing the content. To make sure you get it right first time, check your potential provider has ecommerce expertise, web page translation services, website localization services and multilingual blog SEO capabilities so you can access the full range of services required to produce a professional finish. Not many website translation companies offer the full range of services.

What is SEO?

SEO is the process of optimising a website to appear higher up search engine results pages. This is important as research shows most people do not click past the first page of search engine results. If your company isn’t on the first page of search results for the keywords that matter, then you may as well put a billboard up in the middle of the Pacific. Of course, consumers in different locations use different search terms. Not only that, but they use different search engines. For example, in China, Baidu rules. Therefore, you should look for a company that is proficient at multilingual content management.

SEO has evolved into a multi-faceted strategy and includes factors such as:

  • List building
  • Social media marketing
  • Backlinking and indexation
  • Keyword research

Backlink building is one of the most powerful SEO tools. You need to know the current ranking of your business, so that you can learn how to improve it. This will give you a strategic advantage over other businesses in your industry. Remember to keep things in context, don’t make any drastic changes and to adopt a measured approach. This is not just about ranking higher, but focusing on ranking better.

Multilingual SEO optimisation, or MO SEO, involves using different or multiple languages when structuring a website and optimising it for search engines. Information on this subject is constantly evolving. However, we have identified some core guidelines that we recommend.

Thinking of how a user would like to access your site is a good starting point; this then helps you design it optimally. Often, it’s necessary to do a ‘crawl’ to fully understand the structure of your website, and develop a strategy to optimise it in another language. SEO tools are available to help with this process. Use optimised content to rank higher for you target keywords. All key attributes like layout, pictures and content should match the intended language.

The importance of SEO

If you do not optimise your websites, you are missing out on a big opportunity. SEO plays a huge role in the global market place. It is only going to get bigger. There are many challenges in the global market place for online businesses. For a start, it’s a crowded place. The average internet user in most countries has a fairly new smartphone. So to start off, you need to optimise your website for the mobile user experience. With reference to China, that would require a presence on WeChat.

The benefits of website translation and multilingual SEO optimisation

Websites evolve with the frequent addition of new products and services, or additions to FAQs, or company updates. The process of website translation should be an ongoing process so that all the updates are current and can be efficiently translated and applied as and when required.

The benefit comes in the form of user satisfaction. In today’s online business world, trust is vital. This can be a problem for foreign language websites. Getting website translation and multilingual SEO will go a long way to building trust with the consumers you wish to target.

Last words

Having a multilingual website and SEO strategy mean you will open up myriad opportunities to effectively and efficiently engage with consumers across the world. If your website was available in Mandarin, Spanish and English, for example, you’d have 38% of the world’s population covered. The return on investment for website localisation services and ecommerce translation services is usually more than worth the effort.

Read our Blog here.

The Top 9 Emerging Languages for Business

Looking to enter different global markets? Pay attention to these languages.

With more than 6000 languages worldwide how do you decide which ones to use for your business platforms? The belief that English is the language of business isn’t valid anymore with the increase and demand for online shopping, eLearning platforms, and eCommerce services like Shopify.

Historically, English has been the international business language but the emergence and reliance on the internet has completely altered the way we do business. In the mid-1990s, around 70 million people used the internet with Native English speakers making up for 80% of these users. However, today there is a whopping 4.6 billion internet users worldwide but English users make up for just 25.9% of that number.

Global internet usage

Overview of global Internet use

Entering the International Market

If your business aims to enter the international market you need to speak to customers in their own language, meaning that integrating translation and localization into your business platforms is crucial. A survey performed by Common Sense Advisory looked at 2,430 different internet users across eight different countries and found that,

  • 72.4% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service if the website and information displayed is in their native language.
  • 56.2% of these consumers said that having information in their own language was more important than the price of the product or service.

So while languages like English and Mandarin have long been some of the most important languages to learn for business, they are not the only ones to consider as eCommerce business continues to expand globally. Countries that have been on the sidelines in terms of global business now have a fast-growing number of internet consumers. Take a look at these top nine emerging languages for your business platforms.

eCommerce business

While languages like English and Mandarin have long been some of the most important languages to learn for business, they are not the only ones to consider as eCommerce business continues to expand globally.

Portuguese 

Portugal is a relatively small European company but its language, Portuguese, has a large number of native speakers around the world, approximately 258 million.

Brazil is generally the main attraction in terms of business as Brazil is Latin America’s largest eCommerce market, it also ranks in the top five for the internet market as well as the smartphone market. Its growth has also not gone unnoticed, the British Council created a report on the ten most important languages for the future in the UK and Portuguese ranked in at number six.

Arabic

Arabic is a widely spoken language, making for 274 million speakers globally. It’s also the official language of at least 23 different countries.

In the same report by the British Council that Portuguese ranked in, Arabic came in at second which, is no surprise as there are several Arabic-speaking countries that rank in the UK’s top 50 export market for goods.

Despite some of its political difficulties, many parts of the Middle East have a wealth of internet consumers and a steadily growing economy. With many Arab people only able to speak Arabic, translation services or localization is crucial for reaching this market.


Russian

Russian is spoken by 258 million people worldwide, with the majority of them located in Russia. Russia is the up and coming hotspot for eCommerce as Russia lacks a main eCommerce platform like Amazon which, makes them the last remaining major market without a dominant online retailer. According to Morgan Stanley, eCommerce sales in Russia could triple by 2023.

Capitalising on the Russian market will require, at minimum, eCommerce translation services, as the large majority of Russians do not speak English. The best method, of course, would be a localisation strategy from a certified translation company.

Hindi

Hindi is the official language of India with 600 million people speaking it, that number in and of itself says a lot. While there are many other languages spoken in India, English has often been used to conduct business, however, that is changing. Hindi is quickly becoming more prominent among new entrepreneurs as 85% of India does not speak English. In a CSA Report, Hindi saw a gigantic 67% increase on the top 100 online languages chart, making Hindi a language and a market to pay attention to.

Japanese

While Japan had a rough go after WWII it has since become one of the most rapidly growing eCommerce markets in the world. It’s estimated that 93% of the population in Japan use the internet and with 126 million Japanese speakers, it’s a consumer market worth noting.

Relatively few people in Japan speak English, meaning that to succeed in this market translation and localization will be required.

Indonesian

Indonesia is home to 277 million people and a rapidly growing eCommerce market, thanks to an increase in middle-class consumerism and a high percentage of smartphone use.  In a report by McKinsey, the consulting firm has predicted that the value of the Indonesian eCommerce market will rise 800% by the end of 2022. To enter this market, translation and localization will be essential to your eCommerce business plan.

Korean

Korean itself doesn’t rank high in terms of the world’s most spoken languages but they do have nearly 47 million internet users and a very expansive and popular eCommerce market. Currently, 96% of the Korean population use the internet with its total eCommerce transaction sales amounting to 135 billion dollars USD in 2020 alone. This makes Korea a hub of interest for eCommerce business that is sure to continue growing.

Vietnamese

77 million people speak Vietnamese and it is the main language of trade within Vietnam. With an increase in eCommerce consumerism, it’s predicted that Vietnam will have 70 million online shoppers by 2025. Engaging with the Vietnamese market and its consumers will require translation and localization as a crucial part of any eCommerce business plan.

Polish

Poland is the ninth largest country in Europe with 41 million people speaking Polish. Poland is already home to many eCommerce companies that operate in Europe and worldwide such as Amazon. Even United States officials have taken note of Poland and the importance of eCommerce on its economic development and its intense growth over the pandemic. It’s worth considering Polish when choosing what languages to add to your business platforms if this is a market you want to break into.

Why Into23?

Into23 offers global language solutions with quality translation and localization services. With 24/7 accessibility and fast delivery, Into23 can transform your business to enter the global market and reach even more customers. Whether you’re looking to enter the Chinese market and need English to Chinese translation services or you want to step up your website or eLearning platform, Into23 specialises in helping companies with Asian languages. Getting a quote is easy, just show us your website for a free quotation on our translation services.

Read our blog here.

How to best deploy machine translation solutions

Machine, mind, or machine and mind

Advances in machine translation (MT) mean enterprises now have a sophisticated translation solution in their toolkit that can translate quickly and at scale. Long gone are the days of weird menu translations and Yoda-like results. But given the recent rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies must navigate how to optimally deploy this productivity-boosting approach alongside human translation. Knowing where and when to use machine translation will ensure translations are cost-effective and fit for purpose. Embracing translation technology and innovation in the right areas is the way to increase engagement and efficiency. Read on to find out the criteria you need to consider when deploying the latest machine translation solutions.

From little acorns

Though you may think language translation technology is a relatively modern phenomenon – after all, computers have only been around since The Babbage Difference Engine back in 1822 – its roots stretch back, all the way to the Arabian peninsula in the 9th century, where one al-Kindi translated ancient Greek mathematics, science and philosophy texts that had been lost to European civilisation, helping spark the Renaissance in the process. He developed various systems based on frequency analysis and statistics, key concepts in MT. Now, AI translation software enables clients to customise according to subject area, such as meteorological reports. This has massively widened MT’s applicability and usefulness.

Source

Where is machine translation now?

Machine translation was initially developed in the 1950s, and has since been transformed through continuous advances, diverging into four categories: SMT, NMT, RBMT, and Hybrid Machine Translation. SMT, or statistical machine translation, automatically maps sentences in one language into another, whereas NMT, or Neural Machine Translation, encompasses a neural network that relies on algorithms working together to process highly complex data inputs. RBMT, or Recurrent Batch Machine Translation, replaces the input texts with translations of a set of translations of the same text, and Hybrid Machine Translation combines elements of both NMT and RBMT.

Source

Key benefits

The advantages of using machine translation mean it is a very effective and efficient solution in a company’s toolkit. Firstly, machine translation is incredibly fast. It can process huge volumes of text in a near instant. Therefore, it improves efficiency and productivity. Companies that deploy machine translation typically see an improved profit margin, all else being equal. Secondly MT is scalable. If you need to translate a short document or an entire library’s worth of text, MT can handle it. Lastly, and partly as a result of the first two points, machine translation is much more cost-effective than human translation. Before you rush out to onboard a range of machine translation solutions, there are many circumstances where human translation is preferable, and numerous others where a hybrid approach of machine translations processed by human editors is best.

 

How best to deploy machine translation

 

Getting the best out of machine translation requires optimally deploying it. Several factors will determine the ideal approach. A Nimdzi survey of 33 localisation buyers found 22.6% report extensively using neural machine translation. The survey notes that sectors like media, video gaming and marketing are laggards in MT adoption, mainly because they require high levels of cultural sensitivity and creativity that MT as of today can’t match. That’s not to say MT isn’t making inroads into these areas. For example, world top-10 gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) adopted MT tech quite early in its development. Notably, in areas where content is intended to prompt emotional engagement, EA uses human-edited MT translations. The survey also found that in circumstances that directly impact business revenue, human translation is preferred.

Source

Applying those findings to business activity, MT is useful for quickly transmitting a message to large numbers of people in various locations. Even in this instance, it’s always wise to have a human check the copy. The content lifecycle is also a consideration. For short-lived content, such as product specs on a short run of merchandise, then the return on investment is not there for human translation, which costs more than MT. Here, the requirements for quality and timeliness are key determinants.

Another great use case for MT is where recipients are aware that the content they are consuming is translated by a machine. This enables them to read with caution.

To summarise, the important parameters to consider are:

  • Scale: If you are translating small amounts of text occasionally, then off-the-shelf MT is suitable. If the volume is any higher than that, hybrid translation often is most suitable.
  • Timeframe: A very short turnaround time is where MT excels. However, be mindful that the quality might not be sufficient.
  • Content consumers: One of the golden rules of translation is to pitch to your audience. Consider whether MT will meet your audience’s needs. If your target audience just needs to get the general gist of a text, then MT will suffice. However, if expectations around quality are higher, then human translation or human-edited machine translation is the optional approach.
  • Objective: The goal of the translation must be carefully considered. For example, if you wish to sign a legally binding contract and need to translate it for the other party to sign, then accuracy is paramount when it comes to legal document translation. Another example is scientific and technical translation, which would require a custom language translator.

A bright future

In a sign of just how far MT could go in the future, a group of scientists recently launched a project to decode sperm whale ‘speech’ with a view to enabling whale-human communication. That would be an interesting one to add to the digital translation services already available. The Cetacean Translation Initiative is using AI to understand whales’ clicking sounds, known as codas. The scientists are deploying natural-language processing, which processes spoken and written communication, to that end.

Source

MT is improving all the time, and as it does, it becomes applicable to an ever-expanding set of scenarios. However, we aren’t anywhere near the point where MT is good enough for businesses to abandon Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE). Finding the right balance is key, and a professional translation agency will help you navigate the optimal configuration of MT, human translation and MTPE. Get in touch today to speak to an expert and explore your options.

What do Clients want from Translation Services

The international business communications market reached a historic turning point last year, as companies, organizations and institutions across the world accelerated the pace of digitalising their operations. The sheer extent of the transition has spurred a corresponding demand for certified translation services in applications as varied as elearning, software localization, legal documentation and multimedia content.

As video content continues to proliferate on streaming services and social media marketing channels, the industry now sees increasing demand for high quality captions, subtitles, dubbing and voice overs. The demand for website text and marketing content translation also continues to expand as businesses increasingly plan their strategies around emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Enterprise Translation in Asia: Market and Method

English to Chinese translation services continues to be a mainstay in the Asia-Pacific region, while consumer markets in ASEAN economies, which include Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore drive demand for local language translations alongside Chinese and English content.

The unprecedented scale and volume of material to be translated – which is only set to increase over the upcoming decade-  results in the increasing use of Automated Translation and Machine Translation with Post Editing, in which a human translator proofreads, improves and adapts the material generated by the translation. While machine translation engines have made a lot of progress in recent years, the most practical and efficient solution for businesses that need to regularly translate material at scale is working with a language service provider that offers streamlined, cost effective Machine Translation Post Editing rates and comprehensive, value-added services.

Combining the Best

We work with both standard Machine Translation and Neural Machine Translation, which can efficiently process complex material and adapt to infrequently translated languages and language pairs, which don’t have pre-existing datasets. Neural Machine Translation engines can also be configured to output a formal or casual style, depending on the project’s requirements, although this aspect still requires human review and editing, for which our Linguistic QA specialists are indispensable because of their experience, ability and speed.

The ideal workflow for translating material at scale heavily depends on the unique circumstances and requirements that companies face. Our experience providing Translation Management as a Service (TMaaS) for a range of different companies, from multinationals to startups and SME’s, enables us to quickly identify the relevant metrics and value drivers in any business model, from which we develop a cost effective hybrid service plan that delivers quality at speed and scale.

Trends Reports

According to Multilingual Magazine’s 2021 Translation Trends report, the use of Machine Translation with Post Editing is on the rise across the world, with Language Service Providers in Europe indicating that they plan to expand their services. Meanwhile, language service providers in Asia increasingly partner with technology enterprises, which are required to cater to diverse audiences at scale.

The report identifies Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Portugese, Russian, Italian, Polish and Persian as the ten most translated languages in the market. In terms of market size, Multilingual cites Statista’s Chart comparing language speakers and online content.

Languages in real life and online

Source: Statista

The chart identifies Chinese as the language with the largest native speaking population in the world, with almost 1.3 billion speakers, followed by Spanish, with 442 million, English, with 378 million, Arabic, with 315 million and Hindi, with 260 million. The percentage of websites on Statista’s chart with Chinese language content, however, is just 1.7%, compared to 54% of websites displaying English content, followed by Russian, with 6%, German, with 5.9%, Spanish with 5%. And French, with 4%.

Statista’s 2020 report on the most common languages on the internet by share of active users indicates that Chinese is the second most common language used online, accounting for 19.4% of people online, compared to 25.9% for English.

Most common languages on the internet

The most common languages on the internet by share of active users. Source: Statista

The discrepancy between the size of the native Chinese speaking audience (the second largest online) and the number of websites published in Chinese indicates the extent of the opportunity for companies and publishers to expand the reach of their platforms and businesses by translating content into Chinese.

The Human Touch : Work with Expert Translation Services to Localize

The Multilingual report also emphasizes that Human Translation is still the most accurate, effective and reliable mode of translation, because of its unmatched capacity to address “context, colloquialism and creative writing.”  These factors are vital for marketing and public relations, to the extent that content translation intended for a public audience should be fully carried out by professional human translators.

Localization is only possible with human translators, and holistically adapting brands to local markets and cultures often requires transcreation. Developing an organic local voice with an authentic tone is key to building brand value when working with English to Chinese translation services in a vibrant, dynamic market like Hong Kong or Singapore.

Translation services in Hong Kong in particular often have to contend with the rapid pace at which the local language and culture develops, as new colloquial phrases frequently move in and out of favor, while the local language, Cantonese, also differs in written form (Zhongwen) from traditional Chinese in other regions.

From a brand perspective, re-adapting content from the ground up is far more effective than attempting to circulate literal translations of previously written material, which can even carry a certain level of risk in terms of inadvertently humorous connotations with local audiences. While the same principle applies to translating and localizing for European markets, some regions, due to a variety of local factors, inherently require a more hyper-localized approach. Mainland China is one of the world’s most challenging markets for this reason.

What businesses want: language services industry statistics

High quality localization and translation service providers have the ability to effectively adapt brand messaging to a local context and match the pace of publication required by any client. The characteristics that enable effective localization and transcreation align with the priorities of translation clients worldwide, regardless of the type service they require.

According to Nimdzi’s 2021 survey on Translation Buyer Priorities, the top five factors which translation services clients consider important are:

  • On-time delivery
  • Quality of Translation
  • Customer Service
  • Price
  • Number of languages offered

We work fast without compromising quality. Our commitment to developing our expertise matches our dedication to working closely with our clients, so we can provide individualized solutions that take markets and business models into account and offer better service at more cost effective rates.

At Into23 we are passionate about language, and the scope of our services is unmatched in every region. We translate all major languages, and we are experienced working in every sector. We are excited to share our expertise and insights with our clients as the industry continues to expand in Asia, where we specialize in localizing overseas companies and taking local companies global. We translate for tomorrow’s markets today.

Read our blog here.

Top 6 Digital Trends to watch out for in Asia

Into23 – One of The Best International Translation Company

The latest e-Conomy of Southeast Asia report by Google shows that South-east Asia hit an inflection point for the internet economy with $72 billion in 2018, $40 billion more than previously estimated. China is one of the top countries for retailers to turn their focus to in 2019. China leads the world in ecommerce, with more than 40% of the world’s ecommerce transactions taking place there.

With the increasing interest in Asia, we decided to compile the key digital trends in Asia from Digital 2019: Q2 Global Digital Statshot. This Global Digital Statshot is produced by We Are Social and Hootsuite to give us essential insights to the global use of the internet, mobile devices and ecommerce.

1. 4 out of 10 world’s most visited sites are from China

Baidu.com with 5.6 page visits per day is the most visited website in Asia, Baidu is the equivalent of Google in China. Among the top 10 are Tmall.com and Taobao.com, they are the top ecommerce sites in China. According to Alexa, both Tmall and Taobao gather more web visitors than Amazon.com

2. China, India and Indonesia have the top LinkedIn advertising audiences in Asia

Linkedin is the world’s biggest business and employment-oriented network. India and China have the largest LinkedIn advertising audience after the United States. There is still much growth anticipated for the LinkedIn platform in China with only 4% of the population above the age of 18 on LinkedIn.

3. Tik Tok and Shareit from China are among the top 10 most downloaded mobile apps in the world

The most downloaded app in Asia, TikTok is an iOS and Android media app for creating and sharing short videos. The app was launched in 2017 by ByteDance, for markets outside of China.

4. Indonesia, Turkey and Japan are among the top 10 Instagram advertising audiences

Instagram is the most popular social media application for youth, with 90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35. Indonesia has one of the highest instagram audiences in the world with instagram advertising reaching 64 million people and penetrating 26% of the population over the age of 13.

5. India, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand & Turkey have the top Facebook advertising audience

India has the largest Facebook advertising audience in the world, reaching 260 million people, 70 million more than the United States.

6. India, China, Indonesia and Thailand are the biggest users of voice search and voice commands

India, China, Indonesia and Thailand have above 45% of internet users who have used voice-controlled functionality on any device.

These are the 6 key digital trends for Asia in 2019, they indicate that global web activity, mobile applications, social media advertising audience and the usage of voice commands will have a play a major role in Asia.

This is a guest post by Bob Low. Bob Low is the regional marketing consultant for into23.

Read our blog here.

5 Helpful Choices for Translating your website

elearning voiceover services and multimedia localization

For any website translation project, there are a few approaches to choose from, all of them matching different company priorities: SEO-friendliness, the client’s IT resources, translation quality, security requirements, budget-friendliness, or short time-to-market. It is crucial to understand the advantages and disadvantages of these options to pick the right choice for your needs and priorities.

Let’s take a look at some options:

Manual source extraction and target injection (copy/paste) and sending files (HTML, XLIFF, XML, RTF, XLS, etc.) back and forth

The client extracts the source content, sends it to the translation company for translation, then injects the translated content back into the site. This can work with static content, but huge manual effort and IT-expertise is required. Copying and pasting segments into the CMS’s database or interface is inconvenient and prone to making errors. Translation is done in an out-of-context environment, corrections and ongoing maintenance is difficult.

PROS: No SAAS cost.

CONS: Development expertise and time needed, Every update takes a lot of time, Static sites only.

Using Content Connectors

Some CMSs have content connectors that enable the extraction of the source content from the database and then injects the translated content back (for instance WPML for WordPress). As a downside, content connectors come at a cost, translators work in an out-of-context environment, corrections and ongoing maintenance is difficult.

PROS: Faster than manual copy and paste, Flexibility of content publishing across languages.

CONS: Requires some times weeks of development time to setup site for translation, Costs of Connection, Requires training.

Using a Multilingual CMS

The client gives the translation agency access to the CMS where the translation is done. In this case, translators must learn to use the CMS; there is a learning curve and overhead with the cost of training. There is also a risk of potential damage while using the system due to the lack of routine. CAT tools and translation memory are not available in this environment, making translation less consistent and translators’ work less productive.

PROS: Multilingual CMS avoid connectors and other tools.

CONS: Time consuming to setup and may not be the current installed option, complicated to train translators, time consuming. No Translation Memory management.

Translation Proxy

Translation Proxy provides fully automated solution including automatic content discovery, word count, content extraction to XLIFF, in-context review and automatic change detection. It is an SEO-friendly solution, i.e., the foreign language versions will be discoverable for search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.). Meta tags are also translated and crawled.

CONS: Ongoing SAAS Cost

PROS: No development needed, very hands off for site managers, instant extraction of content, ready to launch multilingual sites much faster then other methods.

JavaScript-based translation

Translation happens real-time in the foreign visitors’ browser on-the-fly. No ongoing costs and no 3rd party – hence no security issues – are involved. However, this solution is not SEO-friendly. The translated site is not visible to the search engines because the foreign versions are created on-the-fly in the visitor’s browser by clicking on the language selector (a link or a drop-down list item). Where SEO is not an issue, it is a perfect solution: e.g. for Intranet sites or web applications (CRM, Sales Tools).

In many cases, a mixed approach may be the winner, depending on the various content types of the website. Understanding your needs, priorities and the capabilities/differences of the available approaches is crucial for finding the right solution(s)

Talk to us at Into23 and we can help you figure out the best option for your site.