Business Translation 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.

The history of translation and translation marketing

Marketing translation and translation, in general, have a long and robust history. How did the modern translation industry become what it is today?

What is translation? In its simple form, it means to turn symbols from one set to another, such as words from a body of text in one language to that of another. Translation and its emergence have played a very important role throughout history in bridging cultural and linguistic divides that have evolved through trade as well as a means of spreading traditions and religious beliefs. 

Where and how did translation evolve? How has translation changed today, and how will it be used in the future? 

Translation Origins

Sumerian bilingual text tablet

Sumerian bilingual text – Photo from Wikimedia Caption – “This is the first known Sumerian-Akkadian bilingual tablet which dates back to around 2270 BC. The practice of translation is believed to have begun in Mesopotamia.”

Scholars believe that writing began to emerge in humans some 5,550 years ago. First, with early pictorial signs in early Mesopotamian and Egypt, we have evidence of fully-formed writing platforms as early as 1300 BC in China. With the development of written communication, translation became a necessary means of communication for the growth of populations and trade. While translation started within the trade as a business translation for financial means, translation eventually found its way into culture, art, and religion as it proved to be an effective means of spreading your beliefs, values, and traditions to other people. 

The word “translation” and it’s meaning come from two different languages.  The word itself comes from Latin and means “to bring or carry across”, but its meaning is also derived from the Ancient Greek word metaphrasis, which means “to speak across”, which then led to the word metaphrase, which means “word for word”. While the meaning of translation comes from these ancient languages, it is believed that those in the Mesopotamian region were the first to practice the art of translation. 

St. Jerome Writing

“St. Jerome Writing” by the famous painter Caravaggio, painted in 1606.” – Image from Wikimedia.

One of the earliest known pieces to be translated is the Sumerian poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was translated into Asian languages in 2100 BC. From there, one of the first known significant translations is that of the Old Testament in the 3rd century, as the bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek. Between A.D. 383 and 404, a man named Eusebius Hieronymus, or St. Jerome as he would become known, translated the bible from Greek to Latin. What made St. Jerome’s translation so innovative is that he first translated the text from Greek. Still, he then went back and checked his newly translated Latin text against the original Hebrew version (since he was fluent in all three languages) to increase the translation accuracy. St. Jerome also endorsed the transcreation method rather than the traditional word-for-word translation. In a letter St. Jerome wrote to his friend on the best methods of translation, he said,

For I myself not only admit but freely proclaim that in translating from the Greek, I render sense for sense and not word for word, except in the case of the Holy Scriptures, where even the order of the words is a mystery.”

With his masterful translation of the bible and the concepts that he created, St. Jerome became one of the most prominent translators in history. St. Jerome died on September 30th, 420, and since then, St. Jerome has become the patron saint of translators. September 30th is also officially recognised as International Translation Day. 

The evolution of translation

The earliest days of translation required the work of educated polyglots or at least bilinguals who would painstakingly translate passages of text by hand. This work would take translators months and sometimes even years to complete. The advent of the printing press made things somewhat easier as the translations became more consistent. 

With the printing press, documents only needed to be translated once before being typeset and then run repeatedly. While this method was more efficient in producing copies, if there were any errors in the translation, they too were also reproduced, and there wasn’t a quick method to fix this. As a result, any translations with errors used as foundational pieces for translation into other languages meant that further errors followed and compounded into the next translation. 

It wasn’t until the late 20th century, with the emergence of machine translation and machine translation post-editing, that made the translation process became more consistent.

Modern-day translation

Woman sitting at computer program

Machine translation has changed the translation industry forever. Machine translation post-editing has resulted in quality translations that are reliable and accurate.

With the emergence of machine translation and platforms like Google translate, anyone can get a quick and immediate translation of nearly any text. However, just like in the early days of translation, machine translation alone is prone to many translation errors, especially since machines can’t translate the cultural concepts, idioms, etc., that make human language so robust. Machine translations are decent at finding concordances at the sentence level but fall flat when making suggestions at a morphological level. This is why international translation companies now use machine and human translations in a process called machine translation post-editing.

Even with current technology, machine translation doesn’t compare to human translation, which is what makes machine translation post-editing the most effective means of translation. Translators use a machine to translate the text first, a process that helps expedite the translation process, and then once the content has gone through a machine, the translator will then go through it and edit and compare it to the original text. This results in an accurate, reliable, fast, and quality translation for the client or business.

Related: How to be a translator in 2022

Regarding translation management, translators today don’t need to be polyglots anymore. Still, most translation companies want translators who are experts in language pair translation, meaning a translator needs complete mastery of two languages, as well as subject-specific expertise (i.e. English-Chinese legal translation). Language pair translations ensure you get the most accurate and quality translation

Future of translation

iPad and world map

It’s easier than ever to take your business global- Photo by Geralt on Pixabay

While machines have made things easier in the translation industry, and I’m sure even St. Jerome would be impressed with the progress that has been made, as of yet, machine translation cannot operate alone and still requires the handy work of a professional translator. Using a professional translator is especially important in business as businesses today are not afforded the same luxuries of making translation errors as the early pioneers were. Companies today now use business translation services to ensure that they’re getting the best quality translation possible to represent and expand their brand. These companies use machine translation post-editing with qualified translation professionals to produce consistent results.

Related: Why Google Translate Isn’t Enough for Business

That is not to say that machine-alone translation isn’t being worked on, however. The Semantic Web or Web 3.0 is an extension of our current internet that is being worked on that aims to create instant translations of any language online, which would include any semantic or cultural content, and make the searches and the retrieval of this information universal. Web 3.0 aims to analyze every piece of data that is available on the internet and have it make sense in every language. This would create interactive pages that are no longer just text translations but include audio/voice and all other forms of media. While the Semantic Web sounds impressive, the fact that there are over 6,800 languages worldwide and that we are still confined to our current means of machine translation means that this idea is a very long way from becoming reality. 

In the meantime, quality translations are best left to the professionals at international translation companies like Into23. Into23 offers localization and translation services in any language with professional translators from all over the globe. Into23 can help your brand or business reach new markets in other languages and offer translation solutions for every industry. Check out our services today and get a free quote.

Voiceover Translation the New Norm for Business

Voice Over Equipment

Content is no longer King; it has become the whole kingdom. A wide range of content is available for consumption in the digital era, especially video-based content. Video-based content is the most used form in marketing; it is also the most consumed. More than 85% of social media users demand videos from brands, and around 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day. All this shows the dominance of video on the digital platform. 

Every successful business must strive to achieve global excellence; however, they must appear to be native to their target audience. Their brand voice should resonate with the common person. For that, they must utilize the power of localization. Localizing the content, especially videos, you promote on all platforms can significantly increase brand growth. That is how translation plays a critical role in alluring the audience worldwide. One of the most used forms of translation is voice-over translation within video content. 

Voice-over translation includes transforming the audio of the content you are promoting according to the culture of the native audience. For voice-over translation, one needs a linguistic expert who knows how to translate the foreign language into the local language and a voice-over artist who is well-versed with different languages. 

With the help of a voice-over artist, you can add a dialect and overtone to your content to which the local audience can connect. An expert voice-over artist can help you understand the different approaches used in the local language and then incorporate the same into your content. 

Standard dialects and visuals can allure more potential buyers and build a stronger connection with the audience, increasing revenue. So, let’s delve into the world of voice-over translation and understand it better. 

What are the benefits of voice-over translation?

Access to a broader network

If your target audience is not confined within a single language boundary, try reaching out to them in a different language. Consider multilingual voice-over translation services to reap the maximum benefits. With this type of translation, you can reach a much wider audience base. By promoting the video in the native language, you will no more be confined to language barriers.

More affordable than in-person interpreting

In-person interpreting is not a practical option, especially for small and medium-sized businesses and large companies targeting large masses through video-based content. In most cases, in-person interpreting can become a highly expensive option for an organization. 

While on the other side, you have to pay a nominal fee in the case of voice-over translation. Then, your video will be ready to be promoted on every social media platform and every other digital medium. There will be no hidden fee or extra charges in the case of voice-over translation. 

Help boost sales

According to Harvard Business Review, 72.4% of customers say they are more likely to buy from a brand if the information regarding a product is in their native language. It shows that you can even boost your sales by using the power of voice-over translation; you can attract more local or native clients and boost your sales. 

A local customer will be more interested in interacting with any kind of information if it is presented in their local language. Therefore, if you plan to target a foreign market with a different language, you must use voice-over experts to make this expansion successful. 

Types of voice-over translation

Voice replacement

One of the most common voice-over translation services within video content is voice replacement. The original audio is muted, and the voice-over artist replaces the verbal content with his voice in the native language. 

One of the biggest challenges of this type of voice-over translation is matching the speed and delivery of the original voice. For example, there must be an emphasis on certain points in the original voice, some pauses, or breaks. It becomes difficult for the new speaker to match it accurately in such cases. 

The UN-style

The other most common voice-over translation service within video content is the UN-style. There are many videos where both the original voice and the audience’s native language need to be heard, like in the case of eLearning videos. The UN-style translation never replaces the original speaker as the native language is just spoken over. 

The audience can easily hear the original voice for the first couple of seconds, followed by the native language voice. The sound of the native language usually surpasses the original speaker. This is helpful if you wish your audience to relate to the original voice. 

The instructional style

In this type of voice-over translation, the performer is given more freedom to express the words as there are no scripts used in this case. This style includes only a voice-over artist interpreting the video in the native language. 

The voice-over artist is just asked to explain whatever is happening on the screen. Therefore, the voice-over artist can use his expertise in expressing the on-screen ongoing in the most native form possible. It is also an effective technique if you want your video to be in the best form of the native language. 

Full actor translation

Full actor translation is not as common as the UN-style voice replacement. Several self-proclaimed “best translation services companies do not provide this service. In this technique, the company decides to re-shoot the entire video with a new native linguistic expert, and he replaces the English-speaking speaker on screen. 

This type of replacement occurs in the green screen environment as it becomes easy to replace the original speaker. The main reason why this technique is not so alluring for companies is that it can be a bit costly. But if you have the budget, this can also be the most effective translation technique. 

Off-screen voice over

This type of translation is ubiquitous in the eLearning realm. All the voices used over the translation are usually heard off-screen in this sector. The user can simply keep following the on-screen animations and texts.

Many international translation companies provide off-screen voice over. You should go with this type of translation only when the video is not played. It is also the most simple type of translation since it requires only a single actor as the new language just needs to be synced. 

Dubbing

This might be the most recognizable type of translation. It is widely used in movies. If you want the video to look like it has been originally shot in the native language, then dubbing is the right option. By the look of things, dubbing makes the video look more pristine in terms of the native language. 

For this, you have to choose from international translation companies as dubbing might be one of the most effective types of voice-over translations, but at the same time, it is difficult to implement. 

The voice-over translation process

The voice-over translation process is not as simple as it sounds. A proper voice-over translation requires both details and skills to get the job done professionally. At the same time, it is necessary to be 100% accurate with the translation, as even a single mistake in translation can change the entire meaning of the video. The translation process begins with transcribing the original audio content of the video. There is no way one can translate the content without going through the script. This process is done with utmost precision! 

Actual translation 

After completing the transcribing process, the translation of the original audio into the native language is done. But this is where things can become a little bit tricky. For example, if you want to translate your video for a Chinese audience, it’s fine, but do you need Mandarin or Cantonese? It is something you need to decide first before approaching a voice-over expert. 

Choose the voice-over talent

After the proofreading and script editing of the translated document, the client is usually given an option to choose from the talent pool of voice-over experts. The multilingual translation services company can give you samples based on the gender, language, and style you need. 

Recording, formatting, and syncing 

Finally, the voice-over artist records his voice, then the editor formats it and syncs it. The client is usually given a chance to review the final output so that the solution provider can implement those changes and meet the client’s demand. 

If you want to reach a wide audience base and don’t want to be limited to language barriers, you must choose the best translation management company, such as Into23. We cover all the languages, are equipped with the right tools and experts, and are a customer-centric company that prioritizes the clients’ needs.