English may have once been the number one language of the Internet and the main language of technology but all this is set to change as more and more websites are beginning to be translated into various foreign languages. This translation of websites and other documents into several foreign tongues is testament to the increasing globalisation of today’s world.
The latest company to turn to translation is e-commerce website Etsy, who recently published an article on their website entitled ‘Etsy Starts Taking Translation Seriously’. The article notes that due to the company’s aim to expand its business internationally, it has decided to translate millions of its listings into French, German, Italian and Spanish, in order to attract more business from western Europe and other parts of the world where these European languages are spoken. Its website had already been translated into several European languages, including Dutch, Portuguese and Russian, but until recently most of its listings were still only available in English, which of course was a problem for customers abroad.
Now, when a new listing is uploaded by a customer into one language the website allows for it to be automatically translated into another, thus increasing the company’s opportunity to glean further business from abroad on which it would previously have missed out.
While this strategy of automatic translation has clearly been working for Etsy (many listings in local languages increasing for mere thousands to millions, for example, thanks to the website’s new translation strategy) it is important not to rely on machine translation, and to bear in mind that automatic translations are never perfect.
Making the decision to translate your company’s website into a foreign language with a view to international expansion is not enough. It is necessary to approach the process of translation with as much seriousness and professionalism as you would any other aspect of your company’s marketing.
This sharp increase in the translation of companies’ listing and websites testifies to the need for high-quality professional translators, who can accomplish the task of translating a website or other documents into a foreign language with flair.
An ill- or mistranslated document will bestow of an air of unprofessionalism on any otherwise renowned company. Even if you have an extremely good command of the language into which you wish to translate your website, it would be ill-advised to take on the task yourself unless you are a native speaker of the language. Professional translators only ever translate into their native tongue, even though they are fully bilingual and have generally spent years living and working abroad using their second language.
When translating your company’s website or other documents it is therefore best to turn to a translation agency such as Language Now who will then outsource your work to reputable professional translators.