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Website Translation and Localization: DIY Guide

Expanding businesses into other countries means that you will be conveying your messages to people who speak other languages. What’s more, your audience may have cultural background other than yours — and it does matter.

Surprisingly many people think that creating, say, a website in a foreign language means just to translate the existing English version. Good translation by all means is very important. But what about putting your message into the context of the particular culture, which is native to your new audience?

This process is called “website localization”. It is like “tuning” your website (both content and design) into unison with mentality of other people — the prospective visitors.

Here I won’t describe the part of web site localization which deals with programming; this issue itself is complex enough. I will focus on writing content for your website and its further translation.

What part of this work you can do yourself? Probably not all of it, but quite a lot. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you in the process.

Step Zero: Remember: Your Website is Not for You.
It is for VISITORS. So it is logical to consider what THEY think such websites should look like. It is their points of view that matter, not yours. When you memorize this axiom, go to

Step One: Learn!
Self-education is useful in itself; besides, this knowledge is going to save you money and bring profit later. Learn as much as you can about your prospective audience. The more, the better.

It’s a rather time-consuming but exciting process. I hope you will manage, as Ancient Romans used to say, “Miscere utile dulci” (to mingle the useful with the pleasant). You will find out plenty of interesting things about another culture. Customs and traditions, rules of etiquette and moral principles, stereotypes, superstitions and lots of other stuff for you to consider when addressing people from a country other than yours.

You can find plenty of information in the Internet. Search Groups as well. Show your interest in other culture, and almost any native will appreciate it and help you as an expert. In addition, you will make good friends with great people.

Travelers’ guides can be an excellent source of information; they will help you avoid costly mistakes not only during a trip abroad. Just one example. You must have seen websites 


This post first appeared on Top Translation Agency, please read the originial post: here

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Website Translation and Localization: DIY Guide

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