Although English is still the most widely used language in the web environment (58.8% of web content is provided in English), we can see the striving for personalization. Based on the latest statistics, 40% of users will not buy on the website in other languages, and 65% prefer the websites translated to their language even if the quality is poor.
But perfect localization is critical in some industries like e-commerce and fintech - and essential when discussing good user experience and trust. To overview this topic better, we described these tips for multilingual content creation that may help you localize your product better.
#1 Think about localization from the start
First of all, your product should be ready for localization. This process is called internationalization (i18n) and includes the following actions:
- Removing hard-coded text.
- Creating resource files for translation.
- Providing a markup where needed.
Besides the technical part, you should be fully confident of the quality of the source texts for linguists.
- Review the source text. Low-quality source texts are a common reason for poor translations, leading to higher costs due to revision. Make sure to write global-ready content that is easy to translate into any language you want to support now or in the future.
- Avoid long sentences. They can be hard to understand for your target audience and translators too. Use short and catchy sentences with less than 30 words. They are more engaging!
- Keep a wary eye on the tone of voice. Maintain your company's tone of voice. Use clear language, avoid slang and pay attention to the correct spelling.
#2 Identify promising regions and languages
The localization strategy is crucial when you decide to localize your product. Determining where your product's users live, who can be the new audience, and what you should do to attract them is essential. Truly understanding your product, users, and market position will help you to discover the language(s) relevant to your business.
Remember that the languages you choose determine how much effort you will spend adapting the content (for example: is this RTL or LTR language?; what is the difference in the text lengths; etc.) Also, some language pairs are more common, like English-German, and you will easily find translators related to your industry. In the case of the English-Japanese, it can be more complicated.
Start your localization trip with the following:
- Tools Google assists, like Google Analytics or Google Trends.
- Testing the potential audiences (deep market research, A/B testing, surveys etc.)
- Competitors research.
#3 Remember about SEO
SEO for a multilingual website or software is that thing that will help your users find you in the search engines, app stores, whatever. The best practice is to find an expert or team responsible for this task. The quality of search engine optimization will determine your product's future position in the search index. All the content should include keywords prepared by the expert, interlinking, etc.
#4 Find a local experts
No one besides the native speakers or local people can understand 100% clear the region, its mentality, and national identity. If you want your localized version to sound fully native, you need to hire someone for support. This rule spreads not only to the text content but a visual one - some signs, colors, icons, and images can have entirely opposite meanings of what you are used to. You can also organize the surveys to avoid misunderstanding with your audience.
#5 Provide valuable context information
When it comes to localization and translation, context is vital. Linguists often need the assistance of context information to work. For example, they need help identifying whether a single word is used as a noun or verb. There are different ways to enable your translators to work in context. In the example of the Lingohub tool, we will describe how to provide helpful information for your team:
- Provide the comments for translators. Developers can add the context information directly in the resource file. They can note, for example, that a specific text is used in a button to make it easier for the translators to choose the proper translation. Translators will see such comments in the editor interface. You can add comments directly inside the Lingohub interface as a segment description.
- Lingohub glossary for correct terms usage. If you use specific terms in your corporate communication that shouldn't be translated or require a specific translation, it's best to add them to your term base. During localization, your team will automatically get the correct version for the term to save time and keep translation quality high.
- Context images. "Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times." You can provide the screenshots (automatically or manually) for each segment. Hence, your translating team will fully understand where the text is placed and how to adapt it better. One of our solutions - the Figma plugin, is created for creating screenshots automatically.
- Style guide for keeping a tone of voice unified. The tone of voice determines your business "face." It is essential to use the same tone of voice during all the projects (in case you do not have specific pages targeting the audience that require other appeals).
#6 Test the localization from the start
Continuous localization is the same "must-have" for successful product release as agile methodologies in development. With Lingohub, you can integrate the translation process into software development to share texts immediately and test localized parts of the software regularly and from the first interactions. All changes will be automatically synchronized between the repository and the Lingohub organization; thus, all processes will be smooth and fast. We described in a separate article all the nuances of localization testing to help you dive deeper into this topic.
#7 Use the power of translation management tools
The TMS (translation management tool) can change the localization experience by providing time- and quality-saving solutions. With Lingohub, you can easily:
- Use already-ready translations. To do this, you need to set up the translation memory tool that can save all the translations in the system. Also, you can import the ready translation files inside Lingohub manually. A translation memory system repurposes previous translations for current texts based on similarity. Exact matches (100% matches) can be reused without further adaptation. Fuzzy matches (55% - 99% matches) are a great starting point to work out the final translation.
- Save time by automating the pre-translation. Prefill function automates lots of translation work because it automatically fills up the empty target segments with suggestions from machine translators, translation memory, or another language. Your translators then revise and refine these suggestions to create professional translations.
- Raise the quality of the ready translation. With the quality checks tool, you can be sure that all the translations are in the predetermined criteria - you have no duplications, missing tags or placeholders, broken lines, etc.
- Speed up the process with the CAT tools. Glossary and style guide (mentioned in the paragraph above) help linguists find the needed information much faster and use its approved versions. There is no need to search through different files to find the info - all the data is in a single Lingohub interface.
Wrapping it up
Sooner or later, businesses think about expanding and entering new markets. We at Lingohub know, like nobody else, how challenging localization can be and how many pitfalls businesses may face during it. Our product was designed and continuously developed to help you adapt your product to other regions. We hope the tips provided in this article will give you a more precise understanding of what to do and will help you save time and costs along the path to your localized product.
Have any questions? Our team would love to support you. Book a demo call, and we will discuss your business needs. Ready to localize your product? Sign up for your free Lingohub trial and try it out yourself.