Making a website global means having it localized into one or more foreign languages and territories. In this article, we look at the things that one needs to know before having a website localized.
A website may be a product itself, with its content being its primary function at the same time, it may be an interactive platform for the distribution of the products and the tool of communication with customers and partners – or all of these things at the same time. Whatever the case may be, in this day and age a website is above all the interface of the enterprise, serving as an interactive bridge between the company and its customers or users. Making a website global means having it localized into one or more foreign languages and territories. In this article, we look at the things that one needs to know before having a website localized.
People are usually more perceptive to the content in their own language
This was true even before the Internet was invented, but in the days of the dominance of English, it may be even truer – people simply like to hear or see the content in their own, first language. Having a website localized into languages other than English means reaching out to more potential users.
Website is above all the interface of the enterprise, serving as an interactive bridge between the company and its customers or users.
More than 70 percent of Internet users do not speak English as their first language
English is the dominant language of the culture, technology and business of our era, it is the most widely learned second language in the world, but it is not the first language to a great deal of Internet users.
The localized version of a website must be a “mirror image” of the original one
The localized version of a website is not a new version of the website, but a customized version of an existing one, usually in English. It has to be represented in the target language and culture as if it originated within them, but it has to follow the pattern of the original one and convey the exact same information.
The localization process is easier when the original website is complete, tested and stable
It is not only easier, it is also safer and less complicated and promises better results – the finalized source text is translated and the finalized design elements are adapted and no quick and stressful changes are required.
Website localization is more than website translation
Translation is the central process of localization, but not the only one – it also includes the localization of code, and, in certain cases, images, audio and video files, interactive content and other multimedia.