Translating your website

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15 July 2019
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Translating your website

Are you thinking of translating your website, but don’t know where to start? Follow our guide.

 

In the early days of the internet, websites were merely collections of pages, all written using a markup language known as HTML. Companies wanting a multilingual website simply needed to send us their HTML files for translation into all the desired languages.

While the underlying technology still uses HTML, the systems used to manage web pages have progressed enormously. Most sites now rely on a content management system (CMS), which typically uses a database to store the text to be displayed. Further databases, particularly on e-commerce sites, can store information about the product lines to be featured. To ensure that foreign internet users can understand your site, all of this content that is hidden away in databases must be translated. It goes without saying that the translation should be carried out by a professional translator working into their native language.

 

So, how should you go about sending us the text to be translated? The basic principle is to use the functions of your content management system or your database to export the text in an appropriate format that will subsequently enable you to incorporate the translations without time-consuming copy and paste operations. We can cope with the vast majority of file formats, be they based on text files, XML, Word, Excel or other formats.

 

Let us take a practical example and look at WordPress, the most widely used content management system. There is a WordPress plugin specifically dedicated to translation: WPML (https://wpml.org/). This exports your text into XLIFF files, which are in an XML-based format specially designed for translation. All that remains is to send us your XLIFF files, and we will return the translations in the same format. If this plugin is not installed in your WordPress system, we recommend contacting the department or service provider responsible for hosting your site.

 

 

 

If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact us, and we will work with you or your service provider to find the best and most efficient means of translating your website. We can also advise you on which languages to prioritise depending on your business objectives.