19 Things to Consider When Translating a Website to Spanish
If localizing a site into multiple languages or translating it into Spanish seems like a daunting task, it is! You’ll find it challenging and time-consuming, yet usually a great return on investment! Careful planning is key for a successful launch. Below are 19 things to consider when translating a website in Spanish. Most of them are also applicable when engaging in multilingual website localization.
Technical Considerations 1. You need to decide if you will be using a new domain, a subdomain or a subfolder. Get your IT department involved to help you decide. There is no right answer, as each option has its pros and cons. It will all depend on your objectives and platform. 2. Decide which URL structure you would like to use. URL naming options vary depending on the target language. They use specific extensions so that users and crawlers can easily identify the language. For example, “es” is for Spanish. 3. Make sure to plan for the rel=”alternate” and hreflang attributes implementation. These are commonly overlooked. 4. Think about how you would like to display the language choices. Will you choose a text link or flag images? 5. Review your Content Management System (CMS). Is it flexible enough to store content in different languages? Can you easily export and reimport content for translation? Does it support multilingual SEO? 6. Decide how you will be providing your translation company with the content for translation. Is it convenient for your IT staff to receive the translation in Word documents? Does HTML sound like a better option? There are cons and pros for each, of course. Translation Considerations This stage is as important as the technical considerations. 7. Audience and languages: Make a decision regarding your audience. Will you translate your website into several languages? Will you start with Spanish for the US for now? If so, decide which Spanish dialect you will be using. Here you can learn how to choose the right Spanish for your translations. 8. User Experience: Will you replicate the same site that you have for the general market? Does every service or product appeal to your localized target audience? If your website is very large, you don’t necessarily have to translate every landing page. If you decide not to, how do you plan to let the user know that the rest will be in English? Would an interstitial page be a good idea? User experience in the localized language should always be top of mind. 9. Registered Marks, Trade Marks, Names of Programs and Products: Will you keep those in English, or translate them? 10. Your Tagline: Will you keep it in English? Some big companies decide to keep their tagline in English around the globe. Others prefer to localize by country. In other words, they don’t translate it, but come up with a similar tagline that resonates better with the target culture. This is called transcreation. 11. Banners: Do you have static banners or do you frequently update them? Are you thinking of simply translating them, or would you like to have different messaging and promotions specific to your localized target audience? 12. Imagery and pictures: Are you sure that your current imagery for the general market resonates with the new market that you are trying to reach? Make sure to review all your pictures and select which will work and which won’t. That way you can start compiling new ones with lead time. 13. Videos: Would it be worth subtitling some of your videos, or perhaps providing voice over? 14. Telephone Numbers: Will you have different telephone number for clients who prefer to communicate in Spanish or any other language? If not, make sure that the translated site indicates that your customer representatives will serve them in English for the time being. 15. Keywords: You will probably want to optimize your site for SEO. Remember that translating all keywords might not the best strategy. It is best to use a Keyword Suggestion Tool to pick the right keywords for your localized site. 16. Dynamic Content and Error Messages: Do not forget about these. In our experience, this is a common oversight that jeopardizes deadlines. 17. If you are going global, you probably also have to think of converting format dates, measurements, calendars and currency. 18. Inform your translator in advance of any character limitation or space constraints. By doing so, you won’t need to later request that they edit and short the text. This is particular true when it comes to Buttons and Call to Actions. For instance, Spanish translations can contain up to 23% more content that their English counterpart. 19. Finally, make sure to include time in your schedule for a translation company to review your localized site at all the different stages: Development, Staging and QA environments. As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when translating a website into Spanish. We hope that these considerations will help you organize, implement and successfully launch your website in Spanish or multiple languages. Any additional questions? Please give us a call at 480.626.2926. We will be glad to help. We are experts at handling large-scale website translation projects from the planning stages to the go-live day. Language Concepts is a leading provider of comprehensive and certified translation services to advertising agencies, educational institutions, financial and insurance companies, food and beverage companies, market research companies, medical and health care providers, nutraceutical and direct selling organizations, media and marketing companies, television networks, among others.