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  1. #1
    SitePoint Guru etidd's Avatar
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    Question Writing Web Content for Other Countries - Do I Need to Translate Text?

    Hello all,

    This is a quick thread about writing for different countries. It is the question of whether an accurate translation of text is required or if the user already has something that translates the content automatically.

    I want to write content for people in Sweden who are looking for love online. Living within the United States of AmeriKa, obviously there is a very slim chance that I speak Swedish (or have even traveled to Scandinavia).

    If I do want to push content that is already translated, I will need to use something besides Google translator as that has a very limited database for translation.

    I'll see if I can find anything out there that already contains a valid answer.

    -Tyler

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot behati's Avatar
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    As a rule of thumb, I would say that usually translating text does pay off - generally if you reach say 25 people who don't speak english because you translated a text and they decide to sign up, you're likely to have already paid off the hours you put into translating content, especially if you're going to use an automated translator (though they are not always great).

    For Sweden in particular, you're likely to be able to get away with keeping content in english though, because the percentage of english speakers in Sweden is the majority of the population. I suppose if you want to be thorough, you would investigate who your target audience is and look at their education. If their education is decent, the chance that their english is good enough to understand your content will be quite high - with that being said, Sweden is a country that is generally considered as being "good at english", so the same approach may not be applicable if you're looking to expand into other countries where english isn't the native language

  3. #3
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    Etidd,

    I would say it depends on how important it is that your brand be taken seriously in other countries as to whether you spend the time, money and resources to translate all of your content. I say that because web based translation services do a pretty good job of changing things but they fail at catching context, subtleties of language and slang. You might be able to get the jist of what your saying across to foreign audiences but you may also end up sounding kind of silly.

    If you don’t get a lot of business in other countries right now, may its not worth the investment. If however you are starting to see an up-tic or you want to grow your business there, I think it would be better to have different versions of the site in other languages that have been professionally translated.

    The other factor you have to consider is that not all communication will be received in the same way in all parts of the world. For example McDonalds can’t advertise or practice the serving of beef in some areas of the world because it is considered morally wrong to kill a cow. Obviously that’s an extreme example but you don’t want to damage your brand because a translation tool made an English word into something offensive in another country.

    Hope that helps,

    Shawn

  4. #4
    SitePoint Guru etidd's Avatar
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    Both of these replies were beneficial.
    In my own research, what was the place that was most helpful? Well... Sitepoint! This thread was informative as well.

    -T

  5. #5
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    The old adage applies here, just as it has always done:

    The language of business is the language of the customer.

    In other words, if you are selling to Sweden, you need to sell in Swedish. This is a basic courtesy to your customer. It also means that you won't lose sales to those Swedes who cannot (or don't want to) speak your language.

    That said, what you should never do is to use an automatic translation tool in cases like this. Maybe one day these tools will be able to accurately and sensibly translate your material. But if you use them today, they will at best produce inaccurate content, and at worst make you look stupid. These tools are fine for informal communication between friends, or for getting a rough idea of what some foreign-language text means. But if you are doing business in a language other than your own, you should pay a professional translator to produce the text for you.

    Mike

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    i would suggest that u stick to english, u may loose some business but at least you will not make a fool of your self with incorrect translations.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru etidd's Avatar
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    For now, I don't have any money flowing in this marketing site, and I can't justify paying anything yet for professional translation services. I have no idea who to go to for it and the costs are probably steep.

    Google Translate is only useful when you want to know what a specific word is in another language.

    I thought many users already have automatic translation capabilities in their browsers. Maybe these translations are not very accurate as well.

    It looks like it's going to be written in English for the time being.

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    It looks like it's going to be written in English for the time being.
    Yes, that's probably the least worst thing you can do if you don't have the budget for a proper translation.

    I don't know if many users have automatic translation built into their browsers. It's more likely that they will submit the URL to a web-based tool like Google Translate. That will give them the same poor quality translation that you would generate if you used that tool yourself, but at least they can't blame you if the transalation doesn't make sense.

    Let's hope your business builds up quickly, and you will reach the point where you can afford to hire a translator. In the meantime, staying with English is better than nothing.

    Mike

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    How much does language matter to your customers? Not a lot.... English. A lot.... employ a native speaker.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fellrunner View Post
    .... employ a native speaker.
    We've already established that he doesn't have the budget for that.

    Mike



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    i get better ideas while going through all the posts here .. i was out of mind about he ask of translating the text as per the country speak but now have better idea about what does it takes actually to write for non English nations .. being an content writer it's important to me so thanks to all the people over this forum.

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    Writing Web Content for Other Countries

    It just awesome post..!!!
    A website content writer or web content writer is a person who specializes in providing relevant content for websites.Every website has a specific target audience and requires a different type and level of content.Content written specifically for a website should concentrate on a specific topic...
    Last edited by DaveMaxwell; Oct 4, 2013 at 05:45. Reason: fake sig removed

  13. #13
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    It depends in what language do you want to translate your site. If its for one not very big country and one language, i would say its not worth it. If your targeted audience would be bigger, for example you want to make a site for north and south america - your site should be in English (no problem) and maybe Spanish (because a lot of people speak this language there). Speaking about Sweden, I live near this country and i've been there several times, almost all of the people there know English quite well, so i don't think its a problem for them.


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