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The Power of Website Translation
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By Lucinda Cassamassino

Expanding Horizons
Have you ever dreamed of selling your product or service all over the world, to millions and millions of customers who have created a demand you are expanding daily to fulfill? Perhaps your goal is simply to broaden your existing customer base to include members of some of the largest immigrant populations who may or may not feel comfortable enough in English to use your shopping cart or read your testimonials. Whatever your ultimate goal, translating vital pages of copy into any one of the most popular modern languages (such as Spanish, French, Arabic, Japanese, and more), can bring a host of positive results.

Goals
The first thing is that you will undoubtedly attract the non-native-English-speaking target market that you were trying to reach. Next, your company will appear confident and competent in the global marketplace. Many of the largest companies in the US and abroad have either their entire website content available in at least two languages, or at least the most critical pages available in translation. The hospitality industry, for one, would be lost without the art and science of translation. How can an Englishman travelling to Madrid expect to find that cozy little bed and breakfast he had his heart set on unless he books in advance and understands what he paid for?

Lost in Translation
Now that you’re sold on the need to implement at least some foreign language copy into your English language website, remember the importance of a quality translation. It is crucial to your business’ success to not have native-speakers laughing at your poor attempt at self-translation. A dictionary and an online automatic translator are not enough. You need real people, not machines, to generate your translation. Only the human brain can understand the complexities, the nuances, the intentions and the evolution of the spoken word. If your site is about 20 pages in English, you’d probably want to translate the most necessary pages first – for example:
  • product or service information pages
  • request form or shopping cart page
  • thank you page


Quality Translations
Once you’ve determined the quantity, then search out a quality professional translation company. Choose a company with strong roots in the international community and one that has done translations for a variety of industries. Also, be sure that the translation company you pick has been established for at least 5 to 10 years and makes use of the expertise of a variety of qualified individuals – from university professors to certified native and non-native speakers or highly educated bilinguals. Remember, a college student with a foreign accent is not necessarily a competent professional translator!

Foreign Language SEO
Plus, what’s even better is when your translation company has its own foreign language internet marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) staff. That way, you can get your site translated and measure the foreign language leads your new translations are earning you, without any data getting lost in transit between your SEO company and your translation company.

Foreign Language Outsourcing
Once you’ve entrusted your translation to the professionals, it’s time for some self-criticism. Will you have the appropriate bilingual staff to respond to non-English language results from your bi-lingual effort? If not, you may need to consider keeping your favorite translation company’s phone number on speed dial, or simply keeping them on a monthly retainer. This way, you can get access to the important information in foreign language communications without the inconvenience of hiring additional staff or putting unnecessary foreign language course requirements on existing employees.

If you think you’re ready for your company to embark on its international adventure, there is no better time than the present to search out a quality professional translation company such as Lucechiara Translations, Ltd. of New York (www.lucidtranslations.com).

Lucinda Cassamassino is President and CEO of Lucechiara Translations, Ltd., with offices in Oakdale and Sayville, NY. She is a native bilingual speaker, has mastered 7 world languages, and is an accomplished university professor and small business owner.

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