You may think that your medium or small local business does not need translation services if you are not working with international clients. However, it is important to keep in mind that as of 2007, 20.8% of American households did not use English at home. Offering online solutions for clients who speak languages other than English can help your business grow and reach more potential customers. Translation companies offer several internet solutions to turn your company into a multi-lingual business. Below are five of the top ways to utilize translation services to expand the language capacity of your business.
The basic solution to reach more languages involves website translation. This involves taking the content that is currently on your website and making it available in multiple languages. Users usually switch between languages via an icon at the top of your website.
The benefit of website translation is that you can choose which parts of the website you would like translated. For instance, you may choose to translate your contact page, home page, and products pages, but save money by not translating your product reviews or blog posts.
Localization services take website translation a step further. When a user visits your website, their locale is determined and the general settings on their browser is used to determine what content in which language they see. For example, one person may only see deals in their city in English while a client from another city sees deals in their city in Spanish. This customizes the experience to the user, allowing each individual to get the most out of your website.
Multilingual Email Support
Multilingual email support usually involves an ongoing relationship with a translation team. A client will write you an email in whichever language they prefer. You will then forward that email to a translation team and they will send you back a translated copy of the email. You will then respond, send it back to the translation team, and they will forward the translated response directly to the client. For this type of service, you will generally have to pay a monthly retainer fee and then also pay a fee for each email that is translated.
Multilingual Feedback or Comments Boxes
Similar to a translation email service, multilingual comments allow users to use any language they prefer in the contact fields on your website. This is then translated into your language of choice before it is sent to you. This is often better than email translation because contact forms not in your preferred language can be automatically forwarded to your translation team, saving you time. Additionally, you can choose whether to use a translation bot or a live translator, based on your need for accuracy.
Real Time Translation
Real time website translation services may not be immediate, but they can usually happen within an hour or a day. This involves a plugin that is integrated into your content management system. Then, any time you add content to your site, it is automatically forwarded to your translation team. They translate the content into your site's other languages and then upload the translated content to the appropriate language pages. Although this option can be considerably more expensive than other options, it allows you to have a multilingual blog or forum that can be easily read and understood by all of your users.
Even if you are not an international company, having multilingual options on your website can lead to happier clients and more revenue for your company. If you are unsure of where to start, you should talk with a translation company, such as Liaison Multilingual Services, Inc.