In a commercial climate where 9/10 global users ignore products that aren’t available in their native language, businesses looking to prosper internationally are coming to terms with the fact that website translation has become less of an ‘if’ and more of a ‘must’.
This point is only accentuated by the latest statistics which show that only 25% of internet users are native English speakers. What this essentially means is that 3 of 4 internet users want to browse online and make purchases in languages other than English. So, from a commercial standpoint, creating a multilingual website simply makes sense. Translation forms the foundation of the overall localization of your website, but often the cost, complexity, and time-consuming nature of such projects can be off-putting.
However, the options at your disposal for undertaking multilingual projects have evolved greatly in the past decade with the emergence of new tech savvy solutions that can help streamline your translation workflow. So, in this article we’re going to take a look at how Weglot can help you improve your translation workflow when compared with traditional methods.
The Traditional Translation Workflow:
Before innovative multilingual solutions like Weglot were around, localizing your website through translation was quite the arduous endeavour. In essence, what it involved was the use of professional translators collaborating with both the localization and/or content managers in a given organisation.
In a typical organisation, the workflow began with the content manager sending excel files to the individual managing the company’s localization efforts. These files could contain thousands of lines of text and words demanding corresponding translations.
The next step in this workflow would be to distribute these files to professional translators. If a website was being translated to multiple languages, this often involved sourcing out many different professional translators – which in itself was a tricky task, especially for not-so-common languages.
This process often involved a lot of back-and-forth between the translators and localization managers, with the professional translators needing to verify the context of certain content to give the most accurate translation possible. After all this back and forth was completed however, the real work was only starting, as the company had to involve its web developers or hire some to work on integrating the new translations into their website.
Disadvantages of the traditional workflow:
Obviously, all of the above seems far from ideal and would likely dissuade anyone from wanting to undertake a multilingual project, The main weaknesses of this method included:
The cost involved: Hiring professional translators is an extremely expensive route to go down for your translation project. With an average cost of $0.08-$0.25 per word translated, this amount could quickly become colossal. For example, a website with 10,000 words could cost an average of $1200 dollars, and that’s only for one translated language! Double this if you’ve two, triple it if you’ve three and so on…
Time inefficient: Extremely costly on time, companies that need thousands or even hundreds of thousands of words translated into many different languages could find themselves in difficulty. With this traditional workflow, there’s a tendency to try to do everything at once to avoid back-and-forth situations. All in all, this could involve a laborious process of up to 6 months to get all the content translated.
Difficult to monitor progress of translators: Given the nature of the traditional workflow method, communication between the organisation and the outsourced translators is difficult. The main weakness associated with this is the fact that you can’t give the translators feedback as they work, this could result in out of context translations or lots of back and forth – which wastes time.
Uploading all these translations: Even when you’ve all your content translated, there’s still the cumbersome task of uploading these translations onto your website. This involves either hiring web developers or using your own developers to build new pages. Often developers use duplicate pages and put the translated content within them, however this in itself is a difficult and time intensive task, and after all – hiring developers doesn’t come cheap! A better, cheaper option is to use language specific subdirectories or subdomains for your new translated content.
Not scalable: Another drawback associated with this approach to translation projects is that the solution isn’t scalable. For example, if you’re uploading new content you’ll have to start the process of contacting translators and developers again. If you’re an organisation that uploads new content regularly this is problematic.
The Weglot Translation Workflow:
However, with Weglot, you can greatly improve your translation workflow, in terms of both speed and cost thanks to the hybrid approach it takes to website translation. Combining both neural machine translation with human translators to bring you the best of both worlds.
The Weglot translation workflow works in the following way:
- Automatic content detection: Whenever you set up Weglot, it automatically detects all the content on your website, even content coming from other apps and plugins. Additionally, Weglot detects any new content that is subsequently added to your site and creates the translated versions for you immediately.
- Automatic machine translation: Following from the last point, all the content which was detected is automatically translated using a first rapid layer of neural machine translation. Again, even content from other plugins or apps will be automatically translated.
- Automatic publishing of content: Of course, you can opt out of immediately displaying your translated pages by leaving them in draft mode, but otherwise your translated pages will be published automatically. This can help you save time knowing Weglot will automatically publish the translated content, meaning you won’t require any coding or any time to manually create new pages for each language. They are accessible via a language switcher that will be automatically added to your site front.
- Manually editing/ adjusting translations: If you’re satisfied with the machine translation on your site, then your workflow is already complete. However, sometimes it’s helpful to be able to verify the translations and have the option to edit or adjust your translations.
Weglot has an intuitive translation management interface that allows you to quickly and effortlessly make any manual adjustments to your machine translations. Once you make an edit, it’s applied automatically on the live website, meaning you won’t need to achieve this through hiring developers or a web agency.
- Collaborating with team members
If you’re choosing to edit your translations yourself, it’s easy with Weglot to involve members of your team through our collaboration feature. This allows you to give access to other members of your team to the translation project, this allows you to easily divide the workload between many team members which will greatly improve the efficiency of your workflow.
- Collaborating with professional translators: If you choose to collaborate with professional translators, this too can help greatly improve your workflow. With this comes two choice, you can either:
1. Add translators to the project and allow them to work from directly inside the Weglot dashboard
2. Order pro translations from directly inside the Weglot dashboard
Advantages of Weglot translation workflow:
Cost Efficient: Machine translation is a more affordable option than professional translations, especially if you’ve got thousands of pages to translate. Machine translation is shown to be continually improving in accuracy and can be a great option to cut down on costs.
Weglot’s hybrid approach to translation is particularly advantageous; in this way you can have your whole site translated and then have the most important pages or content reviewed by professional translators to greatly reduce your translation project outgoings.
Time Savings: With Weglot, whether your site has 100 or 100,000 words, you can have a multilingual site up and running in 5-minutes. The ability to automatically detect, translate, and publish your translated content can save you literally months of time and effort, streamlining your translation project workflow.
SEO purposes: While it may not be directly related to your translation workflow, SEO is another consideration to make after you’ve gone multilingual. Your now translated web pages need to be optimized for search engine purposes to help you get more traffic in foreign language markets.
Fortunately, Weglot is an SEO friendly solution that automatically sets up language specific subdirectories or subdomains (depending on your CMS), automatically translates your metadata and adds hreflang attributes which are all important for ranking well on SERPs!
Scalable: Each time you upload new content onto your site, Weglot automatically detects, translates, and publishes this content meaning you’ve a fully scalable solution at your disposal. Forget about contacting translators and developers each time you wish to make an update.
As the world becomes more globalized and more businesses look to translate their sites into many different languages, the importance of an optimized translation workflow is more important than ever.
Weglot provides an innovative translation solution that enables you to strike the balance between cost and time efficiency, allowing you to tackle new language markets in a seamless process. Going multilingual no longer has to be the painful and elaborate process it once was and can be achieved easily with the right translation solution.
Get started: Try out Weglot’s 10 day free trial to get your localization strategy off and running and see how simple it is to optimise your translation workflow!