Building Bilingual Websites

A bilingual website will increase profits over time. Building a quality website can take time and should be written in the language intended, not simply translated. But how can a company truly build a website that incorporates another language?

Building a quality bilingual website can take some time in order to ensure quality. When building an English-Spanish website, for example, it is important to create pages for both languages at the same time. When a website is created for one language and then translated into another language, some of the meaning is lost since languages have different words for different meanings. Straight translation will destroy some of the website's integrity and it will appear to have been translated as an afterthought. Since honesty and reliability are the measuring sticks of an informative website, proper translation is key to keeping traffic coming to the site.

The job of writing code for a foreign language usually falls into the hands of a translation services or localization provider who hires translators who are also experienced computer-code writers. Before beginning a bilingual website, give the translation services provider enough information about the audience they will be writing for. Cultural information, which includes common greetings, how dates are written, how outlines are formed, color scheme, alphabet, currency, and anything else that will appear on the screen, needs to be specialized for Spanish translation or other language translation. This is called forming a 'locale'. The translator will need to know which computer phrases, such as 'modem', or 'monitor' are universal enough that they can be used within another language.

After familiarizing themselves with 'locale', the website creators can begin to write. English to Spanish translation can be a lengthy process, but when done correctly, meanings are transferred flawlessly. To the person who is requesting a website to appear in a certain language, forms, email, and other components of the site will have to appear in the same language. Uniformity is another way people judge a website's credibility.

It is best to build a database of repetitive code that can be used whenever creating a bilingual website. This will make the translation process much easier and will keep mistakes to a minimum. Slang language in any country continues to change rapidly. If the website is geared toward young people, it is important to also keep the language current. A database can help ease confusion and also save time.

Bilingual websites are becoming more popular as companies continue to sell their products online in many different countries. By creating websites that are not merely translated from English, but created using other languages, people will buy products, ask for services, and return to the site again and again. That is, if you do your translation and localization right the first time.



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