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Advice needed to translate a website into 7 languages
Thread poster: Eyma

Eyma  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:19
English to Haitian-Creole
+ ...
Jan 14, 2008

A client of mine wants to have his real estate website translated in a number of languages. Not having any experienced in that area, I would like some feedback on how to advise him. He had tried Babelfish and , as expected, was very dissastisfied with the results. Should he hire an agency? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

[Edited at 2008-01-14 16:52]

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Maria Ramon  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:19
Dutch to English
+ ...
7 languages..., which ones? Jan 17, 2008

If you could be more specific as to which languages and how many pages on the website, I might be of help.


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Irene Schlotter, Dipl.-Übers.
Local time: 14:19
English to German
+ ...
Eyma - Babelfish et al Jan 19, 2008

Hi Eyma - I think you know the reply yourself and so should he. If he tried Babelfish (which is only a tool and cannot replace human translators) and ended up dissatisfied then the next stept would be to put a translator's team into charge - or an agency.

What I don't understand: You have a client at hand who requires translation into 7 languages and you ARE A TRANSLATOR. How about hand-picking a team of experienced native speakers and doing it yourself? Ideally, the translation team members would all use the same translation tool (Trados, Wordfast, Transit ...) so that later on you have memories for all seven versions.

HTML pages are not complicated to translate. There are certain rules that need to be respected (for diacritic or national characters etc.), and the sites HAVE to be tested, whether you are experienced or not. You never know where truncations turn up, whether input fields are too long/too short, whether labels fit, etc. But that is part of the normal procedure. Also, you should have a look at the original to see whether it allows localization in the first place. Apart from that you need to know whether there are flash animations etc. included.

So: What are you waiting for? This might be the perfect chance to strengthen your business relationship to the customer and to take business to the next level. Just talk to him and let him know that you are interested even though you are not experienced in the field. If you know the website you could already have a look at it and do some research. Also, as Maria said: Which are the 7 languages? I might be of help, too.

Apart from that: May the force be with you! And, btw, I wrote my final paper of translation studies on Trinidadian English-based creole. That was highly challenging, but greatly interesting and - above all - lots of fun!

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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:19
Member (2003)
German to English
Babelfish? Jan 19, 2008

This is more of a project management issue than a language issue. This is what a good agency excels at. Which agency will depend in part on the language mix, however. If you have a small agency you trust and work with regularly, you might propose working with them to your client. I would stay away from the larger agencies like name deleted or other name deleted to avoid Divine wrath. Smaller shops tend to give better personalized service, and they seem to treat their translators better.

If your client thought to use Babelfish for the job, he/she is going to need a lot of guidance, so a good PM at a good agency may be just the right medicine.

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Milton Guo  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:19
English to Chinese
+ ...
Proz team Jan 23, 2008

Your client can pick up translators from to do the translation into 7 languages, all of us here are translators ready to serve the needs of your client:)

I can do English to Chinese translation if required.

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Eyma  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:19
English to Haitian-Creole
+ ...
Thanks so much for feedback Jan 24, 2008

I want to thank you all for the fine suggestions you gave me. I'll present them to my client and see which one he chooses. It's good to know how others more experienced in the field are handling these opportunities. Thanks again.

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