Help...First Job: Website translation.
Thread poster: sophie victor

sophie victor
Local time: 16:33
English to French
+ ...
Jan 22, 2009

Hi there,

I have been asked to translate a website into French. This is my first job and before taking on the challenge I need to know if I can do it without buying any expensive software. Any advice or opinion would be much appreciated.



Thanks for your replies and apologies for my ignorance!
Will do some research and will be back with more specific questions!

[Edited at 2009-01-22 22:52 GMT]


Thomas Ochiltree  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
Member (2005)
Latin to English
+ ...
I see no special requirements Jan 22, 2009

If the website is, say, a Word based document I see no reason for any special requirements. It is the hyperlink that takes the viewer into the website but that is not your business. Once the viewer is there, the website is what it is. If it contains other hyperlinks just copy them and hit return and they will be established. Now if the customer expects a facsimile of the website with pictures, etc., then it is up to him to provide a Word document that you can overwrite. Good luck.


Alessandro Cattelan (X)
Local time: 17:33
English to Italian
+ ...
of course you can Jan 22, 2009

There's no need to have any expensive software to translate a website - or anything else, really. However, what you certainly need is some knowledge of what you'll be dealing with. What sort of site is that? What do you know about the technology that's been used to develop the site? Is it a static website (HTML) or is it a dynamic website (PHP, ASP, a database etc.)? Will you be working on the source files? If so, what formats and what file encoding will you have to use?

There might be many other questions to answer before you can actually understand whether you're up for this job or not.

If you're willing to give us some more details on the type of job you're about to accept, we might have some advice for you. The software to be used is the least important issue now (especially since there are inexpensive or even free CAT tools around). What is important here is how much you know about the technology involved in this translation.



Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:33
French to English
You asked for advice... Jan 22, 2009

Don't do it. If you don't know what software is needed to translate a website, then I presume you don't know much about websites, tags or entities. You don't even mention what kind of website it is.

You need to have some experience before delving into this kind of project.

It must feel great to finally get your first job, but you could really end up regretting it if you don't know what you're doing and things go wrong.

Keep looking for other jobs, and start training yourself for websites in the meantime, if that's what you want to do in the future.

Before I took on my first website job, I did of lot research on the internet. I read some html tutorials. I read the instructions for my CAT tool, and did some tests with my CAT tool, ran into some problems, and kept trying until I figured it out. I read through many forums to see what other translators were doing, and asked questions.

When I took on my first website job, I was honest with the PM and told him exactly what I just told you. He was an experienced PM who had done a lot of websites, and he was willing to give me a little guidance. Things went smoothly, I learned a lot, and the end client was happy. There is a first time for everything, but you need to be prepared for it, and your question here on this forum demonstrates that you are not prepared.

To answer your question, there are many CAT tools that can handle website translation, and the prices range from 0 to much more. I suppose you could handle certain types of websites with a plain text editor, but you'd still need to know which parts to translate.


Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:33
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
OmegaT, and regular feedback Jan 22, 2009

sophie victor wrote:
I have been asked to translate a website into French. This is my first job and before taking on the challenge I need to know if I can do it without buying any expensive software.

Since this is your first job, and you have don't have any experience in CAT, I would suggest you get OmegaT and use it to translate the HTML pages (assuming it is HTML). Tell the client that you can only translate HTML -- not anything else like scripts and images. If there are images to translate, tell the client you can translate them in MS Word but he has to recreate the images.

Good luck with your first job. I hope you break even.


ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Local time: 11:33
English to French
+ ...
A tip Jan 22, 2009

I have used this little piece of software back when it was free, and it seems to have evolved since then. In any case, this might be a great opportunity for you to try it - there is a free 30-day trial.

Cat's Cradle can be downloaded from:

I think you can take on this job. However, you will need to remember the following:

1. If you get HTML files to translate, make sure you keep the directory structure exactly as it was when you got it. Otherwise, hyperlinks may not work on some pages.
2. Make sure you can tell the content (text) and the code (HTML tags) apart. You need to skip translation on all tags, and sometimes, you will need to move some tags, for example, when only part of a sentence is bolded, you'll need to move the bold tags a bit to make sure they surround the phrase they need to.

Just make sure you check the output regularly, to see if everything looks as it should and to check that all links work and lead exactly where they are supposed to.

Good luck!

[Edited at 2009-01-22 23:44 GMT]


sarandor  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:33
English to Russian
+ ...
Sometimes, on-the-job training is the only way Jan 23, 2009

First of all, congratulations for landing your first translation job, even if you don't take it! We all had our first jobs, so don't be discouraged by naysayers - go for it!


Gina Ferlisi
Member (2008)
Italian to English
+ ...
websites and html Jan 23, 2009

A good way of checking the html structure is using this site to keep it exactly as it was when you got it :

Otherwise ask them to send you a word doc. many usually have got a copy in word, i've done many websites and 80% of my clients always send me the document in word, others use html which i usually prefer translating with tag editor in that way you are sure not to change the html.

It's not that difficult at the endicon_wink.gif))


sophie victor
Local time: 16:33
English to French
+ ...
Thank you guys! Jan 23, 2009

Thanks for your words of encouragement, they are very much appreciated after a long night (or should I say short!) thinking things through...

I will keep in touch.



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