Pages in topic:   [1 2] >
First time (hopefully) translating a website: techinical part?
Thread poster: Nele Van den Broeck

Nele Van den Broeck  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
Aug 8, 2015

I have discovered a website that has not really been translated into my native language yet (a very very small part of it has been translated, but it's not enough). I do believe it would be useful to have this website fully translated into my native language and want to propose the owner to translate it for him (look for my first direct client let's say).

I have translated Word, Excel, Powerpoint and PDF documents before (both during my MA Translation as well as afterwards), but have not yet translated a website.
Is it any different? Stupid question but: can only someone who makes websites translate a website? I mean: do I have to know how to put it in "website format" or can I just deliver the translated bits of website in Word or something like that? How does website translation "work"?

I just want to be sure that I actually can deliver the translation, before proposing to translate the website obviously... The language part and translation part are not what scares me, I am familiar with the content of the website and know I am able to translate it. I just don't have a clue about the technical part of website translation. For me, it might be really more difficult than translating a Word document, but maybe I'm scaring myself over nothing as well...


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Rodrigo Castillo H.
Chile
Local time: 05:17
English to Spanish
Options Aug 8, 2015

You have two options:
1) Extract the translatable text from the website, save it as a text file (Word, txt or any similar format) and translate that file. And leave the rest to the client.
2) Ask for the source files (HTML, PHP, ASP...) and translate them with your preferred CAT tool. As far as I know, most, if not all, CAT software can translate these formats. CAT tools will show you only the translatable text. The process should be fairly straithforward, however issues might arise that could require at least some basic understanding of HTML.
Hope this helps.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:17
English to Russian
+ ...
You don\'t have to be a web programmer, but you\'ll need to understand the site internals Aug 9, 2015

Leaving aside the viability of your business model, I\'d say you are opening a can of worms. First of all, you don\'t really know the magnitude of your task. Some text on the site may not be directly visible when you browse, appearing only when some conditions are fulfilled. Moreover, besides HTML files (or other files being transformed into HTML on the fly, e.g. PHP), translatable text may appear in scripts, applets, Flash animations, back-end databases, you name it... Accordingly, you can\'t quote a price or even assess whether you can actually do this project until the programmer who wrote the site prepares for you a full set of files that need to be translated and explains the additional requirements (e.g. text strings length limitations). Furthermore, the content of most sites changes from time to time, so you\'ll need to translate not only the site as it stands now, but also its future updates. Finally, all of the above assumes that the site is already multilingual (with only your target language missing), otherwise the programmer will need to create a multilingual infrastructure before your translations can be put to use.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Ashutosh Mitra  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:47
Member (2011)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Yes...! Aug 9, 2015

Anton is absolutely right!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:17
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Not a webmaster Aug 9, 2015

I\'m a translator - not a webmaster. When my clients want me to translate a website they send me all the text as a series of Word files. I don\'t even have to ask - they just do it.

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 08:17
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Get the client to do the website side of things Aug 9, 2015

I translate websites for an agency that sets them up or improves them for end clients. The first time, they insisted I simply paste the text into Word files. I wasn\'t happy but did as asked. The agency came back some while later complaining that not everything had been translated. I felt bound to do the other bits for free. Next time, I insisted, and they provided the texts. No complaints this time but a request for some extra work, urgently. We both learnt from that.

I\'m sure you can learn HTML etc, etc. But do you really want to? If you don\'t, then ask for Word files. But you will have to be prepared for your client to say they can\'t get them or it\'s all too much hassle, or expense.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nele Van den Broeck  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Still doubting Aug 9, 2015

Anton:
The site is already multilingual.
When you watch the original French version, you have the full text with entrance price and a lot of explanations.
They have developed a button which you can click to get to a (not really existing) Dutch version of their website. However, only the titles are translated and a Dutch interested person cannot even read the entrance price etcetera... None of its content is translated, only the \"titles\" of the website\'s parts.
That\'s why I do think they want a Dutch translation, but have not got around to it yet.
Due to their location, I am sure that they get French and Dutchspeaking visitors, so it would be highly interesting for them to have their website translated into Dutch (and I really want to translate this website, it looks like really fun, but only if the technical part isn\'t making it too hard for me).
Oh and I have even spotted some language errors in their very brief Dutch translation (in total they have translated 15 words, one of them is completely mistranslated).

Tom & Sheila: It would be really great if I could get and deliver their content into Word documents.
Do you think I can ask for this?

Do you think it would be a good idea to send an e-mail directly to the owner, saying (simplified ofcourse and I will e-mail in French):
\"Dear (owner),

I\'m Nele Van den Broeck, a freelance translator French > Dutch and I have noticed that at the moment your website is only available in French and very very limited in Dutch. Due to your location I supposed you might be interested in a fully translated Dutch version of your website in order to attract more Dutch speaking customers.

If you are interested in my translation services, please contact me and we will make further arrangements.

Kind regards, ...\"

And if they would be interested I can then ask them to send me their website content in an easier format (such as Word) and talk about rates, deadlines and so on?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Member (2014)
French to Danish
+ ...
CAT tools and html/xml Aug 9, 2015

Some CAT tools may be able to handle the html and xml files directly. Just check that they do it properly before you try them on clients.

I used MemoQ to translate a web page on my own site, but the resulting, translated html was a gigantic mess. Html and xml source code programmers nearly always format their code with line breaks and indentations to be able to keep an overview, but MemoQ disregards all that and joins several tags originally on separate lines into very long lines that can\'t even be displayed in many html editors, as html and xml are line-oriented formats. The result is not unlike if someone went into your office and emptied all your drawers onto the floor in one, big heap.

MemoQ also changed some of the html code, changed the code page declaration, changed the symbols, and inserted erroneous syntax elements.

I wasted 1-2 hours cleaning up after MemoQ. I would have been furious, as a client, to receive such a mess from a translator.

MemoQ support\'s reaction so far has essentially been \"we don\'t give a damn because the resulting code will be rendered correctly by a browser, and you don\'t need to be able to overview your html, because that\'s what we have decided\". They don\'t understand the need to keep the original formatting. One gets the impression that support staff have never coded a single line in their life, as they react as if one tried to explain to a snail how to fly.

Does anyone know of a CAT tool that can handle html without returning a dog\'s dinner?


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Kevin Dias
Local time: 17:17
SITE STAFF
It will greatly depend on the website Aug 9, 2015

Hi Nele,

First off, I would say I agree with Anton and would definitely not make a blind quote as it is very difficult to know the extent of the material that needs to be translated just by visiting the site. That said, I think reaching out to the site owner with an educated proposal could be a good way to win your first end client.

Most likely if it is a small company, the website translation process is probably very manual. The site owner would send you some content (maybe in a Word document) and you would send it back and the site owner would incorporate it into the website.

More sophisticated site owners might use software that is tailored to making site localization easier. For example, a tool like webtraslateit.com makes it easy for site owner's to upload their localization files. Each programming language tends to have a slightly different format or way to handle localization, but sites like this tend to make it easy to handle each of those different formats.

For larger sites with a bigger budget, translation proxy might be an interesting option. The localized content is handled by a 3rd party and stored on a 3rd party's servers. This makes it easy for site owners to localize content without having to do a lot of programming themselves. Some of the more sophisticated options also make it very easy for translators as you can actually translate the content on the site itself (for an example of what I mean by this, see this video around 0:55 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNktVJWz2hQ). This makes it easy to make sure that your content fits any space / visual constraints. One example of a company offering this type of service would be Smartling.

In my opinion if you want to win the job and convince the site owner to localize his/her site, your most important task is to explain:

1) What kind of ROI the site owner could see on localized content. I'm sure all site owners would love to have their site translated in every language, but it costs money, so your job would be to show them that by translating the site into your native language they could potentially see x% ROI.

2) The various options for localizing content. A site owner may not know of their options to localize content. If it sounds technically difficult they might not want to even entertain the idea. If you research some of the options I mentioned above and you can advise the client on different localization options, this expertise might help you win the job.

Kevin

[Edited at 2015-08-10 04:18 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Anton Konashenok  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 09:17
English to Russian
+ ...
The existing translation may be a Google Translate output Aug 9, 2015

Nele Van den Broeck wrote:

The site is already multilingual.
When you watch the original French version, you have the full text with entrance price and a lot of explanations.
They have developed a button which you can click to get to a (not really existing) Dutch version of their website. However, only the titles are translated and a Dutch interested person cannot even read the entrance price etcetera... None of its content is translated, only the \\\"titles\\\" of the website\\\'s parts.
That\\\'s why I do think they want a Dutch translation, but have not got around to it yet.
Due to their location, I am sure that they get French and Dutchspeaking visitors, so it would be highly interesting for them to have their website translated into Dutch (and I really want to translate this website, it looks like really fun, but only if the technical part isn\\\'t making it too hard for me).
Oh and I have even spotted some language errors in their very brief Dutch translation (in total they have translated 15 words, one of them is completely mistranslated).


Judging by what you describe and even by the fact that it\'s a button rather than a link, I strongly suspect the site has no multilingual infrastructure at all, and the button in question is merely invoking Google Translate on the page. In other words, the site owners opted for a free solution instead of paying their programmer and a translator to do it properly. Doesn\'t look good to me.


Direct link Reply with quote
 
philgoddard
United States
German to English
+ ...
In my experience... Aug 10, 2015

you have to send out a very large number of such emails before anyone responds. Like any marketing campaign, 100 emails may yield only one job. But good luck!

Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:47
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
But would it make business sense to them? Aug 10, 2015

Nele Van den Broeck wrote:

I have discovered a website that has not really been translated into my native language yet (a very very small part of it has been translated, but it's not enough). I do believe it would be useful to have this website fully translated into my native language and want to propose the owner to translate it for him (look for my first direct client let's say).


I doubt if that is the way to approach these things. Quite aside from the difficulties or issues involved in translating a website, the real question would be, do they really want their website done in the language you are proposing? It would depend on the amount of business they can generate by making available their website in that language. If it won't make much money, they won't go for translating it into that language. And if it really could make money for them, they would have already commissioned the website translation, assuming they are astute businessmen and can see the opportunity in this direction. And, assuming again that are astute businessmen, and yet haven't commissioned the website into this language, it implies that they have already evaluated this possibility and have concluded that this doesn't make business sense for them. In such a case, you will have a hell of a lot of convincing to do and from a point of view of profits and businesses.

As I see it, this is more a marketing task than a translating one. It is not sufficient for you to think that it would be useful for this web site to be translated into your language, the owners of the site also need to concur that it would be profitable or beneficial to them to do this.

So what you need to worry about first is how you would convince them that this makes a good business proposition for them. Worrying about the nitty-gritty of translating a website will come after that, and can even be outsourced to professional website translators, if the project you are able to land as a result of your marketing effort is large enough to justify this.

In your correspondence to them you should spell out a business plan how translating their website into Dutch will be profitable to them and how your translation fee would be a very small part of the windfall they would reap as a result of making available their website in Dutch and will continue to reap for years to come.

My experience is that the Dutch market is not large enough to justify investments like a separate website in that language. Most Dutch companies aim for larger markets like the US, rest of Europe, China or India. And this opens up new vistas for you. You could offer to translate their websites into languages common to all these geographies by hiring professional translators in these languages for the job, and you can perhaps offer Dutch as a bonus, and do that part of the translation yourself.

[Edited at 2015-08-10 05:19 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Nele Van den Broeck  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:17
French to Dutch
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think I didn't give enough information... Aug 10, 2015

Anton:
The "button" I meant was a Dutch flag, as you can see on a lot of websites, that directs to a link ofcourse... I'm really sure that they did not use Google Translate, their "translator" just chose the wrong word. But it definitely sends you to the (merely existing) Dutch version of the website.


Balasubramaniam L.: I'm sure it would make business sense to them.
I think I need to explain a bit more...
This "company" doesn't aim at the US or China... because it is a theme park.
They have a minizoo, some attractions (mostly directed to children), a park, some eating and drinking stands, a playground,...
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and a smaaaalll part of Belgium German. The theme park is located in the French speaking part,but really near to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Most of the Belgian small theme parks at least have their website available in Dutch and French, especially when they are that close to our "language border".


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Balasubramaniam L.  Identity Verified
India
Local time: 13:47
Member (2006)
English to Hindi
+ ...
Even then... Aug 10, 2015

Nele Van den Broeck wrote:
Balasubramaniam L.: I'm sure it would make business sense to them.
I think I need to explain a bit more...
This "company" doesn't aim at the US or China... because it is a theme park.
They have a minizoo, some attractions (mostly directed to children), a park, some eating and drinking stands, a playground,...
Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and a smaaaalll part of Belgium German. The theme park is located in the French speaking part,but really near to the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. Most of the Belgian small theme parks at least have their website available in Dutch and French, especially when they are that close to our "language border".


If you analyze the visitor profile of this park, you are sure to find that substantial number of foreign tourists - Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Indians, French, Italians, and so on - will be visiting it, or could potentially visit it if properly marketed.

Also, the Dutch may not constitute such a large proportion of the total visitors, and even if they do, probably they understand enough English to not require a separate Dutch translation. But The Chinese, Indians, Italians, Japanese, might really be benefited if the website is made available in their languages. They could then look it up online before they visit Belgium and add it to their itinerary.

The point is, the Dutch visitors may not even be requiring a separate Dutch translation, as most of them would be familiar enough with English.

[Edited at 2015-08-10 07:58 GMT]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:17
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Oh, then it's easier Aug 10, 2015

Nele Van den Broeck wrote:
However, only the titles are translated and a Dutch interested person cannot even read the entrance price etcetera... None of its content is translated, only the \"titles\" of the website\'s parts. ... That\'s why I do think they want a Dutch translation, but have not got around to it yet.


Well, one of the biggest problems for you would have been whether the site can easily be published in more than one language, and since they already have a "Dutch" section (albeit without content), it would seem that that would not be a problem.

Oh and I have even spotted some language errors in their very brief Dutch translation (in total they have translated 15 words, one of them is completely mistranslated).


Perhaps that text was temporarily inserted by the web designer?


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Pages in topic:   [1 2] >


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

First time (hopefully) translating a website: techinical part?

Advanced search







memoQ translator pro
Kilgray's memoQ is the world's fastest developing integrated localization & translation environment rendering you more productive and efficient.

With our advanced file filters, unlimited language and advanced file support, memoQ translator pro has been designed for translators and reviewers who work on their own, with other translators or in team-based translation projects.

More info »
Déjà Vu X3
Try it, Love it

Find out why Déjà Vu is today the most flexible, customizable and user-friendly tool on the market. See the brand new features in action: *Completely redesigned user interface *Live Preview *Inline spell checking *Inline

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search