Turning a Website into a Global Portal Through LocalizationNovember 8, 2019 No Comments
Featured article by Madison Smith, Independent Technology Author
Every day, billions of users from all over the world are accessing the Internet through their computers, mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices. The majority of them will have no problem using a website that is in the English language, but there are many who will either have a hard time scrolling through an English language product or who would simply prefer visiting a website that is in their own language. Considering that the word “many” used above translates to hundreds of millions of Internet users on a daily basis, it feels like the only way to make a website globally accessible is by localizing it.
Explaining Website Localisation
Many people confuse the process of localisation with the process of translation, but in reality, localization is much more than that. It is applied in the contents, in the tone of voice used, in the structure of the website, in CRM communication and even in promotions. For example, Canadians and Irish players who visit casino.com, will have no problem using the website, but the customer experience will be much better if they automatically have their currency, their country of residence or even their time zone pre-selected when they create an account.
The quality of the customer journey is not only measured by the process of creating a new account. Localization can also reach the commercial part of the product. Websites can have different promotions depending on where their visitors are coming from. For example, a visitor based in Britain might expect different promotions than a visitor based in South Africa. Analytic tools are a good identifier of what a specific audience likes or dislikes about a website.
Localization and Translation
Correctly translating a website is not an easy task. Languages do not follow the same rules and on many occasions, syntactical structures are completely different. For example, in English, a basic sentence structure would be “subject – verb – object”, in Korean the same sentence would follow a “subject – object – verb” structure and in Arabic the exact same sentence would be “verb – subject – object”. Although this might seem as a simple task, implementing these changes and all their requirements in a coded environment is extremely hard.
On top of worrying about security issues such as proper encryptions and the prevention of cyberattacks, website developers and editors need to work around complicated issues such as the editing of tokenised contents, the implementation of variables for specific grammar rules and the finding of font types that can accommodate every language. The localisation and the launching of a website for a specific territory might also imply following specific publishing regulations set by a country’s or territory’s authorities. This means that a legal team will need to investigate what can and cannot be published on the localised version of a website.
Is the Localisation of a Website Really Necessary?
Many will ask if the cost in time and money for the internationalisation of a basic English language website is worth it. It is true that the majority of the visitors will understand most the information found on the website, but if a website owner wants to establish a long and potentially profitable relationship with the website’s international audience, then localisation is something worth investing in. The one thing that is certain, is that a multilingual website will require a lot of work both for its development as well as for its maintenance.