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1. Localisation and Translation of Websites

In addition to simply translating the content of your web pages, we specialise in the full localisation of websites. The advantages for you as our client speak for themselves:

  • Depending upon the technical structure of your Web pages, all we require is the URL of your website. We download the files from your server, translate and process them, and then send you the complete website in the new language. Should you require, we can also adapt your images as appropriate (subject to certain criteria and at extra cost).
  • You receive an exact copy of your website in any language (s) of your choice.
  • You do not need to worry about adapting the layout, page titles, keywords, etc. We take care of everything for you!
  • You do not need to calculate any extra costs for the complete localisation of the text content of your website. All you pay is the regular line price for the translation.
  • We offer advantageous conditions for updates and alterations. In concrete terms, this means that you only pay for the translation of any new or edited contents.

The translation work can also take place directly in your CMS system (this requires the installation of, for instance, the Localization Manager l10nmgr für TYPO3). This can be used to export new content for translating and then importing the translations back into your system.

We also offer complete translations of WordPress websites – both front end and back end (i.e. we translate those WP components for which no translations are available from the developer).

Machine translation services

Machine translations such as those provided by Google Translate may be free and occasionally of quite a good quality, but they are totally inadequate for a professional website.

Not only that: machine translations will cost you money. To find out why, continue reading here.

2. Software Localisation

The localisation of your software involves several elements, which are parts of a single process. After all, your software application consists of different components, which can only be viewed as a whole when they are merged into one:

  • The program itself (only seldom translated, as interaction with the user takes place via the GUI)
  • The graphical user interface (GUI)
  • The help files and the online help
  • The printed documentation
  • The Readme file
  • The packaging

In order to create a professional end product, it is absolutely vital that the individual components are translated in the sequence described above. Several rules need to be heeded in order to produce a perfect translation of your software:

Leave the translating to professional translators

  • Have the GUI translated first
  • Make sure that the documentation is translated in the correct sequence
  • Apply a professional approach
  • Include the correct screenshots in the document files to be translated
  • Remember the Readme file
  • And don’t neglect the packaging!

Leave the translating to professional translators

Many project managers think that they can cut costs by giving a text which has been translated in-house to a translator, who then “just needs to make a few corrections”. This is the wrong way of going about things! Our experience has shown that:

  • In 5 out of every 10 cases, the product of this method is, to put it bluntly, only fit for the waste bin.
  • In 7 out of every 10 cases, it would have been cheaper and quicker to have the text translated from scratch by a professional translator than to have the in-house translation proof-read and corrected. The client does not save any time or money, as the employee charged with the translation – irrespective of how long he may have spent abroad –needs many more (naturally paid) hours to translate the text into what is, for him, a foreign language, than does the experienced translator translating into his native language. Answering the frequent enquiries from the translator is also a much more time-consuming exercise than it would appear at first glance.
  • In 10 out of 10 cases, it is necessary to edit and correct the translation to a varying degree.

Have the GUI translated first

You can only be certain of obtaining a consistent translation if you entrust a professional translator with the entire project. This allows him to familiarise himself with the software and its functions and give him a feeling for the application, which, in turn, flows into the translation. It is absolutely imperative that the GUI is finalised and approved before work commences on translating the documentation. The quality of the final result will suffer immensely if the translator is repeatedly forced to go back over what he has already translated. The GUI is the most important element of the software, as the user must become acquainted and familiarise himself with it in order to be able to use your software effectively. This can only be achieved if he feels at ease with the GUI and is able to understand the commands and menus right from the very outset. A software application which forces the user to solve riddles at every turn will simply not be accepted, and will be very quickly deleted from his hard disk.

Make sure that the documentation is translated in the correct sequence

The sequence used for translating the printed documentation, the help files and the online documentation may vary slightly. In most cases, the printed manual is the final part of the jigsaw, as formatting, designing the layout and inserting the screenshots is a more time-consuming task. The contents of the help file and the online documentation are usually to a large extent identical; the printed documentation is derived from this, and may also contain more detailed information.

Apply a professional approach

The professional translator works with a TM (or Translation Memory) tool such as Trados or Déjà Vu. This method offers several advantages:

  • It ensures consistency, as previously translated sentences or terminology can be automatically integrated in the translation.
  • It accelerates the translation process and reduces the workload.
  • The format and layout are retained in their entirety.
  • Edited documents can be translated much more readily and quickly as the original text can be automatically translated.

Include the correct screenshots in the document files to be translated

Translating software documentation can be reduced to a very trying and time-consuming exercise if the translator needs to repeatedly ask the client how the commands or menu options are to appear in the final version, and only because the file he is translating still contains the original screenshots. The documentation, comprising the help files, the online help and the printed manual, is the second most important element in the translation of your software, and in many cases is actually as important as the GUI. Less experienced users in particular rely on a correctly and comprehensibly translated version of the original documentation.

Ian Diggance Übersetzungen