In this article, we review the options of translating websites and sum up the pros, cons and costs involved for each option.
There are 3 options to localize a website:
1. Translation right in the customer’s CMS
** Process** Only a few CMSs are prepared to provide multilingual content. And even if they do, it is usually just a simple text box for every component where the translator - after logging in - can type the translation in, without seeing the context.
* No other system needs to be used, only the CMS itself * The translation is immediately available * The translation is stored in the customer’s CMS
* The customer needs to give the translators access to the CMS’s admin interface * The translators need to be trained about the CMS they have to work with * There is a risk of translators destroying the original content * The translation is done out-of-context * The CMS can not provide the necessary translation features (Translation Memory, terminology, consistency of the translation, automatic translation of the repetitions). As a result, extra time and efforts are needed, may end up with inconsistencies and poor translation quality. * Hard to estimate the amount of work of the LSP upfront * It is hard to follow and update the forthcoming changes of the language versions * Bleed-through: if there is new content, the visitors will see mixed language content on the site till the translation is done * If the CMS changes or is upgraded, all the translation might be lost * If new translators need to be involved, all the training should be held again
* Translation costs * Training for the translators to use the customer’s CMS
2. Using content connectors
** Process** The customer’s IT department extracts the source segments from the CMS and delivers it to the LSP in files. The LSP processes the file in their own environment, using their own CAT tool and TM. When the translation is done, the customer’s IT department gets the translated files and integrates it back to the CMS.
* The LSPs can use their own CAT tools, TM and familiar environment * The translation is stored in the customer’s CMS
* A customized content connector takes a lot of IT efforts, time and costs * If the CMS changes, new content connector needs to be developed * The translation is not instantly available * The translation is done out-of-context
* Translation costs * Customized content connector development
3. Using Translation Proxy
Process The customer uses a real-time translation layer (called Translation Proxy) on the top of the original website. Whenever a foreign visitor comes to the website, the traffic goes through the Translation Proxy. The Translation Proxy fetches the original content from the server, in the source language, as it is at the moment, then translates all the segments on-the-fly according to the uploaded Translation Memory, where the LSP has done the appropriate translation previously. When the Translation Proxy has translated all the segments on the page, it will be shown to the foreign visitor.
* The LSPs can use their own CAT tools, TM and environment * The translation can be done in the original context * No IT effort needed from the customer or from the LSP * The translation is immediately available * Works with any CMS * Adding new language versions is very simple
* The translation is not stored in the customer’s CMS
* Translation costs * Online Translation Memory storage for the source and target segments * Translation Proxy service
Beyond these 3 approaches listed above some mixed solutions also can be used, e.g., content connector with Translation Proxy to do in-context translation. In the next blog post we will drill down into the Translation Proxy approach in details.