Client Has Asked Me To Translate Website Into Other Languages- Don't Know How

23 replies
Hi all,

I have an outsourcing business where I essentially project manage webdesign, marketing campaigns, seo and so on.

My skill set is in organising, negotiating, planning etc I have very little technical knowledge beyond basic troubleshooting..

I have developed a site for a client in a fairly technical engineering field and they are going to start exporting to Europe and are asking if I could set up French/German/Dutch versions of the site. Its about a 40 page site.

How would you go about doing this? Hire a French developer a Dutch developer etc etc? Or is there an easier way of doing this? I assume there are Wordpress widgets that translate but i imagine these are average at best, especially if the language is of a technical nature.

I dont really want to say I can't do the job as it could be a decent profit and potentially lets another web expert get access to my client.

Any advice please?

Thanks
#asked #client #languages #translate #website
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Hire a web designer/coder, or tell them that's beyond the scope of your expertise. And dont worry if they get mad.... you'll still get more clients besides them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tommyg123
      Thanks Randall.

      I would like to give it a go, but not sure where to start. I outsource all my jobs on Upwork and have a team of guys in Pakistan that do the work. They are great at creating visuals but absolutely useless at anything technical or that requires attention to detail. I guess you get what you pay for. I was just wondering if there were any short cuts such as maybe install a widget that translates and then get a translator to proof read?

      Or would i need to hire a french web designer to do the french version, german web designer to do a german version? There has to be an easier way?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

        Or would i need to hire a french web designer to do the french version, german web designer to do a german version? There has to be an easier way?
        If you already have the basic design, why do you need web designers to simply translate the content to other languages?

        Just hire translators who are bilingual in the original language and target language, and pay them to do the translations. Then use your regular guys to plug in the content.

        Translation gizmos are fine for things like getting the gist of a news story or blog post, but for a commercial site, there's nothing like the real thing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

        Or would i need to hire a french web designer to do the french version, german web designer to do a german version? There has to be an easier way?
        No you need a coder since it seems your designers are more visually oriented than technical. If ALL content is in wordpress then you need less assistance but remember you need to do more than just translate. You need to make sure pricing is right, you may need to change photos and if you want Search engine traffic then you may even need to rewrite a little bit of it (A LOT of the times word for word translations don't convey how things are said in another culture) for search words etc. Even for social marketing

        Usually when a company wants an entirely different site they want to have different messages based on that local marketing focus. So its not just about translation and in some cases may call even for slightly different designs and/or copy.

        I dont really want to say I can't do the job as it could be a decent profit and potentially lets another web expert get access to my client.
        Yep. In my opinion you pretty much have to take the job. Saying no not only sends them to someone else that can - it communicates that you are limited as an option for all their future needs.
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  • Profile picture of the author davidricherd
    You have to take help from your web developer to design & develop website in multiple languages at a time.
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  • Profile picture of the author ctrlaltdelete
    If you're really set on it, do the job and hire a developer (or a bunch of them) who can speak in the languages that you need. Sure it's gonna cost you a bit but it's a good investment if you want to make a decent profit, right? It'll do good for your rep if your business has the capability to develop websites in multiple languages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tommyg123
    Thanks guys. Just to clear up a few things, money isn't an issue, I make a profit regardless as I just add a percentage on to whatever I'm billed for the profit. I was just unsure what the process would be.

    One "cheaper" option (to make it more palatable to the client) was google translate and then get a translator to edit the google translate. So any foreign visitor can use the google translate function and see a website in their language.

    Is it possible to edit how google translates your website?

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

      Is it possible to edit how google translates your website?

      Thanks
      Far as I can tell as a user, no -- you can't edit how Google translates, nor any of the other mechanical (bot) translators.

      If you really want to see what happens, try going:

      Native language >>> Second language >>> Back to native language.

      Whether you hire translators or developers is up to you, but a human who understands context and culture will yield the best results for things like sales pages.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

      One "cheaper" option (to make it more palatable to the client) was google translate and then get a translator to edit the google translate. So any foreign visitor can use the google translate function and see a website in their language.
      Why not just ask the client how important these separate sites are so you can get a sense of budget?? Google translate can make some errors. I wouldn't want my company's whole site in a language based on Google translate if I were making good money from those customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author Aktex1
      Originally Posted by Tommyg123 View Post

      Thanks guys. Just to clear up a few things, money isn't an issue, I make a profit regardless as I just add a percentage on to whatever I'm billed for the profit. I was just unsure what the process would be.

      One "cheaper" option (to make it more palatable to the client) was google translate and then get a translator to edit the google translate. So any foreign visitor can use the google translate function and see a website in their language.

      Is it possible to edit how google translates your website?

      Thanks
      I would under no circumstances do that!

      Sorry, i am doing a lot of translation jobs from english into german (since i am a german), and some send me a translation from google to proofread. When they do that, i tell them, that i can't proofread it, since german is a hard language, and google isn't really doing a good job at all in it. Even as a native german, i can't understand, what google spit out there, and have to ask than for the original english version, because than i can make any sense out of it.
      I have made also translations for websites directly in the source code, but it is a lot of work. Just to give you a heads up from the translation standpoint.

      Best regards

      AkteX1
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    I don't know how it's done but this seems to be what you're looking for:


    Here's the site: https://www.nirvanashop.com/

    Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    If the client just wants multiple languages on the same site thats not too hard

    basically the other languages are stored in a database and based on a conditional (if button clicked or IP location detected) it accesses the database of the content in that language.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

      If the client just wants multiple languages on the same site thats not too hard

      basically the other languages are stored in a database and based on a conditional (if button clicked or IP location detected) it accesses the database of the content in that language.
      Wouldn't that solve this:

      asking if I could set up French/German/Dutch versions of the site.
      Brent
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    Hire someone on Upwork and earn the difference.

    Not go with automatic translators unless you wont lose the job.
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  • Profile picture of the author PPG19
    There is no need for you to hire a developer since your website is wordpress based you can do it easily yourself by installing a plugin called WPML. With this plugin you can translate word by word using string translation.

    Concerning the translation itself i think your client should be the one providing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      As John McCabe said, you don't need anyone with web design skills. You need someone with language skills.

      Originally Posted by PPG19 View Post

      There is no need for you to hire a developer since your website is wordpress based you can do it easily yourself by installing a plugin called WPML. With this plugin you can translate word by word using string translation.
      Automated translation (i.e. WPML or Google Translate) won't do a professional job. I speak English, German, and Spanish and can tell you that language translation is NOT word for word. In all 3 of these languages, word translation is only part of the task. There are significant differences in sentence structure and understanding the original text is important when it comes to determining when to apply the appropriate "formal" vs. "familiar" word translation.

      To insure the best translation, get a different translator for each target language and supply each of them with the original (English?) text as their starting point.

      Once you have a decent translation in each language, you will probably need a coder (as suggested by Mike Anthony) to set the site up to recognize the desired language (i.e. via IP address or user selection) and render either the original (untranslated content) as the default, or the appropriate translation in the desired language.
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      • Profile picture of the author PPG19
        Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

        As John McCabe said, you don't need anyone with web design skills. You need someone with language skills.



        Automated translation (i.e. WPML or Google Translate) won't do a professional job. I speak English, German, and Spanish and can tell you that language translation is NOT word for word. In all 3 of these languages, word translation is only part of the task. There are significant differences in sentence structure and understanding the original text is important when it comes to determining when to apply the appropriate "formal" vs. "familiar" word translation.

        To insure the best translation, get a different translator for each target language and supply each of them with the original (English?) text as their starting point.

        Once you have a decent translation in each language, you will probably need a coder (as suggested by Mike Anthony) to set the site up to recognize the desired language (i.e. via IP address or user selection) and render either the original (untranslated content) as the default, or the appropriate translation in the desired language.
        WPML is not automated translation. WPML uses "string" translation and you can either translate word by word, or pick up sentences or all entire pieces of content and translate them one by one manually. Very easy. There is no need to hire a coder for the ip redirect based on country or browser language. There are hundreds of ready made plugins that do that and if i am not wrong WPML as that option too.

        I agree and suggest to hire professional translators to translate the content from the main language into the other languages.
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  • Profile picture of the author gezhu
    Banned
    translate it using google translate then re-write the content
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Maybe I am missing something but why can't you just create a new subdirectory for each language? That is what all of the most popular sites in the world do with multiple languages.

    technicalsite.com
    technicalsite.com/fr/ = French

    Create easy links to switch back and forth to any language from any page. Done.

    If you haven't created a subdirectory before it will take you an hour to learn how and then 20 minutes to do it the first time. (Estimate of course.)

    Don't skimp on a human professional translator especially since it involves technical matters. Great translators know it involves much more than word for word translating like software does.

    Added: I don't mean you should ignore some of the other technical aspects Sid and others mentioned. I am just saying to get started may not be too hard and then get help when you need it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      I like Janice's solution, too...

      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      Maybe I am missing something but why can't you just create a new subdirectory for each language? That is what all of the most popular sites in the world do with multiple languages.

      technicalsite.com
      technicalsite.com/fr/ = French

      Create easy links to switch back and forth to any language from any page. Done.
      and with just a very little code you can set/check a cookie so that the language only has to be set when the first page is viewed by a visitor.

      It really doesn't take that much more space on the server, and it requires much less coding expertise than my more complex solution.
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      Sid Hale
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  • Profile picture of the author kmnkumaran
    you only need translators

    you can get on fiverr or freelancer

    plugins and google are not useful as they lose the meaning with word to word translation and non english languages when translated using plugins, always are very bad and meaningless

    you dont want to use such things for your clients

    you can get translators all over the web

    just google
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  • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
    I remembered a wordpress plugin being sold that could translate your websites into other languages, but i don't remember. You can do a google search for that.
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