So we’ll skip the part where you need to be convinced that translation is important – let’s say you don’t need to be convinced. Instead, we’ll focus on the things to be checked before you get started and things that can make your way easier.
What ARE you going to translate?
First, it’s up to you to decide whether you are going to translate the entire website or just a few pages or some key sections. It is often better to split a huge project into tangible manageable parts. Try to see the task from your Russian customer’s perspective – you might have some existing data to use when making a decision. Try not to forget about the texts that are not on your website but can be downloaded – things like marketing reports, whitepapers, presentations and handbooks. They might be just the most demanded thing that you have on your website, and they do seriously affect the time and cost of translation.
How is it going to work?
Once you’ve decided to translate your website you now need to figure out the technical aspects. Beyond the text part, a website is a complex system with code, strings, media content like images and videos, banners, service messages, etc. Today, you can expect your translator to be comfortable with editing XML or working directly in your site’s CMS. If your contractor is not able to provide you with this service, you’ll need to spend extra time getting the translated content back onto the website, using your admin’s or content manager’s time.
What happens when someone that doesn’t speak English contacts you?
Once you are virtually present in the Russian-speaking environment, be ready that you will be contacted by people who don’t speak a word of English. Do you have sales and support staff who can work with Russian-speaking customers? It is vital that the incoming inquiries are redirected to the right people and handled appropriately. Luckily, with remote work gaining popularity, virtual staff can be hired in any corner of the world.
Today any web content has an ultra-short shelf life. The audience needs fresh stuff published constantly, and you need to feed them this stuff if you don’t want to be lost in the white noise. Social media has driven online communication so intense that it has to be daily, if not hourly. So among all other things you might want to think how you are going to manage the ongoing translation of smaller and lighter texts published on you blog, or Facebook page, etc.
Should you use a professional language service provider?
It is vital that the person who translates your content already understands your business or is willing to take the time and get familiar with it. Try to make sure the translator you hire understands what the texts are about, offer a test piece to more than one contractor, and ask them to review each other’s work.
Have fun and get a satisfying result!