Slashing cost of a website translation: do I look like a Lannister to you?

This post is inspired by the recent rollout of a translation tool on the NAR website, hailed as enabling the association members to connect with foreign clients, provide better informational support for the non-US members and a better coverage of news on the US real estate market to the foreign clients. A lot has been said (including by the NAR members) against using automated translation tools for materials that might affect a brand’s image, but the problem remains: how do you reach foreign target audience without going bankrupt?

So, you do not have all of the gold of Casterly Rock to pay for a translation of your huge website into multiple languages. Is an automated translation plugin your only solution?

...and THEN roar!

...and THEN roar!

I would like to believe there are several other options.

1. Set and prioritize your goals

What do you need to achieve and cannot do so without having your content translated? Are you selling a product, a service, a lifestyle? Do you need to offer better informational support to existing clients or attract some new ones? Knowing this would help you determine the strategy. While you are at it, decide what absolute minimum of languages do you need based on the page visits or other internal data.

2. Cut ruthlessly

Now decide which content would give you the most bang for the buck in achieving these goals. Consider merging several webpages into one page dedicated to a specific language (product page + brief “About” + info on purchasing + T&C). Alternatively, create a summary of all your offers to serve as a gateway to your English-language content (as some colleges do). Creating custom white papers and ebooks also works, if you need to provide some basic information to attract your target audience.

3. Summarize

Industry news, company news or updates, or any other constantly updated topics also can be used - as summaries. If you need to stay in touch with your foreign target groups, consider pulling all of the updates for a certain time period into newsletters providing summaries (title plus a brief explanatory paragraph might be enough).

Do you have any tips or strategies on balancing the cost of translation with risks of brand damage? Share them in comments!

Ekaterina Howard of Pinwheel Translations works with real estate companies targeting discerning Russian-speaking real estate buyers. It is quite clear she has read George R. R. Martin's series way too many times

Ekaterina Howard of Pinwheel Translations works with real estate companies targeting discerning Russian-speaking real estate buyers. It is quite clear she has read George R. R. Martin's series way too many times

 

Ekaterina Howard, Pinwheel Translations

I work with real estate companies that want to attract discerning Russian-speaking real estate buyers.