5 useful resources on website translation


A List Apart article ‘Translation is UX’ by Antoine Lefeuvre (tweets at @jiraisurfer). This is one of my favorite articles about translation for web. It discusses a number of website translation-related questions and issues:

  • why machine translation will not make your users happy (or will leave them extra unhappy),
  • how to do translation well and how a not-so-great translation might kill a great design,
  • examples of the “foreign-first” approach
  • how to do a “quick and dirty” market and/or usability research
  • how to collaborate with translators (with stress on creating style guides).

Additional information in the Translation is UX manifesto at: http://translationisux.com/.


Website translation: choosing languages to go world-wide by Jon Wedderburn, WorldAccent Translation

Several questions are discussed in this article: why translate your website at all and how to determine which languages to translate into with a breakdown by markets and web users.

Take-away: the content you publish should never be fuzzy, hard to understand or plain wrong.


How to localise websites: choosing the right content by Dorota Pawlak

Dorota Pawlak specializes in localization and has published many articles on this topic. This article is a step-by-step guide on choosing content for each target market and creating a user-friendly experience (what do users want to know?).


The ATA Compass article ‘Hello, world! Quality website translation is your entry pass to a global market by Michael Schubert

How to achieve world domination via website translation?

Easy, if you follow the tips from this article on preparing website copy for translation and for planning updates. An important point – it does not have to be difficult.

Take-away: Develop a partnership with your translator


Translation best practices via Smartling

If all you need to translate is a 5-page website, you’ll quite possibly get by using spreadsheets or working with text embedded in your code.

However, for a dynamic multi-langugage website this approach can quickly become counter-productive. On Smartling’s website you’ll find a wide variety of content pieces on website translation best practices, as well as on ‘why’ and ‘how’ of translation, including a detailed questionnaire that will help determine which languages to translate into.

Other blog topics

Ekaterina Howard, English and German to Russian business, marketing and real estate translations

Ekaterina Howard, Pinwheel Translations

English to Russian and German to Russian translator working with business, marketing and real estate materials. ATA and CATI member.