Translation & Localization Services for Multilingual Websites


2020-03-16 14:08 lionbridge


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The terms website translation services and website localization services are often used so interchangeably, it’s not uncommon for marketers and others to be unaware of their differences.Understanding what distinguishes these similar terms, processes, and services does more than just benefit your knowledge of the industry. It also helps you (and your brand) extend your global reach more efficiently and profitably. To understand how website translation & localization services differ, let’s first define the difference between translation and localization. The difference between translation and localization Website translation Website translation is the process of changing an original (source) language version of web content such as text, multimedia, eBooks, or apps into a different (target) language. This occurs by simply substituting words from one language to another–in context. Website localization Website localization is a more specialized process of adapting your web content and applications for regional–or local–consumption. Website localization goes beyond translation to modify the source language and other site elements to appeal to the customer’s cultural preferences in his/her own target language. Bridging language barriers or adapting and refining messaging? With translation, problems of intent and clarity often arise if the source language remains in a primitive, word-to-word state. This can happen, for example, when machine translations aren’t followed by a professional editing cycle. However, even if a highly trained linguist translates a website’s source language, the translation may still lack the level of cultural and technical nuance required to effectively resonate with the new market. Indeed, the quality and effectiveness of a global website doesn’t simply depend on the translation process alone. To help ensure a quality customer experience, the top global brands employ a localization strategy to adapt their online assets for regional specificity. So, we can understand website translation as a simple utility for bridging language barriers. Conversely, we can view website localization as the way by which you refine your message to meet the cultural, functional, and language expectations of your global markets. Meeting cultural and functional expectations According to to Dr. Nitish Singh, Associate Professor of International Business at Saint Louis University, to successfully compete in today’s global economy organizations must adapt–or localize–website and digital media content to clearly resonate with their international audiences. “From a broad marketing perspective,” says Singh, “localization basically means adapting market offerings to best meet end-user expectations.” (Singh, 2015, pg. 7)* Some examples of cultural content include: • Colors, shapes, sizes, styles • Images, icons, graphics • Societal codes; e.g., humor, etiquette, rituals, myths, symbols • Societal values, power, relationships, beliefs Some examples of functional content include: • Date and time formats, telephone numbers, and contact information • Weights, measurements, geographical references • Language and linguistic content, product descriptions, reviews Taking a local idea global Some localization experts go beyond adapting web content so it caters to national or regional market preferences. In some cases, experts recreate or “transcreate” advertising and campaign messaging to maximize cultural appeal in local markets–and avoid potentially embarrassing or offensive communications. One example of transcreation is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign. Since its 2011 Australian launch that featured imprinting 150 popular first names onto its products (and in promotions across media), the campaign has seen global success. However, Coke needed to modify the execution in order to resonate globally. In China, for example, the campaign uses nicknames (i.e., “Classmate” and “Close Friend”) instead of first names. By respecting the formality with which the Chinese customer uses first names, this approach maintains the campaign’s friendly nature but avoids crossing an important cultural boundary. Choosing translation and localization methods by content types Finally, website translation and localization differ on a tactical level. Simple translation may be appropriate for some content types in certain markets. Localization is most often required for adapting highly emotive, creative marketing content so it clearly resonates across locales. Your website likely contains several content types, from marketing copy to legal and technical information and user-generated forum content. For reasons of efficiency and cost, it’s wise to map these to the most appropriate content translation or localization methods. It’s generally easier to select the best fit when you consider your audience(s) and the content’s nature and intent. Other parameters include volume, update cadence, lifespan, and budgetary considerations. Depending on your language service provider’s (LSP) capabilities, you have several options. When making these decisions, it’s best to consult an experienced professional translation company that offers a wide range of services and solutions. Streamlining web translation—and localization With sufficient planning, a focused website localization strategy—and an experienced LSP to help you execute on your strategy—your translation & localization services provider can deliver projects relatively seamlessly. But without proper preparation, the localization process can become a time-consuming, expensive drag on your business. Be sure to follow industry best practices to reduce complexity, speed time-to-market, control costs, and ensure quality localized content for all your global markets. *From “Cultural Customization of Digital Media: An Imperative,” The Definitive Guide to Website Translation, Lionbridge Technologies. Originally published on
“网站翻译服务”和“网站本地化服务”这两个术语经常互换使用。营销人员和其他人常常意识不到两者的区别。了解这两个术语、流程和服务之间的区别不仅有助于你对行业的了解,还能帮你(和你的品牌)更有效、有利地扩大全球影响力。 为了理解网站翻译和本地化服务之间的区别,让我们首先对翻译和本地化的区别下定义。 翻译和本地化的区别 网站翻译 网站翻译是将文本、多媒体、电子书或应用程序等网站内容的原始(源)语转换为另一种(目标)语言的过程,即直接在上下文中把一种语言替换成另一种语言。 网站本地化 网站本地化是一个更专业的过程,使你的网站内容和应用程序适应该地区或当地消费需求。网站本地化不仅仅是翻译,还要修改源语言和其他网站元素,以迎合客户在其目标语言中的文化偏好。 跨越语言障碍,还是调整和改进信息传递? 在翻译过程中,若直接字对字地翻译源语,那么在表达意图和清晰度上便会出现问题。这是很有可能发生的,如当机器翻译没有进行专业的后期编辑程序的时候。然而,即使一个训练有素的语言学家翻译了一个网站的源语,其译文仍可能在文化或技术层面上出现无法与新市场产生有效共鸣的瑕疵。 事实上,一个全球性网站的质量和效率不仅仅取决于翻译过程。为了帮助确保高质量的客户体验,全球顶级品牌采用了本地化策略来调整其在线资产以适应地区特性。因此,我们可以把网站翻译理解为一种简单的跨越语言障碍的工具。相反,我们可以将网站本地化视为一种方式,通过这种方式,你可以细化你的信息,以满足全球市场对文化、功能和语言的期望。 满足文化和功能方面的期望 根据圣路易斯大学国际商业副教授Nitish Singh博士的说法,要想在当今的全球经济中成功地竞争,组织必须适应——或者本地化——网站和数字媒体内容,以便与国际受众产生明显的共鸣。辛格说,“从广泛的营销角度来看,本地化基本上意味着调整市场供应,以最好地满足终端用户的期望。”(辛格,2015,第7页)* 一些文化内容的例子包括: •颜色、形状、大小、风格 •图像,图标,图形 •社会规范;如,幽默,礼仪,仪式,神话,象征 •社会价值观、权力、人际关系、信仰 一些功能内容的例子包括: •日期和时间格式、电话号码和联系信息 •重量,测量,地理参考 •语言和语言内容,产品描述,评论 把本地化的想法推广到全球 一些本地化专家为了让产品迎合国家或地区的市场偏好,除了调整网站内容外,还做出其他调整。比如,在某些情况下,专家会重新创造或“创译”广告和活动信息,最大限度地提高在当地市场的文化吸引力,并避免原文造成的尴尬或冒犯性语句。 一个使用创译的例子就是可口可乐公司的“分享可乐”活动,其内容是在产品上印刷150个受欢迎的名字(通过媒体进行宣传),自2011年在澳大利亚发起以来,该活动在全球取得了成功。然而,可口可乐公司需要修改活动策划,因地制宜,以便能够引起全球共鸣。 例如,在中国,该活动使用昵称(即“中国制造”)。,“同班同学”和“亲密朋友”)而不是名字。通过尊重中国顾客使用名字的礼节,这种方法保持了活动的友好性质,并且没有在文化上“越界”。 根据内容类型选择翻译和本地化 最后,网站翻译和本地化在战术层面上是不同的。简单的翻译可能适合某些市场的某些本文类型。而使用本地化常常是为了让营销内容更具创意,富有激情,可以和打动各地的人。 你的网站可能包含多种内容信息,从如营销文案到法律和技术信息,再到用户生成的论坛内容。出于效率和成本的考虑,最好对这些内容采用最合适的翻译或本地化方法。 当你考虑到你的受众和内容的性质和意图时,选择翻译还是本地化方法是比较容易的。其他参数包括音量、更新频率、寿命和预算考虑,这些取决于你的语言服务提供商(LSP)的能力,你可以有多个选项。在做这些决定时,最好咨询有经验的专业翻译公司,他们会提供各种各样的服务和解决方案。 简化网站翻译和本地化 经过周密考虑后,你需要一个专注的网站本地化策略以及有经验的语言服务提供商(LSP)来帮助你执行,你的翻译和本地化服务提供商可以相对无缝地交付项目。但是,如果没有适当的准备,本地化过程十分耗时,费钱,拖累你的业务。 请务必遵循行业最佳实践,以降低复杂性、缩短上市时间、控制成本,确保高质量的本地化内容能投入到所有的市场里。 *摘自《数字媒体的文化定制:势在必行》(Cultural Customization of Digital Media: An Imperative)——狮桥科技(Lionbridge Technologies)网站翻译权威指南。首发于 译后编辑:杨安训(中山大学)