By Cathy Dew
Going Multilingual - Why is it a good idea?
The Internet gives you an immediate global presence, but your local area is also home to multiple languages. Are you missing out on explaining your goods and services with a significant percentage of the local population? You can expand your business reach immediately by providing key pages and downloads in alternate languages. Using Kentico as your CMS, providing a Multilanguage web site is no longer a cost prohibitive endeavor. It just requires a bit of planning and, of course, some extra work as you make updates to your website, but it’s no longer the huge time and energy endeavor and therefore cost it used to be.
Bring multilingual pages to your web site is not adding Google Translate to your web site. While that is an option, you are not going to see a clean translation of your web site. What we are going to discuss today is the proper integration of translated content into your business web site.
Different Types of Multilingual Setups
There are two primary design philosophies when it comes to building multilingual sites. One is to provide a “clone” of your website for each language you wish to support. This setup type creates multiple websites under your primary web site. The CMS tools assist you in keeping pages and content in-sync as the primary site is updated – but what if you need custom content and pages on the translated sites? The Mini-me method starts to break down and become an editorial time sink as your try to keep track of all the different variations of each page and section.
The other design option is to make each page responsible for its own multilingual content. Our design preference is this way, which is also Kentico’s multilingual management method, making each individual page multilingual. The immediate benefit of having each page in control of the language display is that you don’t need to convert your whole site at once, and your default language will be displayed for those pages not yet translated. Additionally, tracking and translating is done in the same page hierarchy as your primary site and you can see quickly which pages need translating and updating as content is added and changed on the primary site.
Kentico, if you go with the EMS version, also has excellent integration with translation services using its own workflow engine that can help you automate shipping the content to a translation service and picking it up as it’s completed.
Translation Options and Services
With the simplification of the content editing and multilingual admin control, the cost of multilingual sites is in the translation of your content. Unless you have access to a friend, colleague or family member that is familiar with proper translation of content, you will need to look into a paid service. As mentioned previously you don’t want to rely solely on Google Translate for your translation services. And while friends and family are helpful and they can’t provide the breadth of services of a good translation service.
Cost and customer services are two primary qualities you are looking for and NWI Global has an excellent article on how cost is determined for translation services.
In summary, you can pay by the word, by the page or by the hour. The pricing model that best suits your needs has to do with the language needed and the type of content being translated as well as the approximate word count. One important point on the word count is you can be charged by the source word count or the translated word count, make sure you know which direction the charges are being assessed from.
Roughly, you are looking at 25-cents-a-word plan or $250 per 1,000 words translated. You can get better rates based on volume, but your biggest cost is the initial translation of the website.
Lastly, NWI Global discusses making sure your translation service uses a Translation Memory System (TMS) in order to facilitate and homogenize your translations over time. Your custom TMS is even transportable between vendors.
In our next post, we’ll discuss how to plan for a Multilingual site and how to setup Kentico CMS and Kentico EMS to support your multilingual efforts. Can’t wait for the next blog posting on Multilingual integration into your web site? Not a problem.
2Plus2 is a Kentico Gold Partner and would love to help you get the most out of your Kentico system. Go online to schedule a free consultation with our team or call 510-652-7700 today.