Monday, September 20, 2010

Meaningful Trans-Created Website Translations

Current business practices dictate that most companies will use websites or some kind of online presence to market their business. In most cases these sites are nothing more than online brochures. But websites are more than a place to share basic knowledge and services; they are marketing vehicles that should be driving business through your door and directly to your cash register.

Online analytics gives us the ability to track our website visitors and tweak the information we present in a way we never could before. Which leads to a very important question... should we offer translations of our website?

Content in your website is like location to a Realtor. We log onto the internet to find information, to research products and read reviews... among many other things. Providing the best, easily accessed information puts you at the top of the search engines and increases the likely hood you'll be found by your prospects.

According to an AOL study, most Hispanics consume online media in English. This makes a lot of sense because most of the internet's content is in English, 27.6%. Chinese websites come in second with 22.1% and Spanish ranks a distant third at 7.9%.

This study also tells us that almost 50% of new (over the last 7 years) Spanish speaking American's "prefer" to surf the net in Spanish. However, the general consensus in the Hispanic community is to mistrust translated websites.


Most sites are literally translated instead of meaningfully trans-created. Free services and instant online translations add to the general misgivings about the accuracy of the content provided and instead offer a feeling of being undeserved.

Knowing how easy it is to create a misunderstanding in the English language with simple punctuation - IE the famous "eats, shoots and leaves" vs. "eats shoots and leaves", thank you Lynne Truss, you can imagine the issues and confusion that may arise with a literal website translation.

The message your website conveys has meaning and so must the translation. Investing in a trans-created website will provide your visitors with information in a way it was meant to be received and will position you as an expert in your field to the audience you are trying to attract.

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