Website Translation Questionnaire – What you need to know before translating your website

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Website TranslationIn our years of experience as professional translators and interpreters there have been common questions that our clients have asked us over and over.

One of the most sought after questions about website translation, also regarded as Web page translation, is:

What do I need to consider to translate my website from English into Spanish?

The answer is not that simple. In fact, it is so complex that we decided to compile a set of questions that will help you understand the implications behind translation services.

These questions, even though geared towards English to Spanish translation and vice versa, also apply to any translation process where there are 1) a source language (e.g. English) and 2) a target language (e.g. Spanish).

Take the time to carefully review, analyze and respond each of the questions before you decide to translate your site.

And if you are looking for professional translation services from English to Spanish or Spanish to English, please contact our sister company Spanish Translation dot org to request a quote.

a) English to Spanish Translation Process

The following flowchart shows the entire translation process used by Spanish SEO. A detailed explanation of this translation process will follow up this article.

b) Website Translation Questionnaire

The following are the most common questions that correspond to each specific phase of the English to Spanish translation process shown in the flowchart above.

I. Translation Preliminary Assessment

  1. What is the main purpose or activity of your website?
  2. What are you expecting to accomplish with the Spanish version of your website?
  3. Are you focusing on the worldwide Spanish speaking population (globalization), a specific geographical region/country (regionalization) or a community of Spanish speakers within a region/country (localization)? For statistical information visit our Spanish speaking population report
  4. Are you planning to use neutral Spanish, better for globalization purposes, or a localized version of Spanish, better for localization purposes?
  5. Do you have the financial resources to hire a translation company or translator to work on your project?
  6. If so, will your budget allow you to finish the translation of your website and other related offline material as deemed necessary?

II. Translation Technology

  1. How would you supply the translation material: MS Word, HTML, XML, CSV, PHP, other?
  2. In which format would you like the translation to be delivered: MS Word, XHTML, other?
  3. Do you have an exact number of words to be translated? If so, what is the total count?
  4. Do you have the average number of words per page and the total number of pages to be translated?
  5. Do you use a Translation Memory? If so, which one?
  6. Do you have any graphics or flash objects that need to be translated? If so, how many?
  7. Do you have the masters and/or layered versions of the graphics? If so, can you provide a copy?
  8. Will you recreate the image or you prefer us to do it for you?
  9. Do you have localized graphics that will be used in combination with text?

III. Website Internationalization

  1. Is your content dynamic or static?
  2. If your content is dynamic, what kind of CMS (Content Management System) do you use?
  3. If you use a CMS, have you installed in your site the user interface localization module, plugin or file?
  4. If your site was custom made, is it ready for internationalization?
  5. Have you tested your site with the target language? The target language is the language to which you are planning to translate
  6. Do you have a localization kit?
  7. Translating from English into Spanish will increase text from 20% to 30%. Is your layout ready for those changes?
  8. Can your graphics be changed to incorporate the new text? Will that affect your layout?
  9. Are you currently using any translation plugins or automated translation tools in your site?
  10. Do you use flags or text to link to languages and geographical locations?

IV. Brand and Verbal Image

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Are they technology savvy people?
  3. How do you write for them, in a formal or casual style?
  4. What is the image you would like to convey to your audience?
  5. Do you have a translation glossary?
  6. Do you prefer to translate any acronyms, abbreviations and brands mentioned in your content?
  7. Do you have any additional offline material that can be used as a reference?
  8. Does your offline material need to be translated too?

V. Search Engine Optimization

  1. Do you have a list of keywords that people use to find your site online?
  2. Have you conducted keyword research in Spanish?
  3. Do you have semantically grouped core keywords to be used in the translation copy?
  4. If so, have you tested those keywords in search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN Live via PPC?
  5. Is your code optimized for international languages?
  6. Do you know where to host the translated version of your site, in a new domain, sub-domain or sub-folder?
  7. Will you host the translated version of your site in a local or international hosting company? If so, where?
  8. Do you understand the implication of translated websites in the local and global search results?
  9. Do you understand what geotargeting is?
  10. Is you competition already using Spanish translation to target the same market?
  11. If so, how difficult do you think it will be to outrank them?

VI. Language Support Services

  1. How many people speak the target language (Spanish) in your organization and how fluent they are?
  2. Do you have the capabilities to communicate with native speakers of the target language in the event someone contacts you inquiring information about your products or services?
  3. If so, how will you communicate with them, verbally over the phone, or in writing via email?
  4. Do you have the manpower to provide support and information in the target language beyond the initial contact? Think about customer service, technical support, legal questions, and other business related needs
  5. If you have the manpower, to which extend will you provide support and for how many hours a day?
  6. How are you planning to market to the Spanish speaking population?
  7. How are you planning to incorporate new content in Spanish? How frequent?
  8. Do you have the skills and/or resources to market your products in Spanish?
  9. Who will provide maintenance to your translated content in the event you need to make some changes in the future?