Website Translation: DIY vs Hiring a Language Service Provider
August 23, 2022
5 min read
Translating a website is a significant step for any business. Having your digital presence seen in multiple countries shows growth in a monumental way.
In fact, because you’re reading this article right now, there’s a pretty good chance you’re already at that stage - or will be soon. And it can be complicated work researching not only the logistics of website translation but deciding which direction is best for you and your business.
Should you hire a Language Service Provider (LSP)? Or stick to good old Google Translate and the like - surely a DIY option is robust enough to spin out your content into multiple languages?
Now, we’re not saying we should be the ones to deliver it for you, but we hope that by the end of this article you’ll have a clearer idea of what an LSP will give you versus the results of a DIY approach.
With just a simple copy and paste, you have your newly translated content ready to go. You can also translate multiple languages in one sitting, seemingly saving you a lot of time.
But the levels of accuracy these tools provide can be extremely low and inconsistent across languages.
This means you’re likely going to be left with a jumbled content offering that’s hard to understand and gives little value to the reader. Which isn’t the greatest of first impressions for anybody new who’s landing on your website.
DIY Translation Tools Struggle with Context
DIY tools can’t translate context, which is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to launching your business in a new country.
The details and nuances that make your brand unique should be interpreted accordingly so they can be shared and celebrated across a new region.
Also, there is such a concept as untranslatability, which is exactly what you think it means - there’s no other-language equivalent to sentences you already have on your website.
This is most likely to come about when certain terms and words are so interrelated that an accurate translation just doesn’t exist.
If you use a DIY tool, you won’t be able to pick up on any untranslatability. In fact, you won’t be able to pick up on any errors or things that may have gone wrong, as there’s no one to proof or sense-check the newly translated content.
LSPs Ensure Quality And Assurance
When accuracy is important - and let’s be honest, when is it not? - LSPs are worth their weight in gold. They’ll do your content justice by ensuring everything makes sense, flows nicely, and is free from errors. After all, you want your company to burst into a new area in the best possible light.
You’re going to be launching in new countries, so it’s important to make a great first impression, and that starts with branding and tone of voice. Both of which can be tailored and refined through an LSP.
Get Traction With Localization, Not Just Translation
LSPs can apply cultural context and capture the same meaning in translations as opposed to finding like-for-like words that may not actually mean anything. It’s that untranslatability at play.
LSPs focus on localization, meaning your translation is tailored to the nuances of your target market and not a one-size-fits-all solution. Culturally adapting your content in this way doesn’t just make for a great user experience, it can also save the expense of correcting mistakes further down the line.
A strong QA process is critical for any translation project. LSPs can also project manage to make sure timeframes and budgets are stuck to, taking some of the legwork off your plate.
Consider Your Industry
Plus - and this one’s a little niche but incredibly important - if your business is in the legal or medical industry, or you have product instructions or health and safety content to create, you have a whole other level of responsibility to provide accurate translations that make sense.
Some LSPs have their own industry experts on the team, meaning you can get specialist eyes across your content.
So when it comes down to it, in our opinion, quality over quickness wins every time. Of course, LSPs come with a price tag and aren’t as instant as a tap of the ‘Translate Now’ button, but your website content - and brand perception - isn’t something you want to rush.
Elevate Your Website's Global Reach
Contemplating whether to DIY or hire a professional for website translation? Let's discuss the best fit for your needs.
With LinguaLinx, ensure your website's message remains clear and true to its essence across languages. Benefit from our ISO 17100 and ISO 9001 certifications, two decades of translation excellence, and the unwavering trust of numerous organizations we've served. Make the right choice for your website's global journey.