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Website Localisation: What value does it really add?

Website Localisation:
What value does it really add?

Whilst looking at a potential client’s website, I recognised straight away that they were missing an essential element or capability. The webpage was French in origin and had tabs at the top of the homepage for the customer to view the content in English, German, Russian and Arabic. I immediately asked myself why it had been decided that a Spanish version would not be required. Of course, this could be due to the Company having few Spanish-speaking clients or no real presence in Hispanic countries. The very fact that a company has recognised the benefit of translating its webpage into multiple languages clearly suggests that they understand the importance and ‘value added’ of offering this additional means of communication to their site.

Out of professional and personal interest, I instinctively delved a little further into the pages and started down the line of producing a translation into Spanish of their Homepage. My aim was to complete this task and send the product to a contact of mine at the company, as a means of demonstrating with what relative ease My Language Hub could perform this task for them.

To my dismay, I discovered that each of the translations or language options offered a slightly simplified version of the original French content instead of a good and robust translation conveying exactly the same information with as much of the same style and nuance as possible. I quickly went from admiring the Company’s vision in identifying the need for a multilingual site to recognising that the initial concept had been completely undermined by performing this task in a cheap and wholly unsatisfactory manner in which, for example, an English customer with nothing more than a smattering of French could immediately see that the English version lacked a great deal of detail and depth.

The moral of this story is: if you are going to do something, it pays to do it right. A laudable desire to allow non-French speakers access to their website resulted in a product which did nothing more than label the company as lazy and prone to cut corners.  Furthermore, they appeared to be oblivious to the negative impact their efforts had ultimately achieved.

Here at My Language Hub, we pride ourselves on the level of translation that we consistently provide. Our in-house proofreading ensures that nothing leaves our offices, bearing our company logo and name, without being something about which we are proud.

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