Website translation case study: The King Charles Hotel
Website translation is one of our core services, many of our clients have website translation needs, often driven by a desire to market themselves internationally. better languages serves SME customers as well as larger clients, and a good example of a small website translation project is the work we completed for the King Charles Hotel, in Gillingham, Kent. The client had an existing UK website, and wanted to create mini-sites to attract customers from neighbouring European Countries. We discussed the relative merits of separate sites with in-country hosting, or a single UK site, in the end the client decided to go for a mixture, and asked us to translate a number of key pages into German, Flemish, and French.
We are often contacted by clients asking for their full website to be translated, and whilst we are happy to do this, it is often a good idea to think through the key messages that you want to convey. Cutting content will save on translation cost, and also save on developer time in putting the website together. If you look at the King Charles site, you will immediately see that there are more pages of English content, this is quite deliberate by the client, for example special events wouldn’t be particularly relevant to overseas visitors, so why include the page?
This type of approach is also relevant to e-commerce sites. Where a client is seeking to sell internationally, they may have a different product mix for a given international market, or they may want to give country specific information, for example localised distributor information.
In the case of the King Charles Hotel, there wasn’t a great need for search engine optimisation, as potential clients would tend to be looking based on location, it was therefore important that location information, and an idea of the surrounding area was included, for example proximity to Chatham, Gillingham, and Rochester.
The approach taken to providing the translation, was that we worked from an agreed set of content from the UK site, we then provided the translations in a word format, with pdf copies, which allowed the client to verify correct display of accents and special characters. Once the translated versions of the site had been prepared, we then checked and signed them off. This is a really important part of the process with websites, as it is very easy for errors to creep in when pages are coded. Even with content managed pages, it is possible to have cut and paste errors. More complex sites can also have issues with things like hidden text, or alt text not being included, and extra bits and pieces therefore being needed by the client. We can turn round small amounts of text very quickly, but it is important to plan for this kind of contingency, including allowing time for corrections and alterations.