Spanish Website Translation and Localization
Spanish Website Translation
Your website must be fully "globalized" in order to successfully establish and maintain an online presence in Spanish-speaking markets. Within the translation services industry, globalization refers to the basic process of creating a website that functions in any market in the world.
Spanish website translation has many complexities, and not every translation agency is equal to the task. When selecting a translation company to translate your website, investigate to make sure that your potential translation partner has capabilities in the following areas:
- Spanish Website Translators
Professional, native-speaking website translators who specialize in the specific professional and technical areas of your company should execute your Spanish website translation project. Professional Spanish website translators like this should be experienced with issues related to website translation in particular, such as proper translation of text in links, graphics, and optimizing text for search engines.
- Spanish Website File Formats
Spanish website translation projects usually involve many different file formats, regardless of their complexity. Your Spanish website translation company should demonstrate their capability to translate text from such source files as HTML/XML/XSLT, web application files, server side pages, APIs, Databases, CSS, Java scripts, PHP, ASP.NET, Web forms, Graphic files, or FLASH files. You will probably need to supply these files to your translation company by email or on a CD-ROM, by uploading to an FTP server, or by giving the translation company access to your website via login and password.
- Spanish Web Terminology
Spanish website translators should utilize translation memory tools such as Trados to translate the text strings that have been externalized from the various file formats. The result will be client-specific glossaries and terminology databases, which becomes the proprietary property of the client, ensuring consistent translations and efficient updates to future Spanish websites.
Spanish Web Content Management System (CMS)
Many types of multilingual web content management solutions support the Spanish Language and website localization, including:
- Ektron CMS 400 (.NET)
- EPiServer (.NET)
- WordPress (PHP)
- Microsoft SharePoint WCM (.NET)
- Umbraco (.NET)
Spanish Website localization
Spanish website localization is the process of adapting the language, appearance, and functionality of a website for Spanish-speaking markets. Experienced teams of localization professionals who work closely with your website designers should execute your Spanish website localization. These teams should adhere to proven best practices for website design and development.
While having your website localized for Spanish-speaking markets, you will probably discover that your associated print materials need to be localized as well. Provide your translation company with appropriate printed documentation and associated applications, which may range from PDFs, multimedia products such as FLASH presentations, or web applications such as online calculators or surveys. To offer a complete web experience to your potential Spanish-speaking users, all components should be correctly localized.
Whether your project is a complex, dynamic, database-driven Spanish web application or a simple HTML-based Spanish website, your translation company should have solid experience and a comprehensive process which includes at a minimum:
- Spanish glossary and terminology development.
- Localization of graphics.
- Cultural correctness assessment.
- Language translation, editing and proofreading.
- Usability testing and Spanish localization testing.
- Online quality assurance.
- Client review and approval.
Your translation company will need a localization kit, composed of information that will let them analyze your website and determine its localization requirements for Spanish. The localization kit that you provide will include:
- The current URLs.
- Summary of any technologies and/or development tools used to develop and deploy your website.
- Summary of the website architecture.
- All original graphics source files used in your website (artwork, background, navigation buttons, icons, PSD and AI).
- All the front end and back end files including the Database files in their original folder/file structure.
- All documentation source files (Word, PowerPoint, Quark, InDesign, PDF, etc.).
- All multimedia and interactive source files (Flash, Video, Sound, etc.).
Spanish Web Internationalization (I18n)
The two-step Spanish website globalization (G11n) process includes Spanish website internationalization (I18n) and Spanish website localization (L10n). Internationalization deals primarily with website functionality, enabling back-end technologies to function or support any language and locale, in this case, Spanish. Localization deals primarily with the front-end or linguistic and cosmetic aspects of a website, including cultural correctness, locale-specific content, translations, and website design.
The website internationalization process is the first step in
ensuring your website's global interoperability, whether your
project is a simple HTML-based Spanish website or a highly complex
Spanish web application that is dynamic and database-driven.
Any language- or culture-specific assumptions in your website's code base are "neutralized" during Spanish website internationalization. After that, your website will then be primed for efficient localization into Spanish.
You will need to provide a website internationalization kit to your translation company to enable them to analyze your website and to determine its Spanish internationalization requirements.
Spanish Website testing
A crucial quality control step in the process of Spanish website globalization is Spanish Website testing is. You must make sure that your website is linguistically and culturally appropriate for Spanish-speaking customers in order to effectively communicate with them. Your localization company must use experienced Spanish website testers and follow a thorough test plan to validate that your localized Spanish website is fully functional.
Spanish website testing should be carried out by native-speaking, professional specialists. The ultimate goal of website testing is to match the performance of the Spanish website to that of the source website. The following aspects of the website are taken into account during testing by Spanish website testers: browser compatibility, translation accuracy, security, design, linking, connection speeds, traffic, functionality, and more.
Your own expert users should work closely with Spanish website translators and web designers should work side-by-side to track and solve issues before your Spanish website is launched. Typical website testing phases include:
Spanish Web Internationalization Testing
Spanish website testing professionals must test the source language site for international support and localizability even before website translation begins.. Time and money is saved as Spanish website internationalization testing reveals any probable trouble areas early in the localization process.
Spanish Web Localization Testing
Spanish website testing specialists review the Spanish website in context to check for any linguistic or cosmetic issues after website translation is complete. All language-related issues of a localized website or Web application, including currency symbols, locale-specific text, and more, are dealt with by linguistic testing. Cosmetic testing covers all visual issues to make sure that Spanish characters display correctly under various operating system and browser scenarios.
Spanish Website Functionality Validation or Testing
Once your Spanish website has been localized, tests are performed using a variety of test scripts and platforms scripts to validate that your website works properly for your target Spanish-speaking users. Testing issues at this phase include making sure that the website's features and functionality work as they did in the original source language version of the website.
Spanish is the third most common language used on the internet, according with http://www.internetworldstats.com. Spanish-speaking users made up 36.5% of internet users in 2010, a 743.2% increase over such users in 2000. Obviously, you are missing a great deal of potential sales in the Spanish-speaking market if your website content remains in English-only or another language.
Your website content cannot be "found" by the majority of Spanish-speaking users unless your website is localized in Spanish and optimized for search in the Spanish language. In today's competitive online market, you need to know how important good Spanish search engine optimization is and what are the main factors to achieve this.
The main benefits of a localized Spanish website are:
- Reach millions of potential customers in their own language.
- Capture new markets.
- Increase your conversion/revenue rates with appropriate in-language content.
- Make your website fully accessible worldwide.
Spanish SEO: Not only keywords and content translations
In order to launch your Spanish website, you need to have in mind that the process is more complex than just translating the content into the target language.
Many different cultures speak the same language (Spanish) but there are a many different meanings or uses for the same words. For this reason, the translation company that you select for Spanish website translation needs to have strong experience in this area and the resources to ensure you that you will receive perfect service.
These are some of the main steps to take into account before making your website go global:
- Your content needs to be culturally appropriate for your target locale; Spanish for Spain is not the same as Spanish for Argentina. Your translation company needs to deliver accurately translated content and ensure that no cultural groups are offended.
- Your translated keywords need to be adapted to the corresponding locale. A good keyword translation project includes at least two rounds of keywords research: one in source language and one in target language to ensure that the translated keywords are those which are most frequently used by the people who search in the target locale.
- The content and meta-data translation process needs to be done by in-country translators. This is very important in order to adapt the original content to the target locale.
- Your site needs to be professionally localized. A good website quality assurance process done by in-country translators will ensure that your website works perfectly in all languages. You must avoid broken links, missing information or any other cultural issues that can be detected in the revision process.
There are some off-page factors that will apply to multilingual search engine optimization.
- Domain name: some search engines only refer to your top level domain to show results. This means that if you have different folders (www.example.com/es, www.example.com/de) for your in-language content, the search engines prioritize the top level domain first to show local results. The best option is to have different domains for the different languages; this is very critical at all times for content updates and website management. Sub-domains or folders in the URL are the best cost-benefit option at the current time.
- Links to the localized version: as you did with the main website, you need to start the link-building process for the translated version of your Spanish website. Local links from local domains in Spanish are very important. In general SEO, links are one of the most important factors to achieve success.
- Hosting: search engines look at the IP of the requestor and score locally hosted domains higher than others non-locally. For example, it is better to have your Spanish version of the website hosted in Spain, but this is expensive and very hard to maintain. There are several combinations of tools and platforms that will help you to obtain better results.
- Search engines: Google, Yahoo! and Bing are not the only search engines. Your SEO Company needs to know the most frequently used search engines for your target locale to optimize all content for all search engines.
- Website architecture: Your website needs to support the different languages and encodings. Many websites have been built without internationalization in mind, so, is very important that you receive good feedback from your translation company about your current website architecture at the start of your project.
There are two basic ideas to keep in mind for successful website internationalization and optimization:
- Choose a good translation company, with full experience in website translation and optimization.
- Have in mind that the cost to translate and optimize your website into other languages is modest compared to the expanded market share and customers that you will acquire.
U.S. Hispanic Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
A search engine marketing campaign for the U.S. Hispanic market should be multi-dimensional for both short-term and long-term success. Long term search engine marketing plans should include the use of keywords in both the Spanish language and in English. In addition, it is important to note that U.S. Hispanics tend to use longer strings of words in search phrases and/or questions than the rest of the U.S. market. Using Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaigns on targeted Hispanic websites and search engines is one way to produce immediate results and become familiar to the Hispanic market segment that is being targeted.
Popular U.S. Hispanic Websites
According to Neilson, the top English websites with U.S. Hispanics are:
According to Neilson, the top Spanish websites with U.S. Hispanics are:
U.S. Hispanic SEO
When localizing your U.S. Hispanic website, it is important to research cultural and linguistic issues specific to domestic Latino consumers. Keyword list localization is a very different process from standard Spanish translation; you should make sure that your SEO and localization agency has the experience and understands the requirements for performing this service so that they can provide you with appropriate Spanish keyword localization. This will ensure that your Spanish Website Localization optimizes your content for U.S. Hispanic search engines to produce maximum results.
You may wish to review more information on A Multilingual Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Primer for issues involved in non-English SEM. For more information on Global SEM Services, you can check Global Search Engine Marketing.
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