Translating blogs for the masses

by Rehan

The Internet is awash with  information and blogs which do, contrary to what some may think add real value to the age we live in. Pages are being added to Websites on a daily basis using publishing platforms such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr etc. these platforms have become increasingly easier to install and update. With the Internet expanding in such a way the downside of this trend is the task of getting new blogs exposure.

Translate

The reason for this is with so much information present how does a user find a blog? A while back it was slightly easier to begin a blog and make it a successful entity. All users had to do was create a website, create a RSS feed and syndicate the content across platforms such as FeedRoll. Now, however the process has become somewhat harder as new websites are not automatically given good search ranking positions as websites have to have a certain amount of credibility before they are ‘trusted’ to be viable sources of information.

There is a solution to getting more exposure: target more languages. Let me explain…

Internet Usage as per comparison to Geographic Locations

How many people visit the Internet in a language other than English? Well before we answer this questions let us analyze where the world Internet users come from?

44.8% – Asia
21.5% – Europe (UK, Germany and France being the highest)
11.4% – North America
10.4% – Latin America
7.0 – Africa

English is only the main language in one of these continents, that is North America.

What is this got to do with my Blog?

The point to be noted here is the majority of websites are still designed and developed in English. People do not stop to wonder what it would be like to target a different audience just by reaching out to more readers in various languages. Even though you may not be fully acquainted with a language that does not mean that a blog cannot go International.

Translating Your Blog

By translating into various languages you can look at Google Keyword tool to analyze how many searches are done in a particular term in various geographical locations around the world. This will give you an idea on which languages to target first and foremost. Now is the interesting part – getting websites translated correctly. If you have made the decision and decided to translate your blog or parts of your website into a language chances are you have gone over to Google and typed in translate. One of the tools you would have come across would be, Google Translate or Bing Translator. both very good tools which have an astronomical value into what they offer.

The problem with these tools however, is that they are not very accurate for the larger phrases. So translating a website you can only imagine the possibilities that you may end up with. Professional translation is crucial if you are going to take the plunge to ensure that the readers are actually in tune with what is being said and it is a correct dialect, so human translation would be ideal if budgets allow other you can contact students in foreign languages to do the translations for you.

How to choose a language and country to target?

Well this is pretty much dependent on the blog you write about. If you had a blog specific about a sport, like for example the NFL, you would research the continents and the countries that have the most interest in that sport. You can visit CNN.com to evaluate where interest for this sport is and then trial by translating a single page rather than the whole website. See how this does and evaluate the traffic (good old Google Analytics).

For those websites that have a direct correlation between itself and a specific language I would ensure that it is looked at carefully specifying to whom the content is aimed at. For example, if you translate English to French for users based in Canada the grammar would be different to the French spoken in France so they would quickly pick that up. So it is best to get a French speaking linguistic expert based in Canada to ensure the people based in that area actually pick up the language

Conclusion:

Expand to markets where others are not and become a professional in that specific location. By doing so you can become the voice of reason but always remember to remain transparent in your text. If transparency is not achieved then you will not reap the rewards in the long run.

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/five-quid-expert/6311013336/

1 Dmitri November 28, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Translating is a great practice, especially if you’re new to blogging. One of my websites is non-English, so I’m translating newsworthy stuff occasionally. The good practice here is posting the link to the original. Thanks for sharing this, Rehan!

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