WordPress revolutionized the website building industry. Its accessible format, huge volume of templates and vast range of plugins opened up the world of website creation to even those with limited technical abilities. One result of this is that websites and blogs have sprung up on all manner of subjects. Another is that many website owners are surprised when they realize how technical the process of translating their site can be.
Thankfully, there is an easy solution. As with so many other aspects of WordPress websites, a plugin is available to help bridge the gap between your WordPress site and those providing the website translation services that you need in order to deliver it to overseas audiences.
Website Translation with the WPML Plugin
The WPML Translation Management plugin allows WordPress site owners to liaise quickly and easily with the translation agency of their choice. Essentially, it automates the liaison part of the process. The site owner installs the plugin, obtains an authentication API token from their translation agency and activates the process. After that, the translation company can get to work on translating the site.
This approach is particularly useful to those who lack the technical knowledge needed to liaise with a translation service. If you don’t understand much about URLs and strings (those bits and pieces that fall outside of regular webpage translation, like widget titles and the site’s tagline) – and don’t care to learn – then handing the entire process over to an automated system such as this can be the perfect solution.
Human Versus Machine Translation
Of course, while the process itself is automated as a result of using the WPML Translation Managementplugin, the translation element is not. Machine translation has come a long way in recent years. Microsoft has even claimed to achieve parity with the quality produced by human translation professionals during recent trials of translation using deep learning and neural networks. However, commercially available machine translation engines are not yet a match for the finesse that humans can bring to the website translation process.
Human translators can deliver so much more than the literal, word-for-word conversion of sentences from one language to another. Their ability to understand nuance and address linguistic subtleties means that humans can deliver flawless translations that could just as easily have been written in the language to which they have been converted. Machine translations, on the other hand, usually sound stilted and muddled – hardly the impression of your WordPress site that you want to create for new readers overseas.
A Quick Word on Localization
On the subject of human translation, machines are also unable to deliver the kind of specialist localization services that humans can. Localization involves converting the content of your WordPress site to address the cultural and religious concerns of your foreign readers. From converting the format of measurements and prices, to more fundamental changes such as addressing images that won’t sit well with the new target audience, localization ensures that your WordPress site won’t offend or amuse your new readers unintentionally.
Support for Your WordPress Website Translation
While the WPML Translation Managementplugin removes much of the need to liaise with your chosen WordPress website translator, that doesn’t mean that help and support is not available, should you require it. In fact, using that particular plugin increases the level of support available to you, with a dedicated techie on hand throughout the translation process.
This is in addition to the support that you can access from the translation company that you choose. Your project manager will be on hand throughout the website translation experience, to ensure that the translation delivers precisely what you are looking for. He/she will also liaise with you regarding any queries that might arise around particular phrases or elements of the copy, as well as matters such as an appropriately localized version of your strapline.
Starting your WordPress Website Translation
If you’ve been wondering about how to start your WordPress translation, it might be time to take the plunge. The ability to automate the process with a translation managementplugin can make a big difference to the amount of time that you need to commit to the translation project. Instead of endless discussions, you can opt for a smooth, efficient WordPress translation experience that will enable you to reach out to and engage new audiences with your multilingual WordPress site. Blending human translation expertise and an automated system in this way delivers the best of both worlds.
Globalization has created so many opportunities that all manner of website creators are now establishing an international presence. Doing so doesn’t require them to speak the languages of the countries they are publishing their content in, or even have particularly strong technical skills. Instead, they are hiring the tools and talents they need in order to establish themselves overseas. Is it about time you did the same?
Louise Taylor works for Tomedes, a translation company that specializes in WordPress translation for clients around the world. She holds qualifications in four languages, as well as her native English, and enjoys writing about anything that relates to the translation sector.