How to know if your website translation is accurate

Investing in high-quality website translation is imperative for brands that have recognized the importance of reaching an international audience, but one question may remain at the forefront of your mind after receiving your translated content: How do I know if it is accurate?

Accurate translations can often be the difference between sales and fails. While machine translators are cost-effective and easy to use, they are generally not advised for website copy, as they miss phrases and colloquialisms your global consumers could effortlessly spot. So to prevent these international site visitors from flocking away from your business, keep the following five tips in mind when evaluating your content translator.

1. Trust the professionals
As you are searching for the perfect translation tools, consider hiring professional translation services to adapt your content. Not only do these companies hire employees who are well-versed in your desired language, but they also often guarantee accurate copy. When you are seeking the highest-quality translation possible, trusting the professionals is the way to go, as these workers can translate documents, localize content for specific regions and prevent misspellings from costing your company in the long run.

Hiring a professional ensures your content is strong from the get-go.

Accurate website copy can even boost sales for businesses. Charles Duncombe, an online entrepreneur who owns several Internet firms, found that simple spelling mistakes can cost companies nearly 50 percent of their digital visitors. Moreover, he found that companies who had small spelling errors were often viewed as untrustworthy, causing significant dips in sales. Since international consumers live so far from the original company, online sites are the only places where businesses can make an impression, so trusting the experts is the best way to entice these buyers.

2. Proofreading is key
After receiving your content back from a translation service, it is important to proofread for any errors. Professional services often build proofreading into their operations, but an additional pair of eyes is recommended. The European Union released a report in 2012 detailing how the agency ensures its translations are of the highest quality, noting that excellent content promotes smoother communication between agencies that operate in different languages.

When it comes to evaluating translations from outside of the agency, the EU closely examines the finalized products, trusting proofreaders and native language speakers to indicate when sections are seemingly inaccurate. Business owners should follow a similar system, asking a local speaker to indicate if any portion of the translation does not make sense or if there are any spotted spelling errors.

3. Install checks and balances
If you do not have access to a native speaker, or you're still trying to gauge the accuracy of your translation, install checks and balances on your website that will give you a glimpse into the effectiveness of your copy. These can be as simple as calls to action that ask visitors to complete a simple task while on the site, such as visiting your brand's Facebook page or entering an email address for more information. If you find that no visitor has clicked any of your links, you will know that something has not properly translated for your site.

Use calls to action to measure how international consumers interact with your website.

4. Ask for feedback
One of the best ways to find out if your translation was accurate is by asking your consumers. Include a small statement at the bottom of the website that asks visitors to comment on your site, specifically requesting they send any feedback pertaining to its content. Comments that are sent quickly will allow your website team to flag the issue and resolve it in a timely manner, ensuring future visitors are not faced with the same mistranslation.

5. Analyze your metrics
Do your global numbers look off? If you are finding that a small number of your target international market is interacting with your page, it may be due a translation error. If you are concerned that your website copy not be accurate, hire a freelance translator or business localization service to give your website a glance and indicate where the issue may be arising from.

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