Translation SEO – An Essential Consideration

Right now, businesses at all levels in record numbers are using professional content translation services to branch out overseas. With such incredible opportunities for capitalisation existing in foreign markets, few can afford to overlook what’s right on their doorsteps.

However, there is one important consideration being consistently overlooked in most instances, where business website translations are being performed.  It’s one thing to use professional Chinese website translation services to convert the required text – it’s something else entirely to factor in essential SEO.

There’s a big difference between going about comprehensive Asian website translation and doing so in a manner that allows customers to find you in the first place.  Chances are that your current web content is rich with targeted and engineered keywords and phrases, designed to help those in your primary target market locate your website.  Unfortunately, the same keywords and phrases – even when translated accurately – may have little to no impact for a secondary international market.

Succeeding abroad means not simply converting the text from one language to another, but rather creating brand new content that is engineered from the ground up with the target market in mind.  It is a considerably more demanding and challenging process that requires the assistance of those with the highest-level experience, expertise and familiarity with the target market in question.  However, it is only realistic way of ensuring that your business can be found be foreign language speaking audience members, as it is by members of your primary audience.

SEO and website translations should ideally be thought of as a single, unified entity of enormous power.  One without the other simply will not get the job done.  As in many areas of business translation, it is a case of thinking more about localisation than simple conversion of text.

For more information on Asian website translation services or how your business could benefit from expanding internationally, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Four Reasons Why You Should Start Selling in China, Right Now

These days, the business world is blessed by the fact that all that’s needed to branch out overseas is a quality website translation.  But with so many international markets to choose from, where should the average ecommerce business owner focus their efforts?

Well, the answer will of course vary in accordance with what it is you are selling.  But at the same time, there are few markets anywhere in the world more appealing and open right now than that of China.

So with this in mind, here’s a quick rundown of four reasons why you should definitely start selling in China, right now:

  1. The Chinese market is already massive and growing rapidly

First of all, China has already become one of the most important consumer markets on the face of the earth and is expected to overtake all others over the coming years and decades.  The country is home to more than 1.4 billion people and consumer spending is skyrocketing like never before.  More than 280,000,000 consumers in China will fit into the middle-to-upper-class spending bracket by 2020, representing an enormous opportunity for capitalisation.

  1. Ecommerce is phenomenally popular in China

When the statistics were last collected, somewhere in the region of 430,000,000 Chinese consumers were shopping online on a regular basis.  In fact, ecommerce is such a big deal in China that even the government is investing heavily in furthering e-business development and expansion, across the country.

  1. Western brands are hugely popular in China

A recent study found that more than 60% of Chinese consumers are willing to pay higher prices for goods manufactured and shipped from the west.  In addition, close to 90% stated that they would not buy anything in the ‘luxury’ category of goods if it was made in China.  The Chinese consumer public has a strong affinity with products from the west, making now a great time to get involved.

  1. If you don’t, they will

Last but not least, the simple fact of the matter is that if you personally do not capitalise on what’s happening in China right now, your rivals most certainly will.  Realistically, something as simple as a Mandarin Chinese website translation could be all that stands between you and making the most of this incredibly open and lucrative consumer market.

Should You Add Google Translate To Your Website?

Business owners in growing numbers all over the world are quickly waking to the importance of supporting multiple languages for their online customers.  Extensive research and analysis have shown that when any given website is translated to accommodate the needs of a secondary target audience, it can make an enormous difference in terms of engagement, conversion rates and overall brand reputation.

Of course, there will always be those who cannot or are unwilling to pay for full Chinese website translations, Japanese online business translations and so on.  Particularly, if you want your website to support a wide variety of languages, going about the conversions by way of professional manual translation could prove expensive.  The alternative is to opt for the industry standard in many circles, which is that of using the automated Google Translate tool. 

But at the same time, it’s important to question whether or not doing so is a good idea for your business.

The problem being that when automated tools like these are used, they have the very real potential to take the most outstanding website content and turn it into something nonsensical.  Suffice to say, when this happens it really does not have the desired impact on those reading it.  As such, if your website operates as little more than an online vending machine, image archive or anything else with little to no textual content, you may well get away with automated translation to an extent.  However, if it is important that the actual content of your website reaches its target audience with completeness, accuracy and quality, automated translation tools are certainly not the way to go.

So while it may be an option that is worth considering, it is crucially important to also take into account the potential impact of poorly-translated text across your website.  If you would prefer your site to feature only 100% flawless and accurate content irrespective of the language, professional manual translations are the only way to go.

For more information on website or business translation services in general, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

The Overlooked Power and Potential of Underrepresented Online Languages

Does your current website offer its content in Spanish, French, German or Chinese? How about Mongolian, Azeri, Arabic or Albanian? If the answer to the latter question is no, there’s every chance you could be missing out on golden opportunities to increase your brand’s performance in general. On the plus side, you’re far from in the minority.

A recent study into the use of language support by online businesses found that for many businesses, the only languages considered are those that are the most obvious. They look at the nations right there on their doorsteps, along with one or two markets overseas that are known to have strong consumer markets. Hence the reason why Asian website translations are growing in popularity all the time, which countries like China and Japan having increasingly important consumer markets.

But at the same time, evidence suggests that there are a great many golden opportunities for capitalisation out there that simply are not being taken advantage of. Take Arabic, for example – a language supported by relatively few online businesses and yet spoken by more than 300 million worldwide. Likewise, there’s a growing Romanian market of more than 24 million native speakers, yet the language accounts for a mere 0.2% of online GDP.

Just a few of the other examples of languages that are known to be massively underrepresented online include Malaysian, Hebrew, Persian and Hindi, which when considered in terms of global audiences represent missed opportunities for capitalisation. A full 98% of online businesses use English as their go-to language, not realising the overlooked potential and vastly weaker competition in other language areas.

For more information on improving your own brand’s performance by considering under-represented online languages, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Why Should You Translate Travel and Tourism Materials?

These days, it’s becoming increasingly common for businesses producing travel and tourism materials to hire professionals for the translations. From website to brochures to leaflets to menus to catalogue, a crack team of Asian language translators can take care of everything. But at the same time, there are those who continue to take the DIY to the translation of tourism materials, not realising the damage it may be doing to their reputation.

We’ve all comes across them on our travels – that hilariously translated sign, slogan or message that’s largely nonsensical. And we’ve all laughed at them too, but the problem these days is that we’re all becoming abundantly aware of how easy it is to source accurate translations. Which means that even if it’s subconscious, we make judgements of a negative nature about those producing poor-translated tourist materials.

Think of it this way. Two identical restaurants, selling near-identical products for identical prices in very similar settings. In one restaurant, the menu’s Asian to English translation was flawless. In the second, it was littered with errors. Which of the two would you label as the more professional restaurant ownership team? Despite being identical in every way, you’d of course view the first restaurant as vastly more professional and dedicated to quality customer care.

The simple fact of the matter is that while relying on automated online translations is cheap and easy, it just doesn’t make the grade. The same also goes for published tourism materials that aren’t first given the green-light by a native speaker, before going into full production. Your customers know that if you’ve cut corners on translation quality, you clearly don’t have quite as high regard for your business as you could.

And chances are, neither will they.

For more information on anything to do with Asian translation services, get in touch with the team at Semiotic Transfer today.


Social Media Translation – Something to Consider?

If you’re running a successful modern business, you no doubt already understand and appreciate the power of social media. Likewise, you’ve no doubt also become aware of the incredible opportunities presented by globalisation, where something as simple as a Japanese website translation can open your brand up to massive overseas markets.

Right now, more businesses than ever before are looking into a variety of Asian website translation services to help expand their operations overseas. From the site itself to marketing materials and so on, anything that can be used to draw in overseas markets can and should be translated. But at the same time, one key element that’s often overlooked is that of social media.

Used intelligently, there’s nothing in the world like social media to develop strong and lucrative bonds with a target audience. But what’s routinely forgotten is that this is just as true the world over as it is at home. So when making the effort to translate your website for Asian audiences – why not take things an important step further with social media translations?

It’s s relatively simple principle – any and all Tweets, Facebook posts and so on that are made for business purposes are translated and posted on the relevant international brand profile. Or more importantly, they are edited and localised in a manner that’s guaranteed to appeal to the target audience with the same power and influence as the home market. Social media has commercial impact and influence that goes far over and above that of any standard website – why not tap into this power for your own business?

From blogging to guest posting to social media and more, establishing your brand overseas means exactly that. It means taking your brand as it exists at home and presenting everything about it in a manner that appeals to the audience you’re looking to win over.

Asian website translations represent a great place to start, but nonetheless represent only one piece of a much larger, far more lucrative puzzle.


Japan Invests Heavily in Automated Voice Translation Technology

It’s looking like Japan could be leading the charge for the rest of the decade, when it comes to technological developments in automatic translation. In specific, a variety of ambitious Japanese translation projects are being hurried along by the government, in the run-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Over the course of the next few years, somewhere in the region of ¥10 billion will be spent by the Japanese government on voice translation technology, which is capable of instantly translating spoken words into a number of alternative languages. While foreign visitor numbers to Japan have been accelerating rapidly over recent years, the influx around the time of the Olympics if guaranteed to be on an entirely highly level.

And in order to give the project the best possible chance of succeeding, major players from the public and private sectors alike are being backed by the government’s planned investments.

For example, Panasonic is working on a new type of megaphone to be used for crowd control and general customer assistance. When commands or statements are spoke into the megaphone in Japanese, they are instantly translated into Chinese, English and other languages, before being broadcast through the speaker.

Along with being brought into use at the Olympics in 2020, the government also plans to see these and other similar devices deployed around train stations, airports and other major visitor hubs. Generally speaking, citizens of Japan don’t tend to be highly skilled with foreign languages and most people do not speak a second language at even a basic level.

Of course, the country will still be relying on human translators and bilingual individuals for the most important jobs. Still, it’s interesting to see just how advanced automated voice translation technology is becoming, along with how important it could prove to be in the future.

Important Web Design Tips When Going Global

If you’ve recently made the decision to take your company international, you’re certainly in good company! These days, more brands and businesses than ever before are turning to website translation services to branch out overseas. Chinese and Japanese site translations are proving particularly popular, as businesses from a variety of backgrounds seek to capitalise on two of the world’s most lucrative consumer markets.

So for those setting out to take their ecommerce websites to overseas markets, here’s a brief overview of three important web design tips to be mindful of:

  1. First of all, it’s a good idea to look into current market trends and consumer preferences, when it comes to overall site layouts and functionalities. The reason being that what’s popular and effective at home might not be quite as suitable overseas. From mobile responsiveness to site presentation to navigation and so on, consider carefully what the target audience may expect.
  2. When creating a master website with the intension of eventually branching out overseas, be mindful of how and where you use text. The reason being that if you choose to embed text in the images you feature, it’s probably going to get quite expensive when you need to edit them for foreign languages. Instead, it makes far more sense to use style sheets to place text on top of the images you use, or use accompanying text elsewhere on the page.
  3. Last but not least, while being mindful of the first point listed here, it’s important to create a consistent global strategy for your business. Cohesion is important when it comes to all of the web assets your put your name to, as a means by which to build and solidify your brand internationally. What you certainly mustn’t do is give any international target audience the impression they’ve been included as something of an afterthought.

For more information on international website translations or branching out into new territories, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.


The Benefits of Multilingual SEO

Something we’ve learned about search engine optimisation as of late is that it really isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. While the goalposts may constantly be on the move, SEO remains of critical importance for web businesses looking to get by.

But in an era of globalisation, it’s no longer enough to simply focus on a single language, or even a single home market.

Say for example you were to invest in Asian eCommerce translation services for your business. Your online store would officially exist for overseas customers, but how would they find you? It’s one thing to undergo a full Mandarin website translation, but ensuring your target audience members can find you is another matter entirely.

Which is precisely where multilingual SEO comes into the equation – a must for any business interested in branching out overseas. As it stands, those making concerted efforts to target overseas audiences still have the opportunity to get in at ground level, outpacing their rivals and building strong names for themselves. While using automated tools to provide crude website translations is fairly common, going all-out with a total international business makeover remains comparatively rare.

While simple site translation may have its benefits, intensive localisation or transcreation can be much more effective when it comes to SEO. Working with those who know and understand the target culture and its people can provide invaluable insights to work with. What’s expected of brands like yours, what they look for when shopping online, general online spending habits, upcoming trends and so on. And the more information you have to work with, the higher the likelihood you’ll succeed.

Website translations may be important, but nonetheless represent just one step in the process when it comes to making a name for yourself overseas. Multilingual SEO may sound like a daunting challenge to overcome, but working with the right people it can be surprisingly straightforward and affordable.

For more information on Asian business translation services or overseas expansion in general, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.

Why Choose Our Japanese Translation Services?

By quite a wide margin, Japanese remains one of the most challenging of all languages for westerners to grasp. But while it’s usually seen as one-sided by English speakers, it’s actually exactly the same in reverse. In fact, many argue that translating Japanese into accurate English represents the single most difficult of all modern language translation challenges.

It all comes down to the way in which the grammar used in Japanese and English is so fundamentally different. Which is why even Japanese to English translations that seem easy to the producer of the text can be incredibly difficult to approach. Unsurprisingly, when the task is tackled by those with anything but extensive experience and expertise, the result tends to be an awkward, misleading or incomplete target text.

As with all professional translations, it’s a case of looking to preserve the meaning and context of the text, rather than simply ‘converting’ one word to another. When taking into account the grammatical challenges of Japanese to English translations, the importance of focusing on meaning becomes clear.

For example:

  • In Japanese, there are no definite or indefinite articles
  • The language does not use any plural nouns
  • Verbs are used at the end of sentences
  • There is no future tense
  • It isn’t necessary for a sentence to have a subject
  • There are many Japanese words that simply do not exist in other languages

Here at Semiotic Transfer, we’ve worked on hundreds of challenging Japanese translation projects over the years. We combine extensive experience and expertise with unique knowledge of the languages and the countries we work with. We understand the importance of context and meaning, which guarantees a flawless result – regardless of the complexity of the original text.

For more information or to arrange a quotation, get in touch with the Semiotic Transfer team today.