Website Translation: Should You Translate the Content or Have it Written from Scratch?

Website Translation : Should You Translate the Content or Have it Written from Scratch?

Nowadays, entrepreneurship is linked with a website. Even if you run a small local business, clients expect you to have a website where you inform them about your opening hours, deals, and maybe even offer them the option to make orders so that they just need to go to the shops to collect the products.

Many entrepreneur projects have a more general approach than the kind of business described above. Most entrepreneurs want to grow their business the regular way. When you want to expand your business, one of the most likely actions is creating a version of your website in another language.

At this point, you may wonder whether it is better to have your site translated or to write the new one from scratch. Below, we have asked to for some advice about deciding which option to choose when it comes to developing a Spanish version of your site:

When translation is a good idea

Translation is a good idea when the original text you have is powerful and efficient. This means that your text is converting site visits into sales, and it also works well in SEO terms. If you have achieved that goal, you can take advantage of a translation. However, there are some other things to consider.

Keywords: You need to do a proper keyword research for each language. You cannot assume that the keywords you have used in English are the same in Spanish or any other language. Once you have your keywords, let your translator know that they should use them when possible.

Market: For many products, the market is similar from one country to another. With this in mind, translation is a good choice. However, sometimes there are markets that have many differences. For example, in America many websites just have a contact form to contact the company, whereas Europeans usually expect to see the full physical address in the contact page because it makes the company look more trustworthy. If you talk about law topics on your site, there are also big differences from country to country, especially if the original site is in English and the target language is in Spanish, because Anglo-Saxon and Latin laws have very different philosophy. The bigger the differences, the better it is to take the writing from scratch option.

When writing the site from scratch is a good idea

If you are not happy with your original text, having another version made in another language can help you to get ideas to improve the original one. You have the opportunity to see a different organization of the text or a new approach to the topic that you might like more than the one you have, and then you can ask your English copywriter to use these new aspects to improve the original website.

This same idea works when you are going to start your website from scratch. You may think that having the English version first and then getting it translated is the best option, but you may prefer to have two or three different versions, one in each language, and then look at the strong points of each to try to get a very good final version. This is more costly than just having one version and getting it translated, because it will require some editing, but if your website is meant to be for the long-term, it could be worth it.

What is clear is that you need a good text no matter the language, and to get that you want a professional writer working on it. That friend of your nephew that speaks Spanish because his parents are Spanish might speak the language perfectly, but it is not the same to speak a language as it is writing it in a professional manner for a website. If you want to look professional, hire a professional.

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