Translation Proxy – The Best Way to Localize Your Website?
By: Rabia Tanveer
Globalizing your website can be a hefty work, especially if your website supports any e-commerce application. Almost a decade ago, in 1996 to be exact, the percentage of English user on the internet was around 80 percent more. However, since then a lot has changed. With the beginning of 2000s, a new era was evoked and English becomes a second language to many people. Although, this has allowed English to become a standard language, but it has also opened platforms for people to expect content in their own language. It is because of this demand that only 27.3 percent of internet users demand English as their standard language.
Seems almost superficial, but it is true. Technology has allowed us to expect things and then make them happen. With the never ending availability of internet, people are taking charge, when not so long ago, they only demanded, they are now doing what they think should be done. This is there is a huge influx of companies wanting their websites to be translated into different languages. E-Commerce companies like Amazon and EBay have different versions for their different local markets, and companies like them need to have multilingual interface for their international clients.
However, it is not that easy to create new websites, especially if they are working on a global scale. Usually, such a website can take up to a year or sometimes even more to complete properly. Plus, it can be very expensive, especially if you are a startup in a new market where you need to be very careful about your investments.
The best way to avoid the extra cost is by using Translation Proxy. Translation Proxy seems like a very technical term, so let us break it down for you. Basically, Translation Proxy is like someone is translating your content in real time. You can take it as a person sitting in front of your website all the time and providing translations for the target market in real time. It is actually up to you if you want machine translation to be your Translation Proxy or real human translators.
This is actually done to keep it simple. Everything that needs to be translated will be in a proxy service. This is just like a Translation Memory tool, once a content is translated, it will be stored in the proxy server and can be used from there again and again. However, you will have to work with your translation service to add new content to the system. Although, it sounds simple, but it really is not. It solves your problem for a certain amount of time, but it is not a complete localization solution.
It is good to consider Translation Proxy for your system, but it is only a standby. First of all, it will be 80% machine translation. So no matter what precautions you take, they will read and sound robotic to the reader. In the end, you will have to use Human Translation for a better result. It is a great standby for the time when you are working on getting your website localized. But it is not a long term solution to your globalization needs.