There’s No Such Thing As “Just Translate This”

June 25, 2015

In our increasingly globalized world, many business owners understand the need to offer content and information in multiple languages. But often, it stops there. If you go to a translator and say “just translate my website,” you’re doing it wrong. Not only will you not see the results you’re hoping for, you’ll also waste a ton of money.

Back in the days of one page static websites (hi, Angelfire!), this maybe would have been okay. Websites were for reading and nothing more. There was no interaction and no communication between readers and webmasters (remember webmasters?) outside of an email here or there.

Today, the internet is a whole different ballgame. Customers expect two sided communication, interactive websites, and dynamic, frequently updated content. If you lazily slapped a translation on top of your site, they’re going to leave disappointed. Because you can’t just offer up information in say, Russian, and stop there.

Let’s say you have an e-commerce website. Awesome, you have information about your product in Russian, and maybe you’re showing up in Russian search results. You’re attracting Russian customers, good for you!

But what if the customer has a question, and you don’t know anyone who speaks Russian? If you’re trying to grow an international customer base, it’s imperative that you’re able to communicate with all of your customers. It’s a big world out there, and it’s never been easier to find another option, another website, or another store that will serve a customer’s needs.

And what about marketing? If all of your social media and email marketing is in English, it will be difficult to attract new Russian customers and retain current ones.

And don’t forget another thing about websites these days: they change. If you’re an e-commerce company, you’ll have new products to put up. If you’re a startup, you’ll have new features to talk about. Whatever type of business you have, you’ll need to update your website at some point. A static website is a useless website.

Another thing to think about are user reviews and testimonials. If they are all in English, your Russian customer might not be able to read them — and user reviews have been proved time and time again to be the number one factor in purchase decisions, especially when considering more unknown brands.

Moral of the story: there is no “one and done” with online translation. It’s a process. And we’re here to help. With Unbabel it’s fast and easy to translate everything you need to go international – we even have an API for integrated translating!

We use human translators to proofread and adjust our machine translations so that you’re always able to clearly communicate (like a real human!), regardless of the medium. When you’re ready to grow your customer base, let us know and we’ll help you become a multilingual business.

 To learn more about Unbabel, visit us at To become an editor with Unbabel, sign up at our Editors page.

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