Multilingual website owners and their language service providers (LSPs) face many challenges in managing today’s content management systems (CMSs).
Aside from working with various types of CMSs, site owners and their partner LSPs also have to deal with accessing digital assets buried deep within the system, as well as the many issues related to translating highly dynamic web pages — not least of which is converting webpages into a single file for translation via CAT tool.
Speaking to the online audience at the inaugural SlatorCon Remote on July 9, Easyling’s Balazs Benedek began by saying, “Even in 2020 we encounter macro situations where copy-paste was the strongest potential solution. For instance, the content may have been extracted, but the client or website owner expected our LSP partner to deliver the translated content in a simple Word file; and either the client or an offshore team they hired would do a copy-paste of the translated content back into the original CMS.”
He added, “Of course, being engineers, we believe this is not a viable solution. That’s why, a decade ago, we started to work on a more modern approach: an automated solution of translation delivery that would handle all the updates.”
“Even at page-level, it’s important to establish what to translate and what not to translate”
Benedek told the SlatorCon Remote audience that, when it comes to website translation, the challenges have always been the same and can be summarized as follows: (1) Content extraction and quoting; (2) In-context translation; (3) SEO and site search; (4) Update without bleed-through.
Content Extraction and Quoting
Easyling’s translation proxy approach means there is nothing to install in the original CMS. “We can visit these public websites and just crawl them, in the same way you would if you were visiting those pages from a browser,” Benedek said.
Next is extracting the content and helping establish scope. Certain pages or even complete sections of the website can be excluded: old blog posts, news, or investor relationship pages. Bendek pointed out that “even at page-level, it’s important to establish what to translate and what not to translate.”
“When the website owner sees a very high quote, with hundreds of thousands in unique word count, it can be discouraging to even start the process”
He explained, “Based on our experience, this is very important because sometimes the owner of the website is not fully aware of all the old content in their CMS. And when the website owner sees a very high quote, with hundreds of thousands in unique word count, it can be discouraging to even start the process. Also, with Easyling, it’s even possible to extract template-based dynamic content.”
Easyling then provides the translatable content in a single file (e.g., the industry-standard XLIFF or any other file the client requires), which can be translated by any of the translation productivity (a.k.a. CAT) tools available today.
Translation itself, while very easy when processing a single file, can be a challenge without the context of the translation. Therefore, Easyling provides an in-context, real-time preview while the translation is being done.
According to Benedek, “This function can run with, for example, memoQ or XTM, while those tools are being used. It’s also possible to use Easyling’s online tool for translation, and even in-context review, QA, or in-country review at no additional cost.”
“In-context translation is really crucial for high-quality translation delivery”
To illustrate the importance of in-context translation, Benedek pointed to the well-known case of “Aloha,” which can mean both “hello” and “goodbye.”
He noted how it can also be tricky to figure out the context when the content is very short — as when content is provided through a resource file or in an e-commerce scenario, “where everything is just extracted from a database. So in-context translation is really crucial for high-quality translation delivery.”
SEO and Site Search
Once a website is up and running, the next challenge is to make it deliver real value for the business. According to Benedek, one very important benefit of Easyling’s translation proxy approach is that the translated website can become fully visible to all the search engines around the world, thus taking it a step closer to delivering ROI.
He further pointed out that, while some CMSs are very good when it comes to handling English as the source language, some grammar-specific situations can be tricky to handle. So, on top of it all, Easyling can also deliver a site-search functionality to address such situations.
Update Without Bleed-Through
After the fully-translated website is published, now comes the question of the client’s strategy for updates. Benedek said, “Over the past decade, we have seen quite a few strategies, but the initial question is always the same: What should happen when the original website is updated?”
He explained, “Let’s say the English website is updated and the client wants to translate that on a daily basis — how will it be possible to keep up with all the translated versions? Easyling offers a great variety of solutions for continuous translation delivery.”
“The initial question is always the same: What should happen when the original website is updated?”
What’s more, Benedek added, Easyling can ensure that any new content on the original-language site will not appear as an update in the source language on the translated pages (i.e., the proxy phenomenon known as “bleed-through”).
Scheduling of updates can be flexible as well. “While it is possible to do an immediate update using machine translation and post-editing, it is also possible to just do a weekly, monthly, or quarterly update to the translated site, even as the original site is being updated all the time,” Benedek said.
Red Carpet Option
According to Benedek, they offer a service called Managed Easyling, where their highly experienced technology team can take care of the A-to-Z setup of the project, ensuring that everything is properly configured and all the right questions are asked. “We can be very helpful from the beginning of the scoping, through the sales cycle, and making sure that all the updates are properly handled by the system.”
In reply to a question from the audience about whether Easyling works directly with clients, Benedek said, “About 95% of our clients are LSPs. While we do have some enterprise clients that come directly to us, it is only in cases where the client has an in-house translation division. As Easyling is a technology provider, it doesn’t make much sense that they would come to us otherwise.”
“About 95% of our clients are LSPs”
He added, “We typically offer the technology and a self-service tool. However, we are very happy to provide a red-carpet approach, where we take full responsibility for implementation, quoting, sales support, and so on. And then our LSP partner can take care of the actual translation of content.”
Asked whether it was truly possible to fully automate website translation updates and SEO, Benedek answered, “Yes, you can with the translation proxy approach. It can be fully configured to deliver the data into the translation management system so the LSP can focus on the linguistic part (e.g., translation, proofreading) instead of technology.”