Importance of Effective Chinese Website Localization

Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, you’ll get a lot of users logged on to your website that speak Chinese.

The problem is how to implement an effective Chinese Website Translation or Chinese Website Localization project.

ChineseTrans Localizes your business to the Chinese market

Not Only Chinese Translation

We can see so many websites out there which have a Chinese version. the owner of the website realized the importance of the Chinese market.

However, most of them had a poor localization job in the view of Chinese customers.

Chinese website localization is much more complicated than a simple document translation.

What’s Successful Chinese Website Localization?

Here is a simple checklist for you to identify a successful Chinese website localization.

  • Clear targeted market lets you know where your Chinese market is, Mainland China, HongKong & Macau, Taiwan, Singapore & South-East Asia.
  • Correct Chinese translation conveys your message.
  • Good Chinese web copy localizes your business to the market.
  • Cultural adaptation avoid any cultural blunders or unintentional use of offensive symbols.
  • Localized design of graphics, and web interface.
  • No technical problems ensure the normal operation of the Chinese website.

Chinese website localization adapts the language, appearance, and functionality of a website for Chinese-speaking markets.

You can learn Common Website Localization Problems and Steps of Website Localization here:

Common Website Localization Problems

Companies are now waking up to the fact that English is no longer the only language customer should accept in the internet, their competitors are building pages in French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and more.

Though many companies now realize the benefits of website localization and take actions, Many of them are not done so well.

  • Low-quality Translation: Some companies do not understand the importance of the translation quality, jobs were outsourced to unqualified translators or companies, some even use machine translation. it’s not joking!
  • Target-Audience Adaptation: Direct translation without considering the culture in the local market.

Cost-Saving≠Low Quality Translation

Poor website localization will destroy your online credibility, esp. in those new markets who speaks the languages you are not familiar with.

How could a customer rely on you if you do not respect their culture?

in many cases,  it is the lack of linguistic and cultural input that lets a website localization project down.

Steps of  Website Localization

Plan your project and take the right steps!

1.Website Localization Analysis

  • Requirements specification
  • project engineering analysis
  • client specific process definition
  • and scheduling

will let you know how much and how long to complete the scope of work.

2. Translation of Website Content

Ensures the website is translated in a linguistically and culturally appropriate way.

  • Consider Vocabulary, grammar, punctuation, style to make sure the language used reflects the target audience’s culture and society.
  • Take into consideration of Phrases, metaphors and sayings

3. Localizing Layout and Site Navigation

  • Translation often affects layout and may require more or less room depending on the target country.
  • Right to left, top to bottom and which pages should be available are important considerations when localizing the website.

4. Adapting Pictures to the Audience

  • Cultural messages both subtle and not so subtle can be contained within pictures.
  • Your company or product can unknowingly portray negative connotations that may irritate or even offend viewers.
  • Images need to be carefully reviewed and perhaps adjusted to positively reflect upon your company and messaging.

5. Localizing Symbols

Like pictures, Symbols can cause problems in localization too.

  • Western symbols can mean different things to an international audience.
  • Fingers, houses and animals often need to be modified when marketing abroad.
  • Obvious items like time and date display, measurement units, currency, numbering systems and fonts are identified and formatted correctly as part of the localization process.

6. Adapting Colors to Cultures

  • Colors, although not as critical, can also have cultural meanings that need to be analyzed in website localization.
  • Proper color choices can improve user acceptance and avoid hidden meanings.
  • Color choice may not always have disastrous consequences, but avoiding subtle unwanted meanings is always advisable.

7. Localization Testing and QA

  • Functional testing by our engineers ensures the localized site works just the same as the English version and that the links function properly.
  • Linguistic testing will check the translation in context and verify there is consistency across the website.

8. Localization Engineering

  • Website technology varies, Find right people to deal with your web applications, databases and formats.
  • Make sure all file types are carefully analyzed, prepared for translation, and engineered with the best possible consideration for time and quality.

9. Analyze and Improve

  • The proper amount of market research, planning and resource mining is required to effectively enter the international market and be successful.
  • Keep tracing the web statistics and feedback from various channels like website, comments, SNS etc.
  • Find problems and improve.

How Much Shall I Pay?

To be frank, Website localization is a huge investment and should not be viewed as a straightforward process.

Website localization is your commitment to invest resources to enter the international market and be highly effective with a designated population.

When localizing your site, ensure you get the expertise of both a website designer and a cross cultural communications consultancy to ensure your site has maximum impact on the target audience.

Make Your Budget, It’s worth your money and energies.

Find Your Website Localization Partner

First you should find the right partner to do the localization job.

  • You need native-speaking, professional Chinese website translators who specialize in your industry.
  • You need Chinese website localization professionals to handle proper translation of graphics, text in links and optimizing text for search engines.
  • You need Chinese web developers and designers to solve technical problem in Chinese internationalization.

There are hundreds of companies out there claiming that they can do the Chinese website localization job for you.

To be frank, most of them could not do the job well.

Whether your project is a simple HTML-based Chinese website or a complex, database-driven web application), your Chinese localization partner should have demonstrated competency and experience in the following areas:

  1. Reviewing and analyzing the source website.
  2. Chinese translation, editing and proofreading.
  3. Chinese localization of graphics.
  4. Chinese cultural correctness assessment.
  5. Chinese web copy experiences.
  6. Issue resolution involving Chinese address, time, date, and numeric format.
  7. Chinese usability testing and Chinese localization testing.
  8. Chinese online quality assurance.
  9. Client review and approval.

Investigate to make sure that your partner has sufficient capabilities is the first step of your success.

Web Design Agency or Translation Company?

Please keep in mind the above mentioned skills are necessary.

Web design agencies outsource translation jobs in most cases and the Chinese translation will not be professional. and some of them have no idea about localization.

Many translation companies lacks expertise in localization technologies.

What You Should Do?

Follow the Steps of Website Localization stated above

Provide adequate and sufficient source files

  • Summary of website architecture.
  • Your current website URL. better in English version if you have.
  • All original graphics used in your site (UI, background, Menus, Navigation buttons and Photoshop).
  • All files that make up your website in their original folder/file structure.
  • All application source files (Flash, Video, etc.) for any multimedia available on your website media library.
  • All application source files (Word, PDF, Illustrator, PowerPoint, etc.) for any documentation available in your website.
  • Summary of any technologies and/or development tools used to develop your site.

Provide clear requirements

  • What you need and what you do not need in Chinese version.
  • What’s the source language if you already have multilingual sites, you should confirm which one is the standard language version.
  • Do you need a separate Chinese version sub domain?
  • Whether the content shall be revised to suit the Chinese market. some products and services are totally different in Chinese market.

Your own expert users should work closely with your localization partner to track and resolve issues before your Chinese website is launched.Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, you’ll get a lot of users logged on to your website that speak Chinese.

The problem is how to implement an effective Chinese Website Translation or Chinese Website Localization project.

You might also be interested in this article:

 Checklist before you launch your Chinese website


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