Business Translation Center

Should you write your content and then translate it or write it in another language to start with?

by OFER TIROSH 15/05/2019

If you’re produced a website for your company, you’ll be familiar with the hours of thought and hard work that go into crafting the perfect site. From the way you describe your products or services to the blog posts that you publish to demonstrate your company’s expertise, your website is your chance to show the world your business in the best possible light. 

When the time then comes to produce a foreign-language version of your website, many should you translate the version you’ve already worked so hard on or start afresh in the target language? 

For the bulk of the ‘about us’ style content, translation will probably be the best way forward, as the core messages about your business will remain much the same (albeit with some localization thrown in for good measure, to ensure that the site resonates well with the new target audience). However, for content such as blog posts, there is a stronger case for starting afresh and using content writing services in the target language. 

The case for translation

Creating a website can be an expensive undertaking. Aside from the technical elements of setting up and maintaining a site, you also need well written content. All of that costs either time or money, depending on whether you do it yourself or engage professionals to do it for you. 

It’s natural, then, to want to get maximum value out of the work you’ve already undertaken, and website translation is a great way to do so. All you have to pay for is the translation and you suddenly have an entire site in another language, all based on your original, fantastic content. 

Another benefit of opting for translation is that it is an easy process to manage. You liaise with your translation company account manager, answer a few queries that crop up during the translation process and your work is largely done, leaving you free to get on with other operational matters. However, creating content in another language also has its advantages…

The case for writing content in another language

A content marketing strategy can be highly successful in one country yet flop in another. That’s because different audiences respond in different ways. They will have different cultural norms and expectations, different political and religious views and myriad other factors. As such, you could be producing blog posts regularly that are received well in your native language but find that they don’t work so well for engaging readers overseas. 

Writing fresh content in another language can overcome this. It can still be on the same themes as your original content but crafted from the outset with your foreign-language readers in mind. In this way, your target audience gets to enjoy content that has been written specifically for them, thus maximising the chances of them responding positively to it. You can essentially create your own fresh narrative in the new language. 

The best of both worlds

Every website is unique, so will need a personalised approach to translation and content writing. Translation agencies can provide advice and guidance on how best to deliver your website in order to appeal to your target audience, including which parts would work well when directly translated, where localization may be appropriate and which sections might be better written afresh in the target language. An agency that provides content writing services as well as translation can also offer project continuity, which can make the overall job flow much more smoothly and quickly. 

Final thoughts

Do you have a website and/or marketing content that needs translation or perhaps writing anew in another language? If so, take care to consider every element from the perspective of the target audience in order to help guide your decision-making process.