Translating Web Pages in WordPress: A Solvable Challenge

The translation of web pages has a number of specific features that we, as translators, cannot ignore when carrying out our work, and using the right tools can save us from several headaches. In this post we’re going to talk about how to translate a WordPress web page, one of the most popular content creation and management tools, with the help of WPML.

It’s not unusual to come across many companies that, after creating their web, decide to translate it into one or several languages with the aim of making their content reach an audience in other countries and other regions of the world. The advantages for a business are clear: the translation succeeds in making the product or service reach more people, which will undoubtedly (provided it is done correctly) benefit and bring in revenue for the company.

As we’ve said, however, this translation task presents a number of specific complications that the translator will have to get round in order to offer quality results.

As we already explained in our post on machine translation and professional translation, the simple act of resorting to an online machine website translator, such as that offered by Google, so that the user accessing the content can understand it, can generate unwanted results: given that they are programs that carry out the task automatically, as opposed to professional translators, these tools don’t take into account aspects such as the context or the target audience, and more often than not, they offer incorrect translations.

A professional translator considers all the aspects of a text, as well as the additional elements making up a web page, and makes decisions by weighing up everything. The following are examples of the specific features of website translations that translators must bear in mind when carrying out their work:

  • Text processing. The translator will often be responsible for exporting the text from the web page in order to edit it and transfer it into the language requested by the client, in addition to maintaining all the elements that make up the page design (such as images, text boxes, links, etc.). Some tools, such as WPML (which we will speak about in more detail later), assist the translator in this task.
  • Format. In addition to text, websites typically include a series of elements that enable the final user to visualise the web page just as it was designed.

After exporting the text, the translator must bear these elements in mind, which can be codes, formatting tags and links to other pages, so that the final translation has exactly the same appearance overall as the original text.

  • Text position. Web pages are usually created with a design in mind and include elements that delineate the text such as buttons, boxes or headings. The translator must take all these elements into account when translating, because the space occupied by the text is important and must not be exceeded.

In this respect, the translator will often be limited by a number of characters which they must not exceed so as not to alter the page design. This can be clearly seen when we translate web pages from English into Spanish since, on average, the former tends to be more concise and take up less space than the latter.

  • Terminology. An aspect that the translator must not ignore when translating web pages is that terms are often selected for SEO purposes, a process which is used to increase the number of visits by positioning the site among the first results in the most common search engines, like Google.

With all this in mind, the translator must also be familiar with one of the most popular systems for creating websites or blogs for free due to it being the most widely used: WordPress. This tool is a content management system, or CMS, which numerous businesses turn to when they want to easily create a web page.

At this point, translators ask themselves the following question, how can we translate web pages and not go mad trying?

There are a number of programs and plugins that translators can use as tools to translate websites, but none of them offer as many functions nor are as complete as WPML: a multilingual WordPress plugin that, after a simple installation, allows the translator to manage the website and translate it into the desired language. These are some of the features that WPML offers:

  • Integrity. This tool covers all the phases of the translation process and provides all the functions needed to achieve a flawless result: it exports the texts, processes them and reconverts them so that the final page design is identical to the original.
  • Compatibility. The tool accepts all the themes and plugins so that no compatibility issues arise when translating the web page. This is especially useful in regard to terminology, as there are very useful SEO plugins that aid in the task of search engine positioning.
  • Ease of use. It is a tool with numerous functions while also being very intuitive and easy to use. It also includes clear and comprehensive information so that translators do not encounter difficulties and can focus on what really matters: the translation.

Here at Tatutrad, we’re proud to present our new partnership with WPML and to be the only company in the south of Spain and one of the few from across the country that have reached this agreement. We know that WPML will give us all the tools we need to be able to carry out quality web page translations, which is exactly what we want to offer our clients.

If you need to translate your web page or blog and you want the best results possible, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thanks to our partnership with WPML, the quality will be unbeatable.

Marina Rodríguez Colmenero
https://www.linkedin.com/in/marina-rodríguez-colmenero-739918ba/