May 4th, 2016 admin
Today, there isn’t one single language that dominates the web. Instead, people look for solutions in their own language and adapted for their own culture.
The web makes it possible for anyone to become a global player. You too can reach to people from all over the world. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars or hire costly experts. All you need to do is learn from the experience of others who’ve already done it!
May 4th, 2016 admin
August 5th, 2009 Amir
Anyone making Windows applications knows that Help and Manual is the best tool for authoring Help files. It’s like using a word processor for creating Windows Help files. The only difficulty with H&M projects was having them translated.
Until now, translating H&M projects required investing in expensive translation software, making it difficult and expensive.
The new version of ICanLocalize’s Translation Assistant (our translation software) reads and writes H&M files. It allows translating and entire help project without wasting any time and spending money on tools you don’t really need.
Translation Assistant will read the entire help project. It will then produce a translation project from it, which it uploads to ICanLocalize.
You will see full statistics with document, sentence and word count. Then, translators place bids for translating the project. All the translators in our system are professional and writing in their own language, so you can choose the best translator based on
relevant experience in your field.
Once you select a translator and deposit the payment for the work, the translator starts working. You can see how the translation progresses at any time. Just download the translation project and build the H&M tree from it (single click).
When the translator is done, you’ll need to review the work and finalize the project.
are very familiar with).
You can read more about it in the Help and Manual translation page on ICanLocalize.
Translators will bid (per word) on your project. Between most languages, prices range between 0.08 to 0.05 USD / word.
Our system supports H&M 5 (and above) projects. If you’re using an older version of H&M, you’ll need to upgrade before you can get started.
Your project needs to be saved as ‘uncompressed XML’ (if it’s in a different format, just click File->Save as).
Head off to ICanLocalize and create an account (it’s free).
After logging in to your account, at the top of every page you’ll see a button to download Translation Assistant. Download it, install and click on the button to create a new Help and Manual project.
May 26th, 2009 admin
How long does it take you to create a completely new section for a new product on your website? A CMS lets you add contents without sweating over the site’s structure. You don’t need to worry about navigation, links between pages, sitemaps, etc. Just enter the new contents and hit publish. Any modern content management system lets you dedicate all your time to managing contents, without worrying about anything else. This means that your marketing and support material is always ready on time and never lag behind the products and services.
The biggest challenge for any website is getting visitors involved. You want to turn that collection of passive one-time visitors into an active community. A community where people care to visit back, speak their mind and await your message. That’s easier said than done. So, how can you do it? Let people influence your website and your business. Let them tell you what they need and show them you care about it. That’s how! Content management systems have many tools for doing just this. When your website is dynamic, it allows a two way dialog, rather than a dull lecture. Here are
some of the tools you can use:
Everyone is busy, sometimes a bit too much. People visit you, get excited and then wonder off. It’s not because they’re not interested, but because they have other things that grabbed their attention. You can help by making it easy to
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receive updates from you. An email newsletter and an RSS feed are great ways to send your word out and help busy people engaged. How much more business will you get if five visitors signed up to your newsletter every day? A content management system will help you create your newsletter with ease. Blog posts can turn into great newsletter contents, delivered without any effort.
A CMS includes basic facilities that will make your site look better, leave a better impressing and do a better job of selling you.
Sounds simple, but how much time do
you need to spend making sure your site is clean without using a content management system?
This is actually a result of all the other advantages. Search engines like the same thing as visitors. They love fresh and updating contents, a clean site free of technical errors and sitemaps. Since a content management system already delivers all these, both visitors and search engines become happier. A simple thing such as allowing users to contribute contents (in the form of comments) can make your site’s pages rank higher. Search engines see that it’s fresh, get notified when there’s an update and treat your site as something that needs more attention. Try it and you’ll see for yourself.
We’re running a program that helps migrate existing sites to content management system. It doesn’t matter how it’s built, we can put it on a CMS in no time. The two content management systems we’re working on are WordPress and Drupal. Each has its own strengths. It’s something that we’ve started doing a few months ago, when clients asked us to translate static HTML sites or sites built with their own PHP. We saw that it’s just way easier to spend a few days migrating to a strong CMS and continue from there than invent the wheel each time. Interested? You can leave a comment here or (better) contact us.
May 13th, 2009 Amir
Being a translation service, we could argue that anything will benefit from being translated. If you like, we can even translate your first and last name. The fact is, some things benefit more than others when being translated.
In the last few weeks, we’ve been very involved in providing localization for iPhone applications. If you’re not a iPhone developer, here’s a quick overview of what it’s all about.
iPhone is Apple’s neat all-do cell phone. You can still make phone calls with it, but besides that, you can use an iPhone to surf the net, read and write text documents and do almost anything you can do with a PC – just using a tiny little screen.
As such, Apple lets others write applications for iPhones. Because Apple’s name is all over the place, iPhone applications are expected to adhere to high standards.
Not more than 15% of the world speaks English. If you’re Mexican, most likely that you speak some English. Certainly enough to get by. Mexicans will appreciate PC programs in Spanish, but many still will use them if they’re in English only.
When it comes to cell phones, it’s a different story. Cell phones are not limitted to tech nerds (like us), not even the fancy iPhones. Everyone uses them. Cell phones also have another unique property – language is set globally for the device. Once set, the phone speaks just that language, including all the applications on it.
So, you can still sell a PC program in Mexico, even though it’s not translated to Spanish, but there’s no way you can do that with iPhone applications. To market iPhone applications in foreign markets, they need to be localized – end of story.
April 22nd, 2009 Amir
Your application’s resource file is one of the most important translations you’ll do. Getting foreign clients to try it is very important, but if they get a bad impression when using the program, sales are lost. ICanLocalize’s new application resource file translation helps do it right. Instead of treating your resource file like a plain text file, the system will read it, extract the texts that need to be translated and handle just them. Here is how it works:
You will upload your resource file as-is. Our system handles many formats for popular resource file types including Java, Delphi, C/C++/C#, PO and even iPhone.
The system will read your resource file and extract all texts that need to be translated. If this is the first time this resource file is being translated, all texts are counted. Otherwise, only new or modified texts are sent to translation. Normally, resource files contain pairs of label and string. The translator will only be able to edit the string, not the label (labels are also not counted when we charge you). You will see how many strings are found in your resource file and their word count.
Translators from our pool will apply for this job. You need to select the translator who will do the work for you. It’s a hard choice. All our translators are certified professional translators, writing in their native language. You can interview each of the translators and select the one with the most relevant background for your particular application. For example, if you’re doing a financial application, choosing a translator who’s got experience in finance is a good idea. Read the rest of this entry »
March 3rd, 2009 admin
Websites contain text and styling. As it turns out, the site’s styling determines how easy it will be to translate it. When you build your site, it’s important to keep in mind that one day, you may need to translate it. This means that the same pages will have to display nicely when the text changes. I’d like to talk about a few problems that we see repeating. Understanding those problems amounts to 90% of the solution. The rest is common sense.
I’ve already covered this issue before and I’m far from being the only one talking about it. While the W3 guidelines suggest supplying alternative texts for images, you can usually skip the images altogether and achieve
the same visual design using just text and CSS. It may take a bit more effort, but the rewards are great. When translating images, translators can only supply the text that needs to appear. Then, a graphic artist needs to rebuild all images to include the translation. It’s pretty obvious that this kind of work is much more time consuming (and prone to errors) than just translating text.
All too often, graphics designers like to set exact size for elements on the screen. It starts with fixed sizes for fonts and continues with exact width and height for boxes (DIVs, table cells, etc.). With some luck such a website would look the same on different browsers (although normally they don’t). However, once translated, things tend to break up completely. German is typically 1.5 times longer than English. So, how would it be possible to squeeze in more characters to the exact same area? What happens with such formatting is that text spills out, boxes run over each other and nothing looks as is should. To avoid it, always go for flexible layouts. Keep objects positioned relative to each other and not in absolute locations. Never assume any relation between the size of text and images and never use cell height. Then, test. Try your website with a different font size and see what happens. If you can increase the size by at least 50% and then reduce it by at least 50% and things still display correctly, you’re in good shape.
Consider this paragraph: “Trucks
are larger than cars so they weigh more.”
are larger than cars so they weigh more.”It’s pretty easy to translate. Now, what happens if I put this into a table, like this one:
<table><tr><td>Trucks are larger than</td> <td>cars so they weigh more.</td></tr></table>
What I did is take that one sentence and place it into two table rows. Maybe I did that because I tried to make the two parts of that sentence appear one below the other. Who knows? The result is, I now have two sentence fragments to
translate, each making very little sense by itself. Even worse is the translation might now fit so nicely into that structure that I arranged. The solution is obvious. Just don’t do it. Use other means to style the page, just
don’t force texts into this kind of structure.
Building a website that’s easy to translate is very simple. All that it takes is attention to the fact that text size may change. Running a simple experiment on your site before you have it translated can save a lot of time, money and stress.
March 2nd, 2009 admin
ICanLocalize Translator, the Drupal translation management tool, is now offered for free to non-profit organizations, to be used as a translation collaboration tool. Many non-profit organizations build their website using open source content management systems. It’s not a surprise that leading open source projects, such as Ubuntu and government sites such as Recovery.org are powered by Drupal. Powerful features, ease of use and being free make it a great choice. But, what happens when these sites need to speak several languages? It’s only natural to expect Recovery.gov to speak both English and Spanish. Canonical, offering Ubuntu with full localization to dozens of languages, might want to offer its website in more than just English.
Translation is an ongoing task. As long as new contents are created and old contents update, translation must continue. The cost of managing the translation often exceeds the cost of doing
the translation. While it’s possible to assign different translators and even whole teams of translators to work on a Drupal site, translation management often falls on the shoulders of a single admin – already overloaded with work. ICanLocalize Translator is a Drupal module which solves this problem. It releases site admins from any management work due to translation. It checks which pages need to be translated from scratch and which pages need update. Then, it sends the right contents for translation. In essence, it allows running a multilingual Drupal site without spending any time managing translation. Authors can write contents in their language and entire site’s translation is handled by the system.
We’ve just added a 3rd plan for using the translation system. ICanLocalize Translator is made 100% free to be used as a translation collaboration tool for non profit organizations. We’re using open source tools to create and run our business and want to contribute something back. The least we can do is make our own translation tool available for free for the exact same organization who’s work has made it possible for us to built our service. We hope that many open source projects and the organizations running them would take advantage of this offer and make their websites accessible to the world.
Webmasters, marketing folks and anyone involved in running the website are encouraged to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to give a private tour of the system. You can read more about it in drupal-translation.com, where we teach how to build a multilingual website using Drupal and how to use ICanLocalize Translator to automate the translation process.
February 10th, 2009 admin
Anyone building a multilingual
site with Drupal could find something useful in Drupal Translation. It starts with the basics, including which modules to install and how to configure them and continues to more advanced material such as taxonomy and CCK translation.
The i18n module modifies the site’s database structure and many of the admin pages. Its features are distributed across different sections, such as content administration, content entry and display setup. This guide will
walk you through the multilingual features, explain the difference between various options and show how to set things up coherently.
In addition to the i18n module, Drupal Translation also introduces the ICanLocalize Translator module, which works together with i18n to facilitate the translation itself by sending contents to translators and storing translation results back in the Drupal database.
As Drupal and the localization modules update,
so does Drupal Translation.
New, more advanced material is constantly added and contents update as new Drupal versions are released.
Drupal Translation itself is a Drupal site. Its multilingual contents are maintained using the i18n module and translation is being done using ICanLocalize Translator, which is currently available in Beta.
January 27th, 2009 admin
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Drupal users run multilingual websites on auto-pilot.
If you’re running a multilingual Drupal website this new module can make your job much simpler. It will automatically send new and updated contents to translation and make sure that nothing breaks on the way.
Translation can be controlled from two places:
When a document is sent to translation, its contents are sent to ICanLocalize. Translators use our translation system, translate the texts using a WYSIWYG editor but never touch the HTML. When translation is complete, the translated HTML document is rebuilt and sent back to Drupal, where it’s stored as the translation for the original document.
If you already have your own translators, they can do the work using this module. You’ll get all the benefits of automating the translation process without any extra payment. Of course, you can also assign translations to one of the professional translators from ICanLocalize. Translators write only in their native language. We only accept professional translators, who can supply a university degree in translation and have passed our internal qualifications program.
Automation is great, but above all, translation must be accurate,
fluent and culturally correct
fluent and culturally correct. To achieve this, multiple QA measures have been built into the system:
There are a few things you need to do in order to have your Drupal site translated using ICanLocalize Translator:
January 22nd, 2009 admin
It’s a common question, which we get from many clients:
“I’ve got a successful product that’s selling in English. How can I tell which languages I should translate to?”
It turns out, you can know in advance by doing a simple experiment. You’ll get real-world data, specific to your product, eliminating the guesswork and speculation.
A tiny investment can help you make the right decision and spend your money and time where you can get a return.
Since Google is the de-facto standard for web search, this is where the data is found. Luckily for us, Google makes this data available and easy to access. It’s not necessarily done for the greater good of humanity. Google knows that making it easier for advertisers benefits them directly.
If you don’t have it, set it up. It’s free and takes a few minutes to set up. Until you start running live ads and getting clicks, you don’t need to pay for anything.
Before we start running ads, we’ll use the free data mining tools from within your account.
To start, go to Google Adwords.
It’s pretty trivial, but often overlooked. It’s much easier to sell something when people look for it. If it’s a great product but people don’t know they need it, you’re in to a lot of work. Once people already know they need something like you’re offering, they start searching for it.
Once logged in to your Adwords account, click on Tools->Keyword Tool.
Enter your keywords in the keyword box and then click ‘Get keyword ideas‘.
If you need help with translating your search terms from English to Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese or Japanese, you’re welcome to use our keyword translation tool. This tool will show you translation, done by our professional human translators for common search terms. You can use it to see how people might look for your product in their language.
In this example, we’ve searched for wine, translated to Spanish – vino.
We asked Google to show a broad range of results, so that we can see both our search term and other related terms (this is the default option).
If we look closely at the results, we can see that about 320,000 each search for either vino or vinos (wine or wines). We can also see that advertiser competition is fierce. Where there’s a lot of fish, there are also a lot of fishermen.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t venture into this. We just need to go with eyes open and understand the market beforehand. If your market position is already excellent in English, you could gain market share in the crowded Spanish vino market.
However, if we’re planning on serving a very niche market of ‘Bodega vinos‘, we should be aware of the fact that only 46 people per month are search for it (on Google).
Now that we’ve made sure that people are looking for what we’re going to offer and that we can compete with the advertising competition, it’s time to see if people like what we’re offering.
We’ll create a text ad (or a few of them) and a landing page. Then, we’ll let it run for a while and collect information.
If you havn’t done this already, now would be a good time.
When you put up an advertisement, people need to be able to scan it in a fraction of a second and decide if it’s relevant for them. You need to be able to tell your whole store in a simple and short sentence. If you can’t do it, chances are there’s something wrong with your story.
So, today, we’re selling red wines from Mendoza. Why should people buy from us? Because we sell directly from the winery to your home.
Here’s our ad text, in English:
Title: “Mendoza red wine”
Body: “From the winery to your home. Check your cost!”
This sums up unique our selling proposition and asks for action (“check your cost”). If you’re in the market for red wines, the title will grab your attention.
Now, we need to translate this to Spanish. This is very delicate text and we want to know we’ve translated it correctly. Machine translation will not do it justice and will likely lead us to wrong conclusions (for which we’ll pay with interest).
We’re going to use the Instant Human Text Translation service from ICanLocalize. What this does is send your text, along with the comments we’ve entered to a professional translator (who’s a native Spanish speaker). The translator would provide the correct translation to put in our Spanish ad.
A landing page is where visitors arrive after clicking your ad. Our
landing page will let visitors know they came to the right place, elaborate a bit more about what we’re offering and suggest what to do next (buy our wine, learn more or ask us a question).
We can create a landing page in a variety of ways. If you’re already using a Content Management System, you can just add another page with it. Otherwise, create a static HTML file. It doesn’t really matter how, what’s more important is what you put there.
The title of the landing page can just repeat the ad title. Then, the text should be short and clear. Remember that your visitor has just clicked on an ad and got there. It doesn’t mean visitors are willing to spend minutes figuring out what you’re offering.
Use 2-4 very short sentences, explaining what you’re offering, what makes it unique and why it’s a must-have and anyone who likes wine.
Then, add some action buttons. Ideally, you’ll have a single prominent action button for your preferred action (go shopping).
Once you’re happy with your landing page, get it translated too. For this too, you can use the website translation service from ICanLocalize to translate anything from a single page (this landing page) to your entire website.
Before going live and starting your experiment, make sure you can collect and analyze results. Here the possibilities are wide.
We use Google Analytics for measuring results. Some people don’t like it, as you’re basically sharing your private information with the same company where you’re advertising in. Conspiracy theories suggest that Google uses this information against you. We haven’t seen any evidence for this.
Other web analytics tools run on your web server logs to get the exact same information. Besides Google Analytics, we also use a program called Web Log Storming.
Whatever you decide to use, it’s important to be able to collect data starting with the ad views, through ad clicks and all the way to the actions taken on your landing page.
Go back to your Google Adwords account and create an ad based on the translated ad text you’ve got. Take your time and be very specific.
The ad setup tool lets you select important parameters such as the search language and location. Choose these wisely.
You’ll get more accurate information by creating several campaigns with tighter targeting. For example, you could create a different campaign for Spanish speakers in the US, Central America and South America. You can even go deeper and create a different campaign per country.
Let you ad run for a while before you jump to conclusions. A week is usually considered the shortest duration for any such experiment. Also, take into account any holidays or vacations that occur while you’re running your experiment and factor their effect.
Caution: make sure you set a reasonable daily limit for your ad. You don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for running this experiment. Also, to start with, turn off the ‘content network’ and stick to Google search. This will reduce the chance of fraudulent clicks affecting your data.
Now that your ad has been running for about a week, you’ve got lots of information that needs to be analyzed. Let’s start with what we’re interested in:
You can tell how many people saw your ad and how many of them clicked on it by checking the ad’s statistics in Adwords.
If you set up goals you’ll also be able to see, right here, how many continued to what you’ve defined as ‘goals’ (like your purchase, or payment page).
General reference: a click through rate (CTR – the percentage of people who clicked on your ad, out of those who saw it) of about 1% is OK. If you’re seeing something like 3-5%, you’re in excellent shape. Much below 1%, means you’re going to need a whole lot of visitors in order to get significant traffic. You should consider making changes in your ad text if you’re seeing this kind of CTR.
Next, go to your Web Analytic and check what’s going on there. Check how long people have stayed on your landing page. This is an excellent indication for their level of interest. Visitors who spent 5 seconds and flew away are not likely to become your loyal customers.
Check where they’re coming from, what time of the day they’re visiting (hint: are they at work or home?) and what they’re doing next on your site.
This may seem a bit trivial, but it isn’t. When you’ve set your mind to it, it’s not always easy to accept contradicting results.
If your experiment produces much different results than you’ve expected to see don’t kill the messenger. Just because you don’t like the results doesn’t mean they’re wrong. If you’re not happy with what you see, try again (by marshaun). Think about your value proposition and how you stated it. Don’t be shy about changing things and trying again.
And, if you did get the reassurance you wanted, make sure it’s valid. Before you venture in, try to get visitors to interact with you and validate your conclusions. Ask people to leave comments or to contact you. Ask them questions and see how they respond.
Final words: Good luck with your enterprise. We know it’s not easy getting into unknown terittories, especially when you don’t speak the language. If you need any help, contact us and we’ll do our best to assist.