Translation Tips For Your Website

The following 10 tips will help you optimize your website for use with any of WorldLingo's online translation products.

1. Use HTML text rather than graphical text where all possible

WorldLingo's machine translation server will only translate the HTML text parts of your site. This means text contained within a graphic will not translate. Using HTML text rather than graphical text will not only ensure a seamless translation of all page elements, but will allow for your page to be easily indexed by search engines, and will enable your pages to load faster and thus save you bandwidth costs.

2. Consider a liquid flow of text to allow for differences in word length

German text on average uses 1/3rd more characters per words than English and Asian languages often take up much less character space than English words. Your design interface, layout and navigation must make considerations for these differences. Consider using CSS positioning for text elements or use flexible relative table widths where the cells expand or contract depending on character layout.

3. Specify a subject glossary for the translation

By specifying a subject glossary that is related to the content of your site you can enhance the translation accuracy. Subject glossaries enable the WorldLingo machine translation servers to understand the theme, context and tone of your site's content.

4. Use dictionaries

Creating a dictionary and uploading it to WorldLingo will ensure greater accuracy of the translation of your site. Dictionaries tell the WorldLingo machine translation servers what words or phrases to skip (do not translate). You can also provide alternate translations for particular words and phrases of your website by specifying the word to be inserted, when an occurrence of it is found in the translation.

5. Write concise content

  • Remember that machine translation is a computer process that prefers common words and phrases
  • Start with simple, clear and formal sentences and phrases
  • Keep sentences short, limiting them to 15-20 words for best results
  • If a sentence contains multiple ideas/thoughts, break them into one sentence per idea/thought
  • Avoid unnecessarily complex words and sentences

6. Write clearly and formally

  • Word your documents in such a way as to avoid idioms, clichés, colloquial expressions and slang
  • Consider the literal meaning of words and try to express this instead

7. Avoid Ambiguity

  • Try not to use words that have more than one meaning for example:
    - Use "movie" instead of "film"
    - Use "painting" instead of "picture"
  • Words ending in "ing" can sometimes be ambiguous, such as "rowing", which can be a noun or a verb. Where possible, choose an alternative

8. Always check spelling and grammar

  • Incorrect spelling or grammar leads to translation errors, for example, if a word is spelt incorrectly, the translator may not be able to identify the word in the dictionary

9. Be aware of Punctuation Pitfalls

  • Avoid the use of complicated punctuation marks such as parentheses and hyphens
  • Avoid abbreviations or if you need to use them, keep them consistent
  • Use articles in front of listed items, for example:
    - Instead of: the judge and jury
    - Use: the judge and the jury

10. Do not leave words out

  • Some words can be implied in everyday use, such as "that, which, who," etc. and are often omitted when writing text - try not to do this as they may be required in other languages

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