Using human translators is a great way to guarantee that your website’s translations are accurate and clearly convey the right message and information to your new audience.
But there are some drawbacks to using only human translators for your translation project.
- Human translation is time-consuming and inefficient on its own. It takes time for translators to translate your content. For example, let’s say you’re an ecommerce company with 50+ product pages, each with around 500 words. That means you have 25,000+ words to translate in product pages alone. And plenty of translation projects are not “one-and-done” jobs. There will be content updates and new product launches – all of this new content will need to be translated, as well.
Plus, if you don’t have an efficient translation management platform, then your overall process looks like this: 1) extract your website content and send it to your translators and 2) get their translations back, and upload your translated content on your website’s back-end.
This process requires a lot of back-and-forths, and tedious file management.
- It’s expensive. When you use translators, you get high-quality translations, but it can be really expensive (much more than you have in your budget), depending on the scope of your project.
To help make your website translation process easier, faster, and more affordable, we look at how you can get the most out of human website translation services by pairing them with machine translation.
Note: Skip the article and start your free Weglot trial. Weglot can quickly translate your entire website, giving your human translators a base layer of translated content to work with. This gives your translation team a huge head start, making your entire translation process faster, more efficient, and more affordable. Your translators can log into Weglot, easily access all translated content, and make changes without having to download or extract any files.
How to improve your human website translation process with machine translation: A 2-layer process
Machine translation is using software to translate content into a new language. You’ve likely heard of tools like Google Translate and DeepL. These are translation software tools that use advanced neural machine translation algorithms to provide you with accurate translations.
But how good are these tools for handling your website translation project?
Machine translation can be very accurate – as we explore in more detail in a study where we had professional translators evaluate different machine translation tools. But you don’t need to fully rely on machine translation. Instead, you can use machine translation as the first layer in a 2 layer process.
The 2-layer process looks like this.
- First layer: Connect Weglot to your CMS and translate your website using machine translation. This takes a matter of minutes, and at the end, you have a live translated site with a unique URL.
Note: You can exclude any website content you don’t want translated, as well as specific words, such as brand names like Slack or Apple. Plus, Weglot supports over 100 different languages, including right-to-left languages like Arabic.
- Second layer: Have your translators log into Weglot and review high-priority translated content. Pro-tip – you can save a lot of time and money by only having your translators view what’s necessary. For example, you can easily rely on machine translation for simple sentences, navigational menus, headers, footers, etc.
Let’s look at each layer in more detail.
First layer: Translate your website using machine translation (managed by Weglot)
Weglot is a no-code translation tool that you can easily add to any website/CMS platform.
We have ready-made tutorials for connecting Weglot to major platforms, including:
You can also watch this explainer video below which gives you a quick (but thorough) guide on how to start using Weglot.
Once Weglot is added to your site, just pick your site’s native language, choose which languages you want your site translated into, and set up any exclusions, such as specific URLs or words that you don’t want to be translated.
After that, Weglot will pick the best translation provider (such as Google, DeepL, Microsoft, etc) based on your language choices and translate your site.
Plus, you also get automatic content detection and a unique URL for each translated site.
- Automatic content detection means that whenever you make edits to your original site, Weglot will make sure those edits are reflected on your translated sites. For example, if you add a new product page to your original site, that new product page is automatically detected and added to your translated site.
- All translated sites get a unique URL. For example, weglot.com is our English site, while weglot.com/fr/ is our French site. That URL was set up by Weglot automatically, and it is a major win for multilingual SEO, which is something we cover at the end of this article.
But first, let’s look at how translators can easily access your website’s translated content through Weglot.
Second layer: Use Weglot’s translation management platform to make edits (when necessary)
While some companies will just use machine translation to translate their website (about ⅔ of our customers go this route), this article looks at how your website can pair machine translation with human translation to create a faster, more efficient, and more affordable website translation process.
After your site has been fully translated, you and your team can use Weglot to:
- Access and edit your website’s translated content. Translators can also use Weglot’s Visual Editor to look at how translations look within a site’s design. All edits are saved in real-time, and neither you nor your translators need to worry about extracting or uploading files.
- Order translation services from professional translators. If you don’t have a team of translators – or you’re branching out into a new language where you need additional translators – you can order those services directly through the Weglot Dashboard.
How to access and edit your website’s translations
After Weglot has translated your site, you and your translators can access all of your website’s translations from one dashboard. You don’t need to download or extract any files (however you can export and import files if you prefer this way of working). This means they can focus on what matters the most — reviewing translations and making any necessary changes.
You can find specific translations by:
- Looking up a specific URL
- Searching for a key phrase or word you want to review,
- or you can use Weglot’s Visual Editor.
Our Visual Editor lets you look at your live site and make edits in real-time.
The Visual Editor is great when you want to make sure your translations fit within your design. For example, one of our customers is Goodpatch, a global design company. It was important for them to find a translation tool that matched their design-driven approach. Plus, they wanted something everyone on the team could easily use together.
“[Weglot] was accessible to all our disciplines, from content to design to strategy, and everyone could find their way around quickly…all of us could do fast test edits, see how [the page] looked, and get changes approved quickly.”
With Weglot, Goodpatch’s translators and designers could log in and use Weglot’s Visual Editor to make sure their translations fit nicely within their site’s design, avoiding issues like overlapping text and broken formatting.
Ordering professional translation services through Weglot
If you need a translation team or additional translators, you can order services directly through your Weglot Dashboard. This is a great feature for bigger projects or if you’re new to translating your website.
You pick the translations you want to be reviewed and then pay for your order. Within 2 business days, your translation order is completed. Any changes the translator made to your content is automatically reflected on your website.
Weglot bonus: Optimize your translated website for search engines
Weglot also does one more thing for your multilingual website – it helps with search engine optimization (SEO).
This is a great plus to have in translation software, as it’s not something you can expect from your translation team. But we know how important it is to get your newly translated websites in front of the right audience.
Weglot’s software automatically:
- Adds hreflang tags to your source code. These tags tell Google and other search engines of the specific translated versions of your site that you have available.
- Translates on-page SEO content. This includes alt tags and metadata. Like all of your other translated content, you can easily edit this to align with your specific SEO strategies.
- Creates subdirectories/subdomains for each translated site. This gives your translated site a unique URL for its language.
Next steps: Start your 2-layer translation process
In this post, we looked at how you can use machine translation to give your team a great foundation to complete their translation projects, quickly and efficiently.
Specifically, how you can:
- Give your team a fully translated website to work with. Weglot uses translations from providers like DeepL, Google Translate, and Microsoft Translate. We pick the best provider for your site depending on what language your site is currently in and what your target languages are. The whole goal is to make your translator’s life easier.
- A translation management platform. Your translators can log into Weglot, access the translations, make edits as necessary, and update your website without having to extract, download, or upload any documents or text files.
To translate your site today, start your Weglot free trial.
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