For your website translation project to be successful, you’ll need to organize how you manage your project’s translation process. Known as translation management, it includes translating your content, displaying it on your site, and everything in between.
There are several different types of translation projects: translating documents, mobile apps, websites, and more. No matter what your translation project is, you’ll have countless elements to translate and localize. It’s easy for things to get lost in the mix, which is also why a good translation management system is necessary to speed up the translation process by automating a bulk of the translation.
Here, we’ll be covering what translation management should look like for your website and why a translation management system is crucial to your success.
What is Translation Management?
Translation management is how you determine the content to be translated, the method of translating it in your desired languages, the most efficient way to put it live on your website, and all the sub-processes involved.
When you have a message—whether it’s a product description, a blog post, a new feature, or anything else you want to communicate to your international audience—you’ll have to make sure that everyone understands it. While it sounds simple, there’s much more involved than feeding the content through a translator and using the output.
Here’s what’s involved in translation management:
Source content. This is your original message that you want to translate into other languages. It contains everything you’ll want to carry into your translations: your tone, style, nuances (but check for any cultural differences!), etc.
Finding the right translation method. You have three main options to choose from:
~Human translation, often through a translation agency or language service provider.
~Machine translation by using machine translation engines like DeepL and Google Translate
~Human + machine translation through a translation platform. With this method, you can integrate your chosen platform with your source content and, depending on the platform, have most of the content automatically translated. Then, you can edit the translations accordingly.
Ensuring quality assurance. Whatever method you decide, you’ll have to ensure everything is properly translated and localized for your audience. This usually calls for on-the-ground localization experts to catch and correct any strange phrasings or errors.
Maintaining and updating your translations. Translating your website is never a one-and-done deal. You’ll eventually need to update your messaging at some point, whether it’s to replace it with better turns of phrase, new information, or to keep it relevant with the year. A good translation management process will automatically translate and publish your new content.
What is a Translation Management System?
You can’t have proper translation management without a translation management system. After all, customers of international companies expect accurate website translation and localization. If you don’t deliver to their expectations, they’ll turn to your competitors!
A translation management system makes it easier for you to communicate to your new audiences and be understood accurately since you’ll be using their language and cultural context.
Most businesses need a TMS that is highly automated, easy to use, compatible with other tools, and, crucially, that works. Other deciding factors that may come into play are whether a TMS is optimized for SEO, the storage and translation memory it comes with, how much customer support is available, and, of course, the price.
Benefits of a Translation Management System
Your whole world opens when you translate your website into several languages. A multilingual website gives you access to a vast number of commercial opportunities, and a translation management system ensures your workflow is characterized by accuracy, efficiency, and consistency. Here’s how:
Integrated Machine Translation
Using an automated process is essential for most language translations. It would be unthinkable for a business—whether large or small—to translate an entire website into different languages manually. The time that would be required, the cost of a translator, and the risks of inaccuracies are all too high.
That’s why a translation management system is helpful here—it provides integrated machine translation that ensures fast, high-quality, accurate translations without the drain on your resources. With a tool like Weglot, translations can be reviewed and edited manually to refine and polish them with a human touch after the majority of work is handled through machine translation.
Workflow Automation for Project Management
Good translation management systems will enable collaboration between multiple colleagues, clients, and language specialists. For more complex translation projects and with more people involved, you need a responsive and efficient translation workflow.
Workflow automation to help you manage tasks, approvals, terminology, and all manner of project management for language translation is a game-changer. Everyone knows what they are doing, as well as when, why, and how they are doing it.
Translators on your project receive notifications via email to let them know if there are any new translations for review means less time is wasted, fewer errors and duplications occur, and any room for confusion is replaced with clarity. This streamlined approach improves efficiency, helping your translation processes run like clockwork.
Translation Memory and Terminology Databases
If your volume of translations is high, you’ll want a place to store translations and use them again in the future. Translation memory is a practical necessity, but using this together with terminology databases is also key for brand consistency.
Translation memory and terminology databases are used to ensure that certain words or brand concepts always translate in the same way. This saves time by removing the need for a team member to make the same manual tweaks after every translation of your product names, slogans, or common phrases.
For example, Nike translates “Just in” to “Lige landet” in Danish, which literally translates as “Just landed” but conveys the correct meaning. Using translation memory and terminology databases, tweaks like this one can be automated.
With a database of translated terms, you can produce high-quality content with a tone of voice and choice of expressions that are consistent with your brand in all languages you use.
Essential Features for Translation Management Systems
If your business goals involve expanding internationally, and you’re planning to localize your website, you’ll want to be confident in the translation management software you use.
When comparing translation tools to find the one that offers you the most value, these are the essential features of a translation management system to look for:
Ease of Use
CAT Tools and Localization Options
Ease of Use
No matter how many languages you intend to use or how much content you have to translate, a TMS should facilitate your task.
The highest quality services will be able to handle a large amount of content and deliver automatic translation across a wide variety of languages. However, no matter how much power there is behind a system, it won’t be a worthwhile investment unless that system is easy to use.
Seeking out a translation management tool that is not only powerful and automated but also prioritizes usability is the best choice you can make for your team.
An ideal translation management system will also boost your marketing efforts by supporting your international SEO strategy. This can be done by adding hreflang tags, translating metadata, and making it easy for Google to index your website.
It’s a smart business investment to choose a translation software that delivers additional marketing value by optimizing your content for global SEO, and this will likely make purchasing decisions easier for stakeholders or budget controllers. Find out more about creating a winning global SEO strategy.
In terms of marketing value, accurate language translation also helps convert website visitors into customers by ensuring they won’t miss out on information that might sway decisions. For example, Zoom includes testimonials from Uber, 21st Century Fox and Zendesk, which are translated if the potential customer views the website in their preferred language.
CAT Tools and Localization Options
When you first look into your options for expanding into foreign markets, you might be caught up wondering whether to commit to machine translation, human translation, or a combination of both.
Computer-assisted translation tools, sometimes known as CAT tools, provide machine translations. However, a good TMS should leverage machine translation while providing options for reviews and manual edits from human translators too.
There should also be features to help you achieve high-quality localization, so you can create a customer experience that’s relevant to your target market and considers both language and culture.
The best translation management system should work well with your other software, such as website builders, content management systems (CMS), or eCommerce platforms. Without compatibility, the amount of work that goes into a translation task can shoot up immeasurably.
Tools that improve teamwork are more important than ever before, so it should be no surprise that collaboration is an essential feature of a good TMS.
Allowing for easy collaboration between internal stakeholders, project managers and external translators, or between agencies and clients keeps projects running smoothly, emphasizes teamwork and shared goals, and ensures nobody is left in the dark.
How Weglot Makes Translation Management Easier
We’ve dived deeply into why translation management is indispensable for your business. So how exactly can you get it right from the first step? By using an automated translation management software like Weglot!
With Weglot, we take a 2-layered translation approach:
Firstly, Weglot automatically translates 100% of your website using the best machine translation engines on the market, including DeepL, Google Translate and Microsoft Translator. This ensures the whole of your website is translated. Note: Weglot also displays your website under language subdomains or subdirectories, too.
Secondly, you can manage all your translations (and everything to do with it) under one dashboard through our user-friendly translation editors. Read our case study on how one of our US-based customers used this two-layered approach to add dozens of languages.
Let’s look at the other ways Weglot gives you an intuitive translation management system that makes it easier than ever to stay on top of your translations:
Weglot was specifically created to require no code, you don’t need to create your own API integration or take hours of internal resources from your dev/IT team.
Here’s a quick video that shows you how simple it is:
After Weglot is added to your site, you can set up and customize your translation project and define your localization process. Note: your website is instantly translated, but you can choose to put it in ‘Private Mode’ until you’re ready to go live.
First, select your target language (which languages you want your content translated into). Weglot can translate your content into 110+ languages, including right-to-left languages like Arabic and Chinese and custom-languages.
(Optional) Then pick pages/sections you don’t want translated. You can skip this if you want every page and section translated.
(Optional) Create a project glossary. You can easily create a glossary for your project, creating rules to determine what words you do not want translated or if you always want a word translated in a specific way. Plus, if/when you use professional translators, these glossaries will be automatically applied to make sure their edits follow the same rules.
Your new translated site is ready within minutes. And because Weglot takes care of both the translating and displaying aspects of website translation, your newly translated site is automatically displayed under language subdomains/subdirectories of your main site.
This means every translated site gets a unique URL. For example, weglot.com is our English site, while weglot.com/de/ is our German site. This was set up automatically by Weglot as part of the translation process. You can then go further into the localization process by translating your URLs, which not only improves the user experience but can also be beneficial for international SEO.
A major concern of many businesses when translating their websites is finding storage for all their translations. Putting these on the same server as the websites would risk additional loading time, making the site sluggish.
However, Weglot is cloud-based. That means your translations are stored on our own servers instead of the user’s site, allowing website owners to maintain the optimal speed and performance they’ve carefully worked on. Plus, since translations are stored elsewhere, all updates or changes made to the translations are immediately published without any lag. No need to wait for local caching or site updates since the content is always fresh.
Another benefit of storing these translations externally is that it reduces the strain on web hosting. As a result, website owners get to save on costs while enjoying a multilingual website that loads quickly.
Usability and Automation
Weglot makes it easy to manage your translated sites going forward with automatic content detection. When you make changes to your original site (whether you’re adding content, deleting it, or revising it), those changes are immediately reflected on your translated site, allowing you smooth scalability when adding new content
Once Weglot translates your website, you can access all of your translations from your dashboard:
Here, you can see:
Your translated text and which languages your site is currently translated into.
Choose if you want to add any new languages.
Manage your translations through import/export.
~No need to worry about messing with file formats and several spreadsheets to upload your translations.
Edit your translations in context with our Visual Editor, where you’ll see changes in real-time.
Access your glossary.
And these are some of the many ways it streamlines translation workflows.
Since Weglot automates a bulk of the translation for you, you’ll have fewer manual tasks to agonize over. All without sacrificing translation quality, either.
Furthermore, Weglot is more than your average translation tool. Another aspect it automates? Making sure your website follows multilingual SEO best practices.
Weglot automatically adds hreflang tag attributes to each language version of your website. Doing this will ensure that international search engines pick up these versions, recognize them as separate content, and serve the appropriate page to the user.
It also automatically translates on-page SEO content, like metadata and alt tags—often elements website owners forget about. Plus, it creates unique URLs for each translated version of your site, creating subdirectories or subdomains for each URL.
Localization and Editing Options
Because Weglot is a translation management platform, you can use it to easily edit your translations and even assign localization projects to translators, so they can localize them with ease.
All of your translations are readily available through your Weglot Dashboard.
You can find specific translations by looking up the URL, typing in the phrase or word you want to find, or you can use Weglot’s Visual Editor to quickly navigate your live site.
Our Visual Editor is also a great way to see how your translated content will look with your site’s design/layout.
If you want to take your localization efforts even further, and you don’t have a team of translators to help you out, you can order professional translation services right from your Weglot Dashboard.
Select the translation strings, the language you want to translate it into, and any notes you want the translators to keep in mind. In 2 business days, your order is completed, and the translation is automatically updated and live on your site.
Weglot is compatible with all your favorite content management systems, ecommerce platforms, and technologies. Whether your site is hosted on WordPress, Shopify, Webflow, or any other platform out there, Weglot is designed to work with your existing web technologies, so you don’t have to make any adjustments on your end.
Weglot makes it effortless to have your team work on your entire translation project. Through the dashboard, you can centralize and manage your teammates, in-house translators, or order professional translators through Weglot to manually review your translated content. That way, your localization workflow is smoother than before—no need to hop between different programs or software when you can do it all in one place.
Since all you need to manage your translations is in one place, you don’t need to worry about tedious back-and-forth exchanges between your marketing and tech team. That adds up to a truly seamless experience in overseeing a multilingual website.
Help and Support
Weglot has a robust support team that quickly responds to your concerns, ensuring you get punctual assistance to keep your website live and in good shape. We also have a comprehensive help center with detailed answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Have a question the help center hasn’t covered? Send an email detailing your problem to [email protected], and our support team will get back to you as soon as possible.
Weglot caters to websites of all sizes. That’s why we have different pricing plans to accommodate all kinds of budgets. Whether you’re a beginner freelancer or you’re a mega enterprise, our price points will give you an all-in-one website translation solution without breaking the bank.
Next Steps: Translating Your Site
Overall, Weglot offers more than machine translation. It’s also a full-fledged translation management platform where you get:
An instantly live and translated website. Through Weglot, you can translate an entire site within minutes. Plus, Weglot automatically detects changes to your content, so it can keep your translated sites updated.
A translation management platform, where you can create glossaries for each project, edit translations, use a visual editor to see how translated content works with your design, and order professional translation services.
Translated sites that follow the best practices outlined by Google for mastering multilingual SEO.