Fast Website Translation: How to Translate Your Entire Website

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Fast Website Translation: How to Translate Your Entire Website
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Did you know that only about 20% of internet users can speak or read English? If you haven't translated your website into different languages yet, you're missing out.

Not to worry—you don't need to know a foreign language to translate a website. Translation is a lot easier than you'd think.

In this post, we'll go over the benefits of website translation and explore the most common translation methods.

Benefits of Translating a Website

When you translate a webpage, there are a host of benefits for you and your brand:

  • Better SEO PerformanceIn the race to the top of search engine results, multilingual SEO gives a big boost. Translated keywords make your brand and products more discoverable online.
  • Global Brand Expansion76% of consumers prefer to buy products from sites written in their language. Well-written translated content attracts a global audience and gives you international credibility.
  • Return on Investment (ROI)Translating content is an investment, but it pays off. Surveys of Fortune 500 companies showed that translating their websites increased revenue.

Still not convinced? Check out our guide, 10 Great Reasons to Translate Websites.

Now that you know about the benefits, let's explore two of the most common translation methods: human translation and machine translation.

Methods for Website Translation

Method 1: Human Translation

Human translation is exactly what it sounds like: translation performed by a skilled human being. Most global brands use LSPs (language service providers) or translation agencies to find professional translators.

With translation costs starting at a few cents per word, this method can be an investment. But human translation has a few important advantages over machine translation. Professional translators understand context and cultural nuance better than a computer ever could. Unlike machines, translators proofread their content for excellent accuracy, grammar, and readability. When you need to build trust in your brand, human translation is a must-have.

How to Use Human Translation for your Website:

After you find and hire an LSP, here's how the translation process works.

  1. Decide what part of your website you want to translate.
  2. Send the website files to the LSP and request translations in preferred languages.
  3. Check and approve the price quote sent to you by the LSP.
  4. Wait for translations to arrive.
  5. Upload the translated files to your website. Your translated web pages are live!

Method 2: Machine Translation

Machine translation is easy and fast—so fast that it can translate an entire website in a millisecond. No human could ever keep up with this pace. Unlike human translation, machine translation runs on AI tools like Google Translate and Microsoft Translator. Plus, this tech uses neural machine translation (NMT) to get smarter over time.

Although machine translation is incredibly quick and easy, it has some serious downsides. The largest drawback is poor accuracy. AI can't understand context, slang, or subtle regional differences in language. Formatting and grammar errors are also common in machine translation. Machines won't replace humans anytime soon, but AI can still be a handy tool for some contexts.

How to Use Machine Translation on your Site:

Machine translation uses AI to generate automatic translations of websites. There are a few free machine translation tools:

Text Translation Sites

  • Text translation sites like Google Translate, Deepl, Bing, and Yandex can help you translate text from any website. Most of these tools have similar functionality. All you need to do is copy and paste your source language and click the translate button for your target language.
Image: a screenshot of the Google Translate website, with some English text translated to Spanish.

Browser-based Translation

  • Most web browsers have built-in AI translation extensions. These tools can easily detect your location to swap the default language to your preferred language. Entire webpages are translated in a snap.
Image: A screenshot of a Japanese website in the Edge browser. A pop-up asks the user if they'd like to translate the page from Japanese.
Example: Microsoft Edge asks users if they want an automatic AI translation.

Click the links below to read instructions for using a translation plugin in your favorite browser.

Website Translation for Mobile Devices

  • Apple and Android also have built-in automatic translation.
  • Google Chrome Open a website in another language. The browser will present you with a popup where you can instantly change the site from the original language to your preferred language.
  • Firefox Firefox users should add a plugin to the browser for translation. Mozilla officially recommends the To Google Translate add-on.
  • Safari When you use this browser on a Mac, you can navigate to a website and click the translate icon in the address bar. The site will be automatically translated.
  • Edge Like Chrome, the Edge browser will detect foreign language content and ask you in a popup if you'd like a translation.
Image: A screenshot of an iPhone showing translation in the Safari web browser.
Example: In Safari for iOS, users can tap a button in the address bar to translate a webpage.

Here's how to use translation tools on a mobile device:

  • Safari on iPhone or iPad To use the translation feature, open a foreign language website and tap the button in the address bar of your iOS device. Translation options will appear in the drop-down menu.
  • Chrome on AndroidOn your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app and navigate to a website in another language. At the bottom of the page, you can select the language you want to translate to.

Choosing the Best Website Translation Tool

So what's the best approach in website translation: human or machine?

Surprisingly, it's both! Here at Localize, we recommend machine translation with human post-editing. With this method, a human translator reviews a machine-translated website to make it sound accurate and natural. This approach is the best of both worlds. It combines the speed of AI translation with the precision of people.

Localize is a comprehensive TMS (translation management system) that uses both human and machine translation methods. Partnering with a TMS can make website localization a breeze. We have fast and reliable translation options for all budgets. Localize is always on, which means we make it easy to automatically deploy new translations to your site anytime.

Contact us to learn how Localize can help you translate your website today!

Wendy Madill
Wendy Madill
Content Marketing & Writing

Experienced content pro with years in SaaS and tech. I blend writing, editing, knowledge management, and content strategy to make tough technical topics easier.

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