Dec 2006 Contents
Translating the Web: Web Site Development for an Asian Audience
By Jacqueline Sinex
Jacqueline Sinex has been working with WebXess, Inc. since 1998, communicating with clients about web site design, development, and web hosting. With an extensive creative background including over 10 years of fine arts education, Ms. Sinex also facilitates a majority of front-end graphics and art direction. For comments about this article, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In all aspects of marketing, the Eastern world is breaking through to the West. More and more businesses are expanding product lines and services into a new market that involves countries in East Asia. Whether a business forms an alliance with a Chinese company to use its resources for a project, or it sells directly to Japanese consumers, it is clear that key media materials should be appropriate for Asian audiences.
“A company’s web site is one of the most crucial marketing tools in overseas endeavors,” said Jacqueline Sinex, project manager for WebXess, Inc.
“The web is the easiest and quickest way to communicate a ton of information to your long-distance peers. If you are serious about making and keeping relationships with businesses or consumers overseas, it is one of the first mediums you should think about.”
Just as there are many ways of using the Internet to promote your business, there are many ways to present a web site in another language. Some companies choose to translate an existing web site’s entire content in an alternative language so that those foreign audiences are able to enjoy the same experience that English-speaking visitors do. This may involve using an experienced web developer and translation services to create a replica of the web site that is accessed with simple language-specific links, or special software can be used to automatically translate the web site based on a pre-defined dictionary.
Another approach is to create a separate web presence tailored to the specific products and services being offered to the Asian community. In a recent project that WebXess assisted with, the client elected to compose an entirely unique web site with a separate domain name.
“The content of the web site was an abbreviated version of the company’s portfolio, and all text, down to the smallest instruction, was in Chinese. The web site was not crowded with other service information that doesn’t relate to that audience,” Sinex said.
With the increasing popularity of Asian business relationships, translation assistance is becoming a more available and competitive service. There are now as many as 50 translation service providers in Austin alone. Also, many of the automated software options are becoming more sophisticated and include more Asian language support. Respected translation resources include tools from Systran, Applied Language, Google, and Alta Vista as well as many open source projects.
“There are dozens of translation software programs available today,” said Adnan Wasim, a web developer and systems administrator at WebXess.
Web site development companies like WebXess have recognized the value of this trend and started spreading the word to small business owners.
“You don’t have to be a large business to take advantage of new trends,” Sinex said. Web site marketing is one of the reasons that small and medium-sized businesses are breaking new ground without breaking the bank. By translating your web site into targeted languages, you show consumers, business partners, and competitors that you are thinking about the future.”
About WebXess, Inc.
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