Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Translation

SEO
In the past 20 years Globalization and the internet have revolutionized the way we do business. Companies are now aware of the importance of an online presence to succeed in the international market place. The scope for development in the sector is amazing. As of 2011 over 80% of the internet was in English yet approximately 26% of internet Users are native English speakers. This figure gives an idea of the amount of development that is required over the coming years to translate the internet.
Yet its all very well translating your website into multiple languages but if it shows nowhere in the search rankings for that language a business is defeating the purpose of translating the website in the first place. A lot of companies make the serious error of website translation without SEO in mind rendering most of their translated content ineffective. That’s a sizable investment in something that could have been easily avoided if the translation and SEO projects were run in conjunction from the start.
Content creation and website design are two of the most important components of SEO. Once the optimal SEO design of the source website is created and the optimized source content uploaded we are ready for the translation and optimization of the of the language versions of the website. A lot of translation services companies offer SEO and translation services together but what exactly does this entail.
Firstly, the keywords must be established in the translated language. This is a critical part of the project and depends very much on the budget of the company. Being such a new and pioneering field most companies have to outsource their SEO needs and it tends to be very expensive. One must bear in mind that a lot of key words have already been invested in heavily and the bottom line is that if you don’t have the budget for a significant linking campaign for a competitive keyword there is no point in going for that keyword. Most good SEO consultants will advise a client as to the keywords they can achieve within their budget with the hope that the client can find a niche within their market. The profitability or competitiveness of certain keywords can be judged by certain barometers.
Once the keywords have been established for each page it’s very important the translation must be carried out with SEO in mind. This means that a certain keyword must appear in certain places on a web page without being mentioned too often which could result in penalization by search engines (key word stuffing). Some suggest that the keyword should appear in the title, description, heading ones, body twice and the alt tags. This is by no means a protocol as one also has to bear in mind that search engines are constantly changing their algorithms and search criteria. The appearance of the keyword in certain areas can often lead to very cumbersome translations however producing a seamless translation that reads well with the keyword in place is a skill in itself and the reason a lot of translation companies that handle SEO can afford to charge that little bit extra for SEO translation.
Once we have achieved the optimal design and the optimized translated content has been uploaded the SEO process begins in earnest. The key is to get internal links from other spaces on the World Wide Web. This process can be very expensive and very hard to measure. It is achieved in a number of ways such as reciprocal links, articles, press releases, social networking, links directories, associate websites, free utilities and many more. The translation vendor still has a role to play here and should be responsible for the following in the various languages:
• Search Engine Optimized articles • SEO’ed press releases • SEO’ed new website content • SEO’ed social networking content • SEO’ed link templates
The translation company really needs to be hands on throughout the link building process otherwise results will not be achieved.
To summarize, an SEO and translation project is huge commitment financially. One must also bear in mind that all internal resources especially the publishing resources must be aware of the project and write with SEO in mind to get the best results. Translating with SEO in mind requires a very conscious mindset. One also has to consider that SEO is an ongoing project that the client always has to remain in top of. At the end of the day if the SEO investment is justifying itself then it’s worth maintaining this investment.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain that offers cut rate SEO translations rates, click here to review them or get an SEO translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!

One Stop Shop Translations: Fixing Translation Rates and Prices

One Stop Shop Translations: Fixing Translation Rates and Prices: As an independent translator one of the most important things to consider is what translation rates to set. A professional translators dile...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fixing Translation Rates and Prices

translation rates
As an independent translator one of the most important things to consider is what translation rates to set. A professional translators dilemma is being caught in one of two undesirable situations: ” Am I pricing myself out of the market or I seem to be working all day yet barely making enough to pay the bills?” The following article discusses some of the issues facing the translator when setting their translation rates:

Background and Experience

An experienced translator with an established client base can afford to set higher translation rates than a graduate with little or no experience. The experienced translator has been tried and tested and has the luxury of relative financial security with other clients. They are not desperate for the work. On the other hand an inexperienced graduate with little or no commercial experience is more desperate for the work and they have little or no financial security. This is why their rates are often cheaper.
The area of specialization often affects pricing. Highly specialized fields with a lot of technical jargon like for instance pharmaceuticals, technical engineering, legal and medical translation often require the translator to have a skilled qualification as well as experience in this field. This often leads to fewer qualified translators in this sector leading to higher prices. For example general business texts are less technical with less terminology and most translators can translate them no problem. This means there is a huge supply of translators to choose from leading to lower translation prices in this area.

Language Combination


The language combination has a huge effect on translation rates. It also often boils down to the old case of supply and demand. The more translators there are for a particular language combination the cheaper the prices will be. Certain combinations are simply more competitive than others for translators thus pushing the prices down.
The cost of living in the target language country where more often than not the translator is located influences translation rates. We notice that when the target language is a language from a developing country for instance Spanish translation services for Peru, the rates tend to be much cheaper as the GDP or standard of living in this particular country is very low. The translator can afford to charge much lower translation prices. A hundred EURO in Peru goes a lot further than in Spain.
We also should note that rare language combinations, for example Icelandic to French tend to be more expensive than more common language combinations such as English to Spanish translation. This is of course because there are fewer translators for the Icelandic to French combination so the translator can in effect name his price.

Culture


The culture of a country. For example we notice that German translation rates tend to be much higher than Spanish translation rates. This is down to a number of factors but a major bearing is the simple fact that a German translator will not work for €0, 05 per word whereas it seems to be a standard rate in Spain and Italy. This also ties in with the fact that the cost of living in Germany is much higher. From my experience there seems to be a lot of German translators but they just charge higher rates.
All in all setting realistic translation rates is one of the essentials to a successful translation career as a freelancer. A very low translation quote tends to have potential clients wondering why is this guy so cheap, plus often leaves the translator short of salary whereas too high a translation quote simply prices the translator out of the market. It is indeed a delicate balancing act that must be approached with caution.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain. If you just want to browse over our translation rates, click here or get a great value personalised translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Understanding Translation Quotes

translation quote
Time and time again clients are left baffled by the translation quote process. The fact that there is no formal method for translation quotes means that quotes can be interpreted in many different ways. A client may think he is choosing the cheapest quote while in fact this may be the opposite.
The following article describes some of the headaches and remedies to confront the quoting process. Normally, someone looking for translation services will shop around and receive at least three quotes. Firstly the needs of the client must be taken into consideration.

Is the client is only looking for a single language to be translated with no additional translation services such as software localization, desk top publishing or software localization?

In this case it is often recommended to go straight to the translator and avoid the middle man, the translation services company, as they of course take a percentage of the translation which in some cases can be up to 50% of the translation quote. This is justified by the additional value they add to a translation.

Does the client need multiple languages translated?

In this case the client may have the in-house resources and knowledge to deal with a multiple translation language project however this is often not the case as a lot of projects tend to be one off or a lot of the multilingual projects require a lot of specific translation expertise and skills which are only available within a translation company. For instance, the use of translation memories, the availability of a large database of specialized translators, Desktop publishing specialists or software localization engineers. For many companies this expertise and resources would be a sizable investment and not worth it in the long run so they tend to outsource their translation needs.
On the plus side a lot of translation tasks are very measurable, for instance word counts to measure the cost of translation, page counts to measure the costs of desktop publishing, string counts to measure the costs of software localization. Even though all these tasks within the translation process are very measurable translation quotes can differ to the extent that clients may even wonder if they are looking at the quote for the same project.
Here are some pointers to bear in mind when requesting a translation quote: With regard to the cost of translation some translation services companies may charge by: • Word count which tends to be the most reliable • Character count which can be especially the case with Asian languages • Page count which can be unreliable as there are often great variations in the number of words per page
Word counts and translation rates can vary greatly too due to the following factors: Some companies use Translation Memory technology. This technology can reduce the word count greatly even with new translations as there may be a lot of repetitions within a file. For instance, in the case of software a lot of the User Interface strings are repeated throughout the software. A lot of companies will offer a discount on these repeated strings or offer the repeated terms at a reduced word count. One thing to bear in mind however is that the cost of translation memory technology will be factored into the translation price. At the beginning the prices may seem a little more expensive but once the translations are in progress and the translation memories of previous work built up, the benefits of reduced word counts and more consistent translations are clearly evident. Paying that little bit extra will increases quality and in the long run reduce cost provided the translation memories are managed correctly. The aforementioned gives an insight as to why some translation prices and word counts can vary from one translation quote to another.

Does the translation quote include revision?

Some translation services companies factor the cost of revision into their translation rate making them more expensive. This has an obvious advantage in that translators are only human and a third eye to revise texts enhances quality. To summarize the use of translation memory technology and revision greatly enhance quality and give us an insight into why translation rates can vary so much between translation services companies. One must also bear in mind that a client can be more focused on cost as opposed to quality as in many cases they will have local offices doing the revisions.

Why do translation rates vary so much from language to language?

There is a simple rule of thumb here in that the rates tend to be reflected by the country of a particular language. For developing countries the local language tends to be translated more cheaply than in developed countries. For instance Chinese translation services tend to be cheaper than German translation services.
To summarize, three main factors that influence the cost of translation are: • Use of translation Memory technology • Language combination being translated • Whether there is revision
So far we have only considered the cost of translation but what about the other translation services: Software localization tends to be charged on an hourly basis but again the hourly rates can vary greatly from one translation Services Company to another. Again a major factor can be the location of the translation services company. For instance a translation vendor in a developing country tends to have much lower hourly software localization rates as opposed a vendor in a developed country where the costs of labor are much more expensive. The same principle also applies to the cost of desktop publishing.
All in all, if you are wondering why one quote is so cheap you have to probe that particular translation services company exactly what their process is, how they manage to cut their costs so much and be sure to ask for references of previous work completed. Picking the best translation quote is definitely a mind field but if all your priorities are clear there is a vendor out there to suit your needs.

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Mark Kieran - CEO - One Stop Shop Translations

Mark Kieran, CEO, One Stop Shop Translations

One Stop Shop Translations is a translation services company based in Madrid, Spain. If you just want to browse over our translation rates, click here or get a great value personalised translation quote here.

Try One Stop Shop Translations for Quality, price and timeliness!