Localization Steps for Multilingual Websites for Asia

In our technologically driven world, we use the internet for so many aspects of our lives. From online shopping to communicating with friends and family, and even having services delivered to us via apps. All this is done with the help of websites. But if you are a company that wants to expand into the Asian market with your website, it’s not enough to simply have your web content translated. It’s essential to plan for a solid strategy that localizes all the content as there are many aspects that need to be taken care of and make it easily digestible for people in Asian countries. If you’re wondering what some of the best practices are when localizing web content, keep reading below.

Consistent Use of Industry-Specific Terminology

Every business operates within its own specific sphere and taking industry-specific language and terminology into account is crucial. This will mean some upfront work before you even get started with the layout and design of your multilingual website. For example, one good practice to follow is to ensure that you have a glossary of terms ready to pass on to the translators, who will then input this into the translation programs. This means more uniformity when it comes to translations, less ambiguous terms used, and more precision when it comes to the translation.

Adapting to Different Locations and Cultures

Asia is a huge continent with many different countries, cultures, language groups, subcultures, etc. It would be a mistake to assume that you can apply a one-size-fits-all approach to all countries where you’re planning to enter the market and you rather need to spend some time researching local customs, and ideally, use the expertise of a native translator who will be able to help guide you to see if you’re on the right track with your use of specific words for your multilingual website. Some things to keep in mind here are avoiding idioms and humor as these are extremely difficult to translate and can sometimes send out the wrong message. Next, consider the layout of the translated text and whether it fits properly on the screen. With some Asian countries using characters instead of letters, you may require more space on the page. You also need to think about the design itself. For instance, are the colors and photos culturally appropriate and sensitive enough? In addition, you should always consult with local regulations and requirements to ensure you’re on the right track. Finally, you need to look at your formatting. For example, do you use the right local currencies, units of measurement, dates, formats of addresses or phone numbers?

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Performing UI Тesting

Multilingual WebsiteUser Interface (UI) testing is crucial before launching your site. You will need to have it reviewed in front of a group of test subjects to iron out any mistakes or errors that may have cropped up. You need to make sure that every word appears in the correct context, and that there is accurate localization. In addition, once this is done, there’s the need to ensure that the overall design accurately depicts what you’re trying to convey to your target audience. Remember that first impressions are critical for the discerning web audience and if you make minor errors that aren’t ironed out in the initial stages of your multilingual website creation process, you could lose out on potential customers.

Convey the Right Tone

As mentioned above, Asia is a melting pot of different cultural and language groups. This means that while in some countries, being informal in your word and language use may be considered appropriate, in other cases such as South Korea where honorifics play a major role in the local culture, you may need to use a more formal tone to convey the right levels of respect to your audience. This will mean determining whether you will refer to your audience by first name or surname, whether there will be suffixes added to certain words to denote an honorific term, and overall whether you’re striking the right note with the readers and users of your multilingual website.

Determine Users’ Search Habits

Search engine optimization (SEO) is also crucial for your site as it is through keywords (whether short or longtail) that users come to find your site by entering their query in a search bar. Knowing which terms they’re actively looking for and how your business falls within that category of search is another key element. For example, in some countries, users might search for terms such as CCTV (closed-circuit television) for their home security needs. The keyword “CCTV” could therefore be what you want to target. On the other hand, users in different Asian countries with the same search intent may not be familiar with “CCTV” and may type in “smart home” instead to find results that appropriately meet their needs. Even though “CCTV” and “smart home” may be closely related in terms of actual meaning, the specific word usage will be culturally driven in terms of what’s most acceptable in their specific culture. Therefore, keeping user intent top of mind and targeting a wider spread of different keywords for the same concept will help ensure your multilingual website is easily found, that users’ searches are relevant, and that the right and useful results are easily yielded in a search.

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The Importance of Multilingual Websites for Asia

While all these factors put together, creating a multilingual website may seem like a costly, time-consuming experience that involves an array of hassles. You need to make sure that when you’re targeting Asian consumers, no matter in which specific location, you localize all content and designs to ensure that you reach them, gain their attention, and trust to help you reach more potential customers and then retain them. Wherever in Asia you choose to spread your wings and take your business to, localization is a must. Localization takes a look at not only direct translations of words, but intended, nuanced meanings or those that might seem contradictory and helps iron these challenges out while catering to a user’s needs and product/service demands.