Translation Technology

Speedy Content Translation is Vital for Multilingual Portals

Most vendors fail at rapidly—or accurately—translating portals and secure online login areas. Here’s why, and how to avoid the costs and risks.

Chris Hutchins's avatar
Chris Hutchins

April 08, 2020

4 MIN READ

Traditional translation agencies don’t have the technology or ability to keep pace with the unique aspects of secure portal localization. Their underdeveloped technologies and sluggish translation deliveries usually create subpar online experiences, which lead to:

  • Communication failures with multilingual customers, suppliers and partners
  • Alienated constituents, resulting in increased customer churn
  • Higher marketing and sales investments to offset customer loss
  • Increased customer service costs to handle more inbound support requests
  • Violation of language compliance laws
  • And more

These are high-stakes risks, since portals are invaluable gateways for increased engagement and communication with multilingual customers, and provide educational content for international employees and business partners.

Let’s take a closer look at why the capabilities of most traditional—and in many cases, very well-known—translation agencies cannot properly localize portals and other secure login areas. We’ll also explore superior solutions that prioritize the rapid delivery of accurate portal translations, both at launch and ongoing.

Inadequate Technologies

Your multilingual and international constituents expect perfect digital user experiences, just like your domestic constituents do. Unfortunately, traditional translation agencies can’t often deliver on these expectations … especially when it comes to localized portals.

These businesses forged their expertise on translating old-school media such as books, documents and brochures. They lack the digital-first resources and technical know-how to localize websites, portals and secure login areas.

In fact, partnering with a traditional vendor often generates more cost, effort and risk than it’s worth.

A common area where their technical abilities fall short is when translating single-page applications and dynamic content powered by Angular, React, JSON and other frameworks.

Nearly all translation vendors use content detection and content parsing technologies to identify translatable content within webpages and applications, and separate that content into easy-to-translate chunks called segments.

Unfortunately, traditional vendors don’t have sophisticated versions of these technologies. They can’t distinguish an application’s translatable content (which appears as text) from its structured code (which also appears as text). This results in:

  • Words or phrases in code are mistakenly translated, completely breaking the application
  • Actual translatable content isn’t reliably detected, resulting in a partially-translated application that wrecks the UX

Old-school vendors also face similar issues with AJAX calls that produce dynamic content that isn’t always seen on the page. This also leads to an unacceptable “mixed language” UX that alienates customers.

Ongoing Operational Challenges

Even in the absence of such technically complex circumstances, traditional vendors are still at risk of delivering subpar “mixed language” experiences to portal users. This is because they lack efficient automated workflows that expedite the translation process on an ongoing basis.

It’s common for companies to regularly add content to their portals and secure login areas. With many traditional vendors, even trivial content updates can remain undetected and untranslated for days, or even weeks.

To compensate, vendors usually heap the manual effort of translation management onto to their customers. This often requires key internal resources, and results in unexpected costs.

Companies find themselves experiencing:

  • Delays in production as their IT teams identify and extract new portal content for translation
  • Long waits—sometimes two to three weeks—for the translation vendor to translate the content
  • More time spent vetting and revising the translated content for accuracy and brand voice
  • Even further delays as the IT team wade through workloads to finally integrate and publish the localized content
  • This process is repeated every time the portal is refreshed with new or updated content

Ideally, new or updated portal content should be identified for translation, translated, edited, QA’d and published in about one business day. No legacy agency can reliably deliver website translations within that timeframe.

What’s the Answer?

If traditional translation vendors generate so much cost, effort and risk for their customers, do companies have a better option for portal localization?

Look for superior solutions offered by “digital-first” vendors. These agencies were developed after the creation of the Internet, and understand its technical complexities. Their developers and translators use superior technologies that remove most—and in ideal cases, all—of ongoing localization and management tasks from the customer.

The best solutions can launch localized portals in as little as 30 days and deliver translations for fresh content in about one business day.

When you’re looking for a translation solution, consider whether it can offer:

  • Superior speed to market, launching your multilingual site in as little as 30 days
  • Thorough content-parsing technology to ensure all translatable content, in all media, is detected for translation before the project begins
  • Intelligent change-detection technology that spots and automatically queues new content for translation on an ongoing basis
  • Reliable translation deliveries of about one business day

Accept nothing less than a superior digital-first vendor that can deliver the online experience your multilingual and international constituents expect—and will reward with ongoing business.

Last updated on April 08, 2020
Chris Hutchins's avatar

About Chris Hutchins

Chris Hutchins is a versatile, deadline-driven content director, editor and writer with 15+ years of corporate go-to-market, creative agency and journalism experience. In his off hours, Chris crafts award-winning marketing experiences, screenplays & novels for TV shows, movies and game companies.

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