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Introduction

Leveraging proxy translation technology is another way to localize content for multilingual markets. Unlike APIs and connectors, the proxy translation approach operates independently of your CMS or technology stack. The best proxy translation solutions eliminate the technology and personnel challenges of localizing online content.

Proxy technology leverages the code and content of your website, enabling the translation, deployment and continuous operation of translated versions, for as many markets as you wish.

Proxy systems perfectly preserve the website’s functionality, and automatically update and serve its translated content on a continual basis.

Proxy Translation 101

Proxy-based technology separates the content from your origin website’s code in ways that—when combined with translation—deliver immersive, localized web experiences.

How does it work? At a high level, a translation vendor’s proxy server sits in the middle of the end-user and your back-end system. Your origin website’s content is swapped out with its translated equivalent before the fully functioning translated webpage is sent to the multilingual end-user. This process happens instantly.

Here’s a closer look: When a global user requests to view your website in their preferred language, that request—say, selecting “Spanish” from a navigation menu on an English-language site, or searching in Spanish on a search engine—signals to the proxy that a multilingual website should be displayed.

The proxy’s translation server, which sits between your origin website and your global users, receives the user’s request for the translated site. The translation server then asks your website’s back-end system to displays the code and for the webpage the user requested.

The proxy then works with that up-to-the-minute code—preserving its look, feel and functionality—and replaces its primary language content (English, in our example) with the translated content in the requested language (Spanish). The entire process is completed instantly, which makes the content substitution undetectable to the user.

The proxy technology does not alter or interfere with your primary site or its code in any way. It acts only as a “pass through” to grab the appropriate translated content on the way to displaying your website to a global visitor.

Advantages to the Proxy Translation Approach

Great Flexibility: Unlike connectors and APIs, proxies don’t need to be configured for your system. They work independently of it. Proxy translation solutions allow you to customize every aspect of the project, from the scope of work, translation type, number of languages and level of involvement.

Adaptability: Proxies can be fully hands-on, fully turn-key, or a blend of both.

Security: The best proxy translation solutions never collect data from end users.

Ease of Integration: With the best proxy translation solutions, you can change hardware or software, or replatform at any time without impacting site functionality. Proxy technology can be used with any tool, handle any site and read any programming language.

Scalability: Proxy solutions adapt to meet your translation needs, without requiring additional personnel. The proxy translates your origin website in as many languages as you wish, without creating additional work for your team .

Seamless Usability: Proxies work smoothly and instantly. Website visitors get a robust user experience, regardless of their preferred languages.

Multi-Device Capability: Proxy translation solutions automatically adjust how translated content appears, regardless of the device on which it is viewed (laptop, tablet or smartphone) to ensure an authentic and seamless user experience.

Cost Savings: Proxy translation eliminates the expense of building separate websites by using the code of your site to dynamically present translated content to global users.

Omnivorous: The best proxy solutions translate a full range of web content, from standard text to third-party feeds, graphics, multimedia and applications.

Speed: The best proxies use advanced technologies to localize and launch websites in as little as 30 days. This includes in-context editing, which gives translators a live view of the website’s layout, to accelerate translation turnaround.

Elimination of Separate Websites: Because the proxy translation solution uses the code of your primary-market website to dynamically present translated content to global uses, you’ll never need to host and operate separate, localized websites.

Responsive Translation for External Content: The best proxy solutions can translate third-party content, graphics, multimedia and applications, ensuring smooth user experiences at every point of their visit to your website.

Independent Functionality Regardless of CMS: The proxy solution expands the effectiveness of your CMS; it doesn’t replace it. You can further your investments in your current CMS, or switch CMSs altogether, without it impacting the performance of your multilingual sites.

Not All Proxies are Created Equal

There are many proxy-based website translation solutions on the market. But some are much better than others. Many vendors claim to provide superior translation technology, but that’s all they provide—just the technology.

That’s not enough for most businesses. With these technology-only approaches, you must still implement, set up and operate the solutions on your own. This demands a large development team, along with the management of complex processes and workflows. Beyond the actual process of translating content, creating multilingual websites also require you to:

  • Export translatable content from your back-end system
  • Send this content to translators
  • Oversee a complicated, error-prone translation workflow
  • Uploading that translated content into your CMS instance
  • Test for quality
  • And more

And that happens on an ongoing basis. Many companies—especially those with limited IT or marketing resources—don’t have the staff or bandwidth to babysit their translated sites day in, and day out.

Ideally, you should seek out vendors with excellent effortless technology and translation services for websites.

An Innovative Approach: The Effortless Proxy Translation

Companies seeking a hands-free website translation solution should investigate vendors that deliver effortless proxy translation solutions. This approach delivers all of the benefits of a traditional proxy solution described previously, while also eliminating effort and continuously reducing costs on an ongoing basis.

Initial setup and ongoing operations are managed at launch, and continually as part of a service package. There’s no need to hire more employees (or overwork your current ones), no learning curve to master the skills needed for website translation, and no worry about integrating CMSs, platforms or solutions.

These solutions handle practically every aspect of the website translation and process and its operation, including:

  • Automated content management, from detecting and queuing content for localization, to translating, editing, approving and deploying localized content typically within one business day
  • Website operation, including uptime, software patches and installation
  • Project management by dedicated teams that oversee every facet of the website translation project

Let’s take a closer look.

Technology Configuration

The effortless proxy translation approach removes the burden of configuring and managing multilingual websites from your IT team. You don’t have to…

  • Configure plugins or connectors to export content from your CMS
  • Manage the configuration and ongoing scalability of servers
  • Parse, identify and extract translatable content in JavaScript files or Single-Page Applications

Dynamically Generated Content

Leading effortless proxy solutions can work with programming languages like JavaScript to identify and translate content that’s generated on-the-fly by product inventory applications, or single-page applications (for instance, applications that use AJAX requests to serve up dynamic content).

By recognizing certain unique factors about a visitor—such as location, search history, cookies or session data—the proxy forwards these specific cookies, identifiers and session data to your site’s backend, so you can serve up the required dynamic content to that user.

For instance: The proxy will forward a cookie or session ID to your backend so you can serve up the appropriate product set to a user in a specific global market. The proxy receives the appropriate localized content and displays its translated equivalent to the user in real-time, in the context of the original application.

Translation Workflow

When you work with an effortless proxy translation solution, you don’t have to…

  • Manage a translation glossary and brand style guide
  • Manually copy, paste and send translatable content from your CMS, database or other back-end into spreadsheets for localization by internal or outsourced linguists
  • Manage translation workflows, consistency and quality across multiple languages and channels
  • Manage translation of multimedia and interactive applications
  • Continually optimize content to reduce the number of words for translation

The vendor’s team handles the automatic website translation workflow, and ensures quality and consistency by adhering to your brand’s unique translation glossary and style guide for every language and global market.

The solution automatically detects translatable content on your origin website, whether it’s text on a page, in an image, a PDF or even single-page applications (SPAs). It automatically exports that content for immediate translation, and uploads the localized versions once translations are complete. You don’t expend any effort.

Quality Assurance

An effortless proxy translation solution also saves you the time it takes to review, test and fix the UX of your multilingual websites. You don’t have to:

  • Perform QA on multilingual sites
  • Monitor for content updates
  • Review translation quality

Effortless proxy solutions test your translated website to replicate the user’s journey from navigation to conversion—and they conduct this testing on desktop computers, smartphones and other devices to ensure a flawless UX.

They also examine the site to make sure your page designs look great, your conversion funnels work and customers can properly access any secure areas. The best solutions guarantee the usability of localized third-party applications, too.

Business-Boosting Website Optimizations

Effortless proxy website translation services also offer many business optimization capabilities that can help increase your business’ success in multilingual markets:

Instant Language Detection: Look for website translation solutions that offer intelligent language-detection capabilities. This ensures that multilingual visitors find the right localized version of your website, every time. This multilingual “welcome mat” delivers benefits such as:

  • Dramatically improves user experience and conversion rates by eliminating friction caused by manual language-switching, while improving traffic to global sites
  • A powerful algorithm automatically determines user preferences, such as language and country
  • Only appears when the localized website’s language is not likely to be appreciated by the visitor
  • Supports other features, such as cookie law compliance

On-Site Search Enablement: Great vendors offer localized on-site search capabilities:

  • Improves conversion rates by enhancing a website’s on-site search in other languages
  • Leverages your site’s existing search technology to generate optimal results
  • Monitors customer activity and site performance to ensure the on-site search configuration remains accurate and relevant

International SEO Keyword Research: Great website translation vendors perform SEO keyword research in any language, for any market, in every industry—with no effort required from you.

  • Includes synonym-based searches, so visitors can more easily find CenturyLink’s localized sites
  • Increases organic search traffic

URL Translation: Great solutions also translate your site’s URLs with no customer-side involvement required.

  • This helps pages rank higher in search engines for non-branded keywords, boosting organic traffic in regional search engines
  • New translated URLs contain strategically important search terms that are commonly used in local markets
  • Website visitors can follow the URL navigation path in their own language, improving the user experience
  • The best vendors supports URL translation for all languages (including those with non-Latin characters, such as Russian, Chinese and Arabic)

Global Sitemap Management: This effortless capability automatically sets up and updates multilingual versions of your origin website’s sitemap.xml files, and layers in hreflang tag attributes.

  • This improves international SEO by providing the right mapping signals to search engines
  • Intelligently organizes and packages all localized website URLs
  • Reduces effort for customer-side SEO analysts by removing constant manual updates to language referencing tags in source code
  • hreflang tagging tells search engines which language you are using on a specific page, so the search engine can serve that result to users searching in that language
  • Ensures international search engines are displaying the correct localized version of a site

Multimedia Translation: The best providers of effortless solutions also localize multimedia content for use on a website or other channels.

  • This includes translating images with text embedded within the image, or images that have a “text overlay”
  • We provide video dubbing or subtitles, as well as translatable content within the video such as images within the video
  • Translation of audio files
  • Animations that contain translatable content

Offline Document Translation: Effortless solutions often serve your entire enterprise, including translating non-digital content.

  • Look for capabilities that support localizing offline documents for sales material, marketing material, store signage, training material, support documentation, etc.
  • Great solutions ensure their linguists are native speakers of the language they’re translating the content into
  • Translation process follows ISO 17100 and 9001 procedures

Other Value-Added Features

Site and Keyflow Monitoring: Smart technology monitors your localized website’s keyflows for functionality issues. When errors are detected, our engineers correct them or notify you if needed.

Customizations: Website code and content can be customized for specific markets, such as presenting local customer support information, changing units of measurement, displaying local currencies or offering market-specific promotions.

Ongoing SEO: Deployment of localized sitemaps greatly improves search rankings. Special hreflang implementation ensures the proper translated version of your website appears in multilingual users’ search results.

Customer-Aligned: Many vendors try to maximize your translation spend. But the best effortless solutions provide ways to ensure your international success, so that you can keep adding languages—and expanding your global reach.

Read more about website translation in our ultimate guide to website translation.

 

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