Your Complete Guide to Chinese Website Translation Services – Why It’s a Priority These Days
Maria Krisette Capati, Author
10 Dec 2019
Thinking of investing in a Chinese website? You came to the right place.
In this blog post, you will know more about the process and basics of how to jumpstart your translation and localization strategies.
Instead of doing it on your own, you’ll know how to find the right language partner, files to prepare, a few technical stuff, some marketing perspective, and more.
Even if your English website is thriving, you also have to check your analytics as to which non-English speaking countries drive more visits or clicks. You might be surprised to find Chinese users and visitors.
If you’re unsure whether you really need a translated version of your website, that’s acceptable. Because going through and spending on a site with multilingual features that support Chinese is an investment.
If you’re thinking of short-term goals, then a Chinese website isn’t for you. But if you have long-term plans such as targeting the Chinese market and specific regions, make sure you’ll manage your expectations. All things can be done with the best practices.
Things to consider before moving forward on website translation services in Chinese
#1 Written texts used in your target region or country
Before you go further, think first, where you want your Chinese website to be available.
For example, do you want to make it available only in Mainland China? Or do you consider Hong Kong and Taiwan visitors, too?
The reason why you need to consider the target region is for you to decide whether you’ll only use Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese or both.
Chinese readers in Mainland China use the Simplified Chinese and even the people that were originally from China, living in Singapore. If you’re also launching a website in Hong Kong and Taiwan, you’d have to discuss with your translation provider how to save more if you avail both written versions.
#2 SEO strategies for long-term results
If you want to go further in generating traffic to your Chinese website, you also need to work and consider SEO (Search Engine Optimization) on Baidu. As you know, the Google search engine isn’t available in Mainland China.
Baidu has the most significant market share among Chinese search engines.
Although, some Chinese users can pass through the wall via VPNs (Virtual Private Network) to access these western sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and more.
So, if you’re going to do this for the long-term, you need to invest in Chinese content on your website. Baidu only indexes websites that have Chinese content. An SEO specialist who knows about the technicalities of Baidu algorithms can help you research and extract keywords.
However, we advise you to prioritize quality Chinese content more than just writing for search results. Keep in mind that if you translate from English to Chinese, your content on the webpages must be available in HTML. Baidu can index those pages properly (as of this writing).
#3 Content to translate and taglines to copyedit or transcreate
What type of content do you wish to focus on or prioritize? Depending on the nature of your business, if you’re offering products, you have to make a list of all your items that have product descriptions and important texts to translate in bulk.
When it comes to the retail sector, it’s more than just writing boring product descriptions. Copyediting and transcreation in Chinese will also bring life to your items on the website. It’s also the same if you’re offering services, you need more than just translating the texts.
You may opt for transcreation or the process of translating the texts to the target language but with a little bit of tweaking to make it more culturally relevant and also engaging.
Advertisements in English can undergo transcreation, where Chinese copywriters will both translate and create texts that will be appealing to the target audience. Whether that’s a tagline, a banner on your homepage, or a marketing slogan.
#4 Website hosting servers in Mainland
If you’re after long-term efforts and strategies, you may want to consider some technical aspects of your website. Having a web hosting server in the Mainland isn’t mandatory. It’s optional, depending on how you want to move forward with your online activities.
But there are numerous benefits that you’ll enjoy if you have a dedicated Chinese website. It’s like the core of your go-to marketing strategy for long-term results. But of course, it’s a huge investment and also involves technical and daunting registration processes.
Some companies need a Chinese version of the texts of their current English website. So, that’s where the translation process comes in.
There are several factors to consider, such as Great Firewall, codes of your site that may be automatically blocked, speed and performance, and many more if you don’t have a hosting server in Mainland. Plus, if you get a hosting server, you are required to get ICP Beian License.
You also have to think about the maintenance of two websites if you wish to separate the English and Chinese versions.
#5 Dedicated team for tech support and update on texts
You won’t be having any issues when updating the website if your goal is to have a Chinese version without the marketing activities.
If you only need the Chinese texts on your website, whether, in Simplified Chinese or Traditional Chinese, you don’t have to worry about finding a dedicated team for tech support and website maintenance.
But if you do, then you must have a plan for the long-term. The considerations mentioned above can be your gauge on how much you’re willing to get involved with the technical processes aside from translation services.
How to work with translation agencies to speed up the Chinese website translation process
Do you want to speed up the process of translation? Then better prepare and plan ahead to make sure you’re always on track. Here are some practical tips, whether you’re a first-timer or would like to switch to a vendor whom you think matches your translation needs.
#1 Create a list for your pages
List down the pages of your English website to easily track the ones that are urgent and least urgent. Even if you agreed to translate all the web pages, a list that can be in the form of a spreadsheet could help project managers oversee the progress of the task.
Listing the pages also helps you strategies on Chinese SEO if you wish to take your content marketing to the next level. You can use these files to help SEO specialists and copywriters understand the context of those pages.
#2 Make sure the content is easily “translatable”
Most content writers in each sector have a style and set of terminologies and phrases in English. If you’re running a blog or an English website, it’s best to use easy to translate sentences and avoid colloquialisms and jargon.
While your original texts in English may be relevant to your English-speaking audience, you may apply a little bit of transcreation in Chinese to make sure the Chinese readers understand the ideas presented.
The goal of translation is to communicate what the original texts say to the intended audience. So, when we say use translatable words, it’s recommended to use simple English words.
#3 Provide glossary for context
In connection with the previous point, providing a glossary for the team of translators and style guide will help speed up the translation process. It will help translators understand the texts within contexts that will lead to accurate translations.
Providing a glossary will likely result in high-quality translations because it comprises of words and phrases that are unique in your business. It serves as a guide on what these words and terms mean and how to translate in Chinese.
#4 Get a quote and ask for samples or translation test
In your quest to find the right Chinese language service provider, ask for samples. Aside from samples, ask for a sample translation, which can be a paid one or free, to see if you’re fit to work for long-term.
A translation test can be about 100 words, which most providers will gladly offer. Quotes are also negotiable, and it depends on the type of translation tasks on hand. One of the best ways to save costs is to discuss the rates on repetitive words that the CAT tool detects.
Remember, hire a Chinese translator and work with someone who knows your industry. Each has its own specialization. Your projects are safe with those who have worked within your industry.
What’s your next step?
Why is it important to include website translation these days? First, it’s because your Chinese customers are no longer bounded by distance. In a few clicks, they can visit your website, browse on your products and services, or watch videos.
Let us know how we can help you in your journey as you grow your business, whether offline or online.
Make sure you choose the right Chinese translation agency and think of the collaboration as a partnership for your long-term plans.
Fill in the form below and we will get back to you with a quote on your project.
As we are constrained by resources, we will only serve those deserve our attention and time. We will only focus on clients who are already decided which projects to prioritize and understand the importance of translation and localization efforts.
Maria Krisette Capati
Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad.