How much will it cost to translate our website into these 10 languages? I love that question, and I hate it too. Because it usually means that the client is putting the cart before the horse. A laundry list of languages without many other specs usually shows that our prospect is testing the budgetary waters only. And if the first question is “How much will it cost?” instead of “How much money can we make?” then the reaction to the answer is usually, “That’s too much.”
So it can be tough to finish with a win when a conversation starts like that. It’s a marathon run for the sales guy, and all baby steps. I had one of these last week, but since this is for a client’s client, I thought I had an obligation as a business partner to push out some ideas on managing the web localization process. If nothing else, I’m getting a blog out of it. Of course, names have been changed to protect the innocent. These were the talking points….
Going global on the web.
English-Only Global Enterprise, Inc. is a global company, but is present on the web only in English. Localization of the web site into several languages will be an important step in the globalization of the firm.
To date, in-house resources have been unable to complete the translations satisfactorily. Considering the scope and importance of the task, it’s not surprising that you have encountered this problem. Ad-hoc re-purposing of in-house staff for translation is rarely successful. Accurate and cost-effective translation will best be accomplished through the use of professional resources.
Planning for translation of the web site offers a good opportunity to take a look at the big picture of language management for a global enterprise. Not sure yet, but we think you have plenty of opportunities there.
We believe it is time for English-Only Global Enterprise, Inc. to look at professional language management. Language management is the process used to maximize the efficient use and reuse of resources to maintain a high level of access, accuracy and efficiency in translated material.
Coming Next… Going Global on the Web: Tricks of the Trade