Chinese Website Translation
Chinese Website Translation
You must have your website fully "globalized" if you want to build and grow an online presence in Chinese-speaking markets. The term globalization has many definitions, but within the translation services industry it refers to the basic process of creating or modifying a website so that it will function in any market in the world.
Chinese website translation has many complexities, and not every translation agency is capable of adequately performing this service. When searching for a Chinese translation agency who can translate your website into Chinese, investigate to make sure that your translation partner has capabilities in the following areas:
1. Chinese Website Translators: Your Chinese website translation projects require Chinese website translators who are native-speaking, professional website translators who also specialize in specific technical and professional areas that intersect with your company's products or services. Website translators who work on your project should be experienced with website translation issues, like proper translation of graphics, text in links and optimizing text for search engines.
2. Chinese Website File Formats: Chinese website translation projects can involve a host of different file formats; your Chinese website translation company should be able to demonstrate capabilities translating text from many sources such as HTML/XML, XSLT, Web-driven application files, plugins, components, databases, CGI scripts, Java scripts, CSS, Ajax, PHP, ASP.NET, website graphic, multimedia or FLASH files. Work with your Chinese translation agency to determine how you will deliver source files; you supply files for translation by email, on a CD-ROM, by uploading to an FTP server, or by giving your translation company access to your Website via login and password.
3. Chinese Website Terminology Management: Translators for Chinese websites can ensure project success by using translation memory tool like Trados to translate text strings that have been externalized from various file formats. This activity will result in client-specific terminology databases and glossaries. Valuable data contained in translation memories becomes the property of the customer and ensures consistent Chinese translation and efficient updates to future Chinese websites.
Chinese Website localization
Chinese website localization adapts the language, appearance, and functionality of a website for Chinese-speaking markets. Chinese website localization projects require experienced teams of localization professionals who work in tandem with your website designers. This website localization team should closely follow proven best practices for website design and development.
Websites localized for Chinese-speaking markets frequently involve printed documentation which must be translated and localized. Such materials are often available as PDFs, embedded multimedia such as SWF FLASH of FLV files, Videos or Web applications such as online calculators or surveys. All components of your website must be properly localized to provide a complete Web experience for your potential Chinese-speaking users.
Whether your project is a simple HTML-based Chinese website or a complex,, database-driven web application), your Chinese translation agency should have demonstrated competency and experience in the following areas:
- Chinese cultural correctness assessment.
- Chinese glossary and terminology development.
- Chinese localization of graphics.
- Chinese translation, editing and proofreading.
- Chinese usability testing and Chinese localization testing.
- Chinese online quality assurance.
- Client review and approval.
You will need to provide your Chinese localization partner with a "Localization Kit." This information allows them to analyze your website and to determine its Chinese localization requirements. This kit includes:
- Summary of website architecture.
- Your current website URL.
- All original graphics used in your site (UI, background, Menus, Navigation buttons and Photoshop).
- All files that make up your website in their original folder/file structure.
- All application source files (Flash, Video, etc.) for any multimedia available on your website media library.
- All application source files (Word, PDF, Illustrator, PowerPoint, etc.) for any documentation available in your website.
- Summary of any technologies and/or development tools used to develop your site.
Chinese Cultural Correctness and Web Customization
You will want to avoid any cultural blunders or unintentional use of offensive symbols with your customized Chinese website. Chinese culture has a long list of icons and symbols that convey special cultural meaning and awareness of these symbols is essential to the success of your Chinese website.
- The numbers 4 and 7 may be interpreted as relating to death, and should be avoided.
- Clocks may also symbolize death.
- Number 8 tends to be a lucky number.
- Animals: 2007 was the Year of the Pig, which is considered lucky. Other good luck symbols are the Dragon and Tortoise (Dragon - Yang, Tortoise - Yin) which bring good luck and health. A three-legged frog is a symbol for good luck, too.
- Red: The Chinese lucky color. Red generally expresses joy, prosperity, luck and happiness. The use of red or a carefully selected shade of red (several sites in China use shades of red as a background color) can have a good impact on the visual imagery of the site.
- Spatial orientation refers to how web content is structured and has a direct effect on website usability, because it affects visual perception. Manipulating your website's orientation can improve or decrease the Chinese-speaking user's comfort level. What is user-friendly for one country may be vastly different for another. Chinese consumers prefer website spatial placement and display that would generally be perceived as "cluttered" by most western consumers.
Chinese Website internationalization (I18n)
Chinese website globalization (G11n) is a two-step process, including website internationalization (I18n) and website localization (L10n). Website internationalization focuses on the functionality of a website, enabling back-end technologies to function or support any language and locale, in this case, Chinese. In contrast, localization deals primarily with the front-end or linguistic and cosmetic aspects of a website, including cultural correctness, locale-specific content, site design and translations.
Website internationalization is the first step in ensuring your website's global interoperability. During Chinese website internationalization, any language- or culture-specific assumptions in your website's code base are "neutralized". As a result, your website will be primed for efficient localization into Chinese.
Your Chinese translation partner should have demonstrable Chinese website internationalization experience, including:
- Externalizing text strings for ease of Chinese translation.
- Reviewing and analyzing the source website.
- Issue resolution involving Chinese address, time, date, and numeric format.
- Website testing, including bug reporting and fixing.
Your Chinese localization company will need information from you that constitutes a website Internationalization kit. Information found in this kit enables your translation company to analyze your website and to determine its Chinese internationalization requirements.
Chinese Web Content Management System (CMS)
Chinese language and website localization are supported by many types of multilingual CMS solutions, including:
- Adobe AEM
Chinese Website Testing
Chinese website testing is an essential quality control step in Chinese website globalization. Your Chinese website must be both culturally appropriate and linguistically correct to effectively reach potential Chinese-speaking customers. Your localization company must used experienced Chinese website testers who will adhere to a very thorough test plan to make sure that your localized Chinese website is fully functional and completely adapted to your target users.
Chinese website testing can only be effectively performed by professional developers, native-speaking specialists. Your main goal is to make sure that your Chinese website's performance matches that of your source website. Chinese website testers must take the following website aspects into account during testing: browser compatibility, linking, translation accuracy, traffic, security, connection speeds, design, functionality, and more.
Translators and web designers should work side-by-side with a customer's own expert users to track and solve issues before the Chinese website is launched. Typical website testing phases include:
Chinese Website Localization Testing: Website testing specialists will review a Chinese website in context to check for any cosmetic or linguistic issues after Chinese website translation is complete. Linguistic testing covers all language-related issues for a localized website or web application. These issues include text specific to a particular locale, currency symbols and more. Cosmetic testing covers all visual issues to make sure that Chinese characters will display accurately with various browsers and operating systems.
Chinese Website Internationalization Testing: Professional Chinese website testers will test the source language site for international support and localizability before Chinese website translation starts. Chinese website internationalization testing exposes potential trouble areas very early in the localization process, saving both time and money.
Chinese Website Functionality Validation or Testing: Once Chinese website localization is complete, testing on a variety of platforms and test scripts are used to validate that you website functions properly for your target Chinese-speaking users. This phase of testing ensures that the website's features and functionality work as they did in the original source-language website.
Chinese SEO and SEM
International promotion of a website depends upon creation of localized content, registration of local domains and localized keywords promoted through local search engines. Affiliate marketing, online and offline branding and promotions are also essential to this process.
According to the Chinese Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC), top level CN domains registered have reached more than a million. Internet domain names composed completely of Chinese characters are now offered by i-DNS.net International Pte. Ltd., in partnership with CNNIC. A Chinese domain name must have at least one Chinese character to comply with CNNIC guidelines. To compose your Chinese domain name, you may select from Chinese characters, ASCII letters (A-Z same as a-z), numbers (0-9) or hyphen (-). The length of the Chinese domain name is limited to 20 characters (letters).
It is highly advisable for companies who plan to enter the Chinese marketplace to conduct some form of Global SEO; this will drive traffic to their new Chinese websites. Global SEM may include global search engine optimization of localized web content, submission of pages to key country (locale) search engines as well as search engine marketing campaigns through services such as Baidu. Alexa.com ranks Baidu, a search engine, as the most visited site in China.
Top search engines in China:
- Baidu (63.55%)
- 360 Search (21.84%)
- Sogou (10.53%)
- Google (1.66%)
Since the online Chinese consumer market continues to expand rapidly, there are great opportunities to increase Chinese online market penetration through Chinese search engine optimization (SEO) and Chinese search engine marketing (SEM). Since the majority of websites aimed at Chinese local markets are still in English-only, (including tools and resources), there is comparatively little competition and a chance to obtain high search rankings by being the first company of your kind to present useful, searchable content in Chinese. Following the right Chinese SEO strategy after translating your website into Chinese will help you achieve the highest ranking with Chinese and global search engines.
For more details check about keywords localization check our SEO article Multilingual Keywords.
Find more Chinese translation and localization resources in our translation blog:
- Chinese Website Translation Basics
- Culture and E-Business in China - Infographic
- Chinese Search Engine Marketing and Optimization
- Top 7 Tips for Effective Chinese copywriting
- Chinese Translation Services: Simplified versus Traditional Chinese?
You may also check out our Chinese Translation Facts for complete information in Chinese Language.