Bewords.com is glad to present a guest article written by James from Skyscanner, on the difference between Translation and Localisation and how this can make a big difference for your online business.
After BBC's article "Parlez-vous business?" appeared on the newspaper's web page on june 2011. James Cave tells Bewords more about his thoughts on Translation and Localisation according to his experience with Skycanner.
Like many folks, I spend a lot of my time online and if there's one thing that's guaranteed to drive me crazy, it's shoddy content. Misspellings, terrible grammar, pages that have been poorly translated, all of these things are likely to make me leave a site in moments. While I'd say that overall, most online businesses are on their way to being web savvy these days – the net certainly has higher standards than it once did – there are still plenty of clangers out there, and in the travel industry especially.
It's easy (well, easier!) to optimise your site for your own country, but if you're selling holidays, hotels or tours to people from all around the world, you really need to broaden your appeal, as we've found out. I've lost count of the number of times I've clicked on a link to an interesting sounding destination or hotel, only to click away again instantly, frightened off by the badly translated and barely understandable copy.
And then there are all of the links I didn't click, because they never appeared in my search results. Why is that? Because the companies have only optimised their pages to target commonly reached for terms in their own country, and not in mine. Any company who's looking to have a global audience must consider the way this audience speaks, the languages it uses and the different ways people construct sentences. This is the difference between 'translation' and 'localisation'.