Company Branding and Content Control
Best Practice No. 4: Company branding and content control
Be sure to think through how you want to exercise brand and term control. Whether you use human translation, post-edit output from translation software or automated translation, brand and term management is something that is crucial to a business. For example, what should your product name be in Chinese or Japanese? How should you describe a particular experience or interaction with your product or service in another language? All of these are a critical part of brand control and managing the way a visitor experiences your Website. Working this out ahead of time also helps any translation project go smoothly and allows you to maintain more control of your brand across languages.
Best Practice No. 5: Use the Google "notranslate" metatag if you want to exercise control over your brand and terminology
A Website owner can control their content by ensuring proper tagging of the information. While there are several page-level metatags available to exercise this control, the most exciting one was recently added by Google. At the page level, Website owners can now add a metatag called "notranslate."
This metatag is interpreted by the Google crawler as a "do not translate" instruction. By setting the "notranslate" metatag, you ensure that Google's automatic translation is not offered as an automatic option to anyone performing a search. This is especially useful for those pages or parts of your Website where you want to make sure YOU, the Website owner, decide what the translation should look like, without handing over control of the translation to Google's algorithms.
To exercise the most control, Website owners must make sure that they perform their own translations a priori so that the content becomes findable in the native language of the Website visitor. By doing this, Website owners also make sure that the content being translated meets their expectations of quality for a given content type. This way, they can make sure that all brand and terminology is managed consistent with their expectations.
With the global nature of the Web, companies of all sizes have been handed wonderful business opportunities. However, in order to meet the ongoing and growing needs of a diverse audience, language and multilingual communication need to be addressed. Before embarking on your next translation project for Web content, consider the content type, pace of translation, search requirements, required level of brand control, and new tagging options from Google. This will help to ensure your customers' language needs are met, and your brand is correctly represented across the world.
Swamy Viswanathan is Vice President of Products at Language Weaver. Prior to Language Weaver, Swamy was the co-founder of Qlip Media, a browser-based multimedia and video collaboration application. Prior to that, Swamy was part of the team that helped grow Vignette and Claremont Technology from early-stage startups to public companies. Swamy started his career with the management consulting division of Arthur Andersen (now Accenture). He has a Master's degree in Computer Applications from the National Institute of Technology in India. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.