Automating Away the Manual Hassle of Translation Updates

Expanding your online presence to new markets is great. But, just like with regular updates to your website content, this tends to come with lots of tedious, error-prone manual grunt work. Copying and pasting translated content into the local product pages can easily end up costing you hours or even days. Imagine if a robot could take this work out of your hands, performing these tasks 24/7, immediately, without errors or complaints? 

Tedious and Time-consuming

Some people still think you need to copy text from your website content to Excel or Word to submit it for translation, followed by pasting it back manually when it’s done. This is doable for small bits of content or a webshop with only a few items, but the bigger your offering, the bigger the workload. And let’s be perfectly honest: this type of work is very unsatisfying and a waste of your valuable time. In a market that’s constantly in flux and where it can be nigh impossible to keep up with technological developments, you can’t afford to lose days to this type of DIY craftwork. And it’s an annoying job when everything goes as planned, but if you happen to mis a bracket or mess up a parameter, you can lose hours more to troubleshooting before you finally find your slip-up. Fortunately, this approach is becoming a thing of the past, because better solutions are available in most cases.  

The Magic of Exports

Often, there are options to export a file that a translation agency can just process without any hassle on your side. First of all, it’s important to know that many translation solutions offer support for the file formats of a variety of software packages (including InDesign, FrameMaker, FileMaker, AutoCAD, etc.), as well as most programming code file types (such as Java, HTML, XML and even markdown files). In addition, most CMS packages, like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Adobe Experience Manager, BigCommerce and WooCommerce contain features to export content for translation and set up a multilingual website that way. This means that the odds are pretty good that you can just have native files translated, after which you’ll only need to import these and to check if everything looks good.

And it gets better: this doesn’t only apply to single files or web pages, often there’s also options to export entire product information databases for translation. The vast majority of all webshops use a system for Product Information Management (PIM), such as Pimcore, Perfion or Akeneo. These all contain features to flag products for translation and then generate a file with translatable content. Depending on the PIM system, this can generate a YAML, XLIFF or CSV file, for instance, which is completely compatible with the tools used by translation agencies, so that you can easily import it back into your PIM system when it’s ready. It might take a little effort upfront to set up, but these workflows are typically very well-documented and this is an investment that you will recoup many times over.

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Complete Automation Through APIs

In some packages, you can even go one step further and use special APIs to automate the translation process. You can then link a CMS or PIM system to a machine translation interface and/or an online translation platform, like CrowdIn or Transifex. This could allow you to save even more time, as you won’t even have to send around files anymore. By using such a setup, you can typically also track any changes in your source language files, to ensure that these changes are also implemented in every translated version of that content. That way, you can rest assured that all your webshop locales feature the same content! 

Saving Even More Through Translation Memories

These types of solutions tend to have an additional benefit: they can lead to major cost reductions. Because most translation tools work with translation memories (TMs), everything that has been translated before can serve as a basis for future translations. As a result, the translator saves time during the translation job, which directly affects the total costs. And because repeated text simply gets reused, this also helps your website consistency! This can be especially profitable for webshops with lots of very similar items, such as those with products in different colours or sizes. For a product database with a couple of thousand products, effective use of TMs can easily save you hundreds of euros or more. And these cost savings stack with the time you can save through the solutions described above! 

Sounds Good? That’s What We Thought!

We understand that this might look complicated, especially if this is your first experience with entering a new market. Fortunately, you don’t have to figure everything out by yourself: we’d love to help you. Scriptware is part translation agency, part technology partner and completely focused on these types of modern ecommerce solutions. As such, we are eager to help you establish the best tooling and workflows for your situation. So if this is your first translation project, we can advise you on how to set things up, with advice tailored to your business model and budget. But if you have lots of experience with these things, we also love to help you find ways to make your processes even more efficient and cost-effective. Make an appointment to find out how we can help you make the most of your investments, or first read our white paper on effective multilingual ecommerce for more tips and tricks. 

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Do you have any technical questions? Or are you wondering what else you need to consider for your webshop translation? Read our white paper for useful tips to make your multilingual ecommerce website a success, while also saving time and money.

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