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The following strategy comes from one of Ian McAnerin's panel discussions at SES Latino earlier this week.

First, the trap that web sites fall into when they create foreign language pages for their websites.

Most web sites will invest time and money into creating very well written copy and content for their web site in English. Then they might take this copy and have it translated into another language. The original English copy that was written will very rarely translate well into another language, and as a result the foreign language pages can look like they were written by teenagers.

How you should create your foreign language pages.

In English write down the message you want to communicate on a given page in bullet points, and the associated keyword phrases you want the page to focus on. Then have your copy writer create the English page that will speak to your English visitors.

Then have a translator translate your English notes on the message of the page and keywords into your foreign language. Once this information is translated it is then passed onto a foreign language copy writer that is local to the market you are trying to communicate with. The key here is to have a local copy writer not a translator write your final copy in the foreign language.

This process is particularly important for pages that are trying to sell or persuade visitors. If you are translating pages that are more technical in nature you might be able to get a way with a simple translation.

At the end of the day you may want to have a translator take the newly created foreign language copy (as described above this is not a simple translation) and translate it back to English (this is a simple translation). This is called round tripping and is done so that you can be confident that the new foreign language copy is on topic.


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