Website Translation Basics for the iGaming World
Online gambling is a truly international business. Point your browser towards any of the big casinos or sports betting websites, and you’ll almost certainly find a language or country selection option somewhere near the top of the page. And even among the affiliate websites, it’s now becoming increasingly commonplace to offer multiple language versions of a given website.
As a result, the translation of content is a key element to any modern gambling website. As with any content, your readers will expect the content they read to be of a professional standard, regardless of which language it’s in. But unlike content that’s been written in your own language, the language the content is being translated into may not be one you, or anyone in your organisation, is familiar with. Likewise, there’s no guarantee that the content written in one language will be entirely relevant to readers from a different market.
This can make such undertakings tricky. But if you stick to a few core guidelines, you should be able to overcome the challenges content translation presents.
Native Speakers Preferred
Although it’s becoming more and more commonplace for people to speak two or even three languages, as any professional writer will know, there’s a world of difference between being able to communicate in a language, and being able to produce copy in it to a professional standard.
When translating a text for public consumption (or any other form of official use), it is therefore imperative that the person translating it can produce a text to a professional standard. Which essentially means using someone who is a native speaker.
This is especially true in the case of entertainment industries such as ours, where the vast majority of customer-facing texts will be friendly and informal in nature. This means that not only will you have the usual grammatical requirements to consider, there’s a fair chance you’ll also have popular sayings and phrases to translate as well.
More often than not, you’ll find that phrases specific to a country or language can’t be directly translated without losing their meaning. When this occurs, a native speaker will be ideally placed to select a comparable phrase in their own language.
In most cases, you’ll end up bringing in a translator (either on a freelance or permanent basis) to do the work for you, although this can be costly. But even if you can’t find a professional translator who fits your budget, anyone with a reasonable amount of editorial experience (such as a writer, a production editor or a copy editor) in that language could be used in a pinch.
Tone and Context Vs. Readability
One particular challenge that the translation process throws up is the constant battle between the need to ensure the translated piece is as close to the original as possible, while also ensuring that it reads properly.
Obviously, factual accuracy is a must. Simply put, unless specifically instructed otherwise, all the key points in the source text must be carried over to the translated document in the same order.
As a general rule of thumb, sticking faithfully to the source document helps massively in this. And wherever possible, the translated document should mimic the source text in every possible way, right down to directly translated words and its tense.
That being said, in the case of texts intended for public reading, consideration should also be given to their readability. So in the event that a portion of the translated text appears unnecessarily complex and wordy, cutting it down to size is often the best way forward.
One important aspect to consider prior to translating a text is whether the information in the source material is relevant to the market for which it’s being translated. For instance, if your source text is an article describing the first-deposit bonuses available to customers in Denmark, you may find that the bonuses available to customers in Greece or Italy are completely different.
Alternatively, a source text that promotes sports betting to customers from the UK may include references to cricket or rugby betting. And while these are perfectly suitable for British customers, they’d hold little appeal for their German counterparts.
In order to spare yourself the time-consuming process of rewriting sections of the translation, it’s best to do the research first and make any amendments prior to the translation being written. Also bear in mind that if the material is country-specific, then non-text elements, such as images, may need to be changed as well.
If the source text being translated is intended for publication on the web, then it’s inevitable that search engine optimisation will come into play at a certain point. And this can cause all manner of problems when texts are being translated.
While it’s easy to tailor a meta description or a passage of text to include a particular key phrase you’re targeting in one language, the chances of that phrase surviving translation intact aren’t great.
Sentence structures can differ dramatically from one language to the next. As a result, a key phrase consisting of two or three words written together in one language can be fragmented and dispersed across a whole sentence in another.
Because of this, it is often best to identify the phrases you wish to target first, then to tailor the corresponding text around those. While this may result in content that is not a direct translation, it will enable you to target the phrases you need to.
A rewarding challenge
Although it remains a challenge, getting your content translated properly offers many advantages. Provided the source material is good, it enables you to broaden your market and open up new revenue streams. So assuming you pay the task with the respect and attention it requires, your organisation should be rewarded accordingly.
About The Author
A professional journalist since 2005, Mark has covered many aspects of the entertainment industry, ranging from videogames to films. He now writes for BestOnlineCasino.com, reporting on online and land-based gambling.