How To Translate Your Blog Into Another Language

Why should you translate your blog?

So you’ve managed to make it into that coveted niche of bloggers who actually make a few bucks. Maybe you make more than a few bucks. Whether cents or Franklins, you’re obviously doing something right. If you want to reach out to a wider audience, you need to start thinking big. And to think big you need to think global.

Going global can seem like a daunting task, especially when you decide to take your blog multilingual. But with a little know-how, you can translate, localize and optimize your posts for visitors overseas. Then all you have to do is sit back and watch both your rankings and your revenue rocket.

To translate or not to translate?

Why not? If you’re going to speak to an international audience, it surely makes sense to talk to them in their own language.
The biggest reason to translate, however, is for the simple reason that it’s much easier to reach the top of the search engine rankings in a language other than English. With so much English content, the keyword market has been completely saturated, leaving an open (and obvious) pathway for foreign language content. With less competition and less content, it means your foreign language blog is immediately more prominent than that of your English-language competitors.

Where do you start?

Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, you’ll need to find some way of getting your finely crafted English content into finely crafted foreign language content. The quickest and cheapest way of doing this is by using an online translator like Google Translate. Alternatively, there are a whole host of plug-ins, widgets and tools out there that are designed to help you with your multilingual efforts. Some will even help you out with picking out useful keywords for SEO purposes (more on that later).

Be warned, however, that while machine translation is a marvellous tool for working out just what the heck people are trying to say to you, completely accurate translations are few and far between. Machines tend to struggle working out idioms, turn of phrase or other linguistic quirks, and they can (if you’ll forgive the cliché) get lost in translation. The best way by far to avoid this is to hire the services of a native speaker, whether a friend or a professional, who can help you properly translate your blog posts.

Content

While you don’t have to change your content too much (the duplicate content rule doesn’t apply in a foreign language), don’t forget to remove any local references from the text. Even well-known celebrities in your home country can be nobodies across the other side of the world. Also remove any references to cities or places that won’t be relevant to a non-native. And when writing English-language content, the old adage is king, Keep It Simple, Stupid! It’ll make it easier to translate and ultimately easier for your audience to read.

Optimizing your multilingual blog

It stands to reason that a multilingual blog needs multilingual keywords. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as merely translating your successful English-language keywords into your target language. While this may work for a small number of keywords and long-tail terms, those searching in a different language are also prone to searching in a different way too. Even those speaking English on the opposite side of the Atlantic use different words to explain the same thing. Consider, for example, an American heading to the ‘grocery store’ with a ‘shopping cart’, while a Brit would go to the ‘supermarket’ with a ‘shopping trolley’. A native speaker can both help you translate your keywords properly and help you to brainstorm any words or terms that may have passed you by. And, as always, make sure to track your popular keywords, and continually refine your efforts.

With a little bit of effort, your blog could soon be top of the search engine shop in all four corners of the globe, and everywhere in between.

Article by , the Managing Director of Lingo24, Inc.. Follow Lingo24, Inc. on Twitter.


36 thoughts on “How To Translate Your Blog Into Another Language”

  1. Hi Christian I think John should be thinking of translating this blog to French now. My French speaking friends find it hard to follow johnchow.com 🙂

    1. Translation is good option but I found that you wont get the exact translation … you need to apply your mind as well to understand the flow.

      1. Things do get lost in translation even if people and not machines do it. Unless one explores all the possibilities in English first, getting into foreign language markets makes little sense unless your product is universal and the English speaking market is totally saturated. This is hardly true for most people and products.

        Besides, the language is not the only thing that is different in foreign countries. It’s also the culture, the laws and the ability to pay.

        Think long and hard before plunging in.

  2. Brian Yang says:

    I wish my traffic and reach was high enough for me to consider translating it lol!

    But usually, things don’t translate very accurately through google translator… it could read funny.

    1. Yeah readers have to apply their mind to understand what author wants to say.

    2. You should translate versions when you start receiving a large percentage of your traffic from a certain region i.e. if you start receiving a high amount of traffic from Spain for instance then you could create a Spanish version (or offer a ‘lite’ spanish version with some spanish based content!) for example!

      1. Gift Ideas says:

        very good idea.
        I am using google extension to this.

  3. Erwin Miradi says:

    Well, that’s a good way of thinking. But sometimes English turns out trash when it’s translated to some certain language by only using translating software. For example, Indonesian. Sometimes the article is not even readable.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Agreed. It’s a great idea in theory, but may be very difficult in practice. That said, I sure would enjoy having my blog, PPC Ian, in multiple languages.

      1. Erwin Miradi says:

        I tried a premium plugin, Ian. But I forget the name. It created different directories for different languages like myblog.com/en/ for English, myblog.com/id/ for Indonesian, myblog.com/sp/ for Spanish and so on. Each directories got indexed by the search engine, but the translation was terrible.

  4. fazal mayar says:

    good post christian, i think we could also use gtranslate as a plugin 🙂

    1. Your won’t get the exact results which you wants to get … through Google translator …

      1. fazal mayar says:

        yep you are right, this plugin wont do all the tricks

  5. Lompo Ulu says:

    I’m agree with Erwin.
    It’s think it’s better to use translator service to make a different languange version

  6. Michael says:

    Question John. So are you going to translate your blog?

    I don’t think I’ll do it anytime soon to my blog because I focus my content on English speaking people and have no idea how it will translate with Google translate or another related type of software.

    1. Free Forms says:

      Humm Michael if u don’t know then u don’t try for translating…John is John.!!!he is a master mind.

  7. Eddie says:

    “the duplicate content rule doesn’t apply in a foreign language”

    interesting if this is in the context of search engine ranking.

  8. I especially like your point of getting higher in the search engines with another language. However, once I got burned with translation. I thought it was a great idea, paid people to do it. I myself speak a couple of languages, but I have translated into one that I don’t. Sure enough, I started getting questions and comments I didn’t understand. I didn’t even have an idea if the comment was a good contribution or spam.

  9. Free Forms says:

    I think it will be great for use as a plugin..!!!

  10. Free Forms says:

    Humm me too agreed Erwin.
    You are owner of fantastic thoughts & glad to read your comment.

  11. Free Forms says:

    Well it’s helpful post for Bloggers. Language is a important thing every where & human language is highly complex in that it is based on a set of rules relating symbols to their meanings, thereby forming an infinite number of possible innovative utterances from a finite number of elements.

  12. Free Forms says:

    Thanks for the useful post.keep sharing such resources.

  13. translation is good option to derive more visitors, relevant to your website.

  14. Prevodilac says:

    America is generally ruled by English language. But here in Europe is different. Although the EU is one market, there are more than 20 languages and countries involved so EU must invest in good and quality translation service. Big investments will reduce the gap and enable higher level of interactions among countries and especially bring my business to wider audience.

  15. As real estate agents with clients from all over the world, do we recommend them to use Google translating so they can get better information about our properties in their own language.

  16. Kavya Hari says:

    Its really great place to heard such type of worthy post on here 🙂 Thank you so much for given great post on here 🙂

  17. Kavya Hari says:

    I think so , it will be one of the greater plugin tools in the wide. So, i would like to say thanks for given post on here 🙂

  18. Amani says:

    This is good. Now can freely write a blog with my own language and then translate to English or any other languages.

  19. Stocksicity says:

    I’ve seen forum’s do t his, it was chaos because translators usually translate literally. But if you can get it done properly, to something that makes sense in every language, then I think it’s worth it. Otherwise you might end up losing people’s interest when they don’t understand what you’re saying.

  20. fas says:

    Its always good to offer users options!

  21. Wow, thank you for this post. I’d love to be able to translate my blog into other languages…especially spanish. Wonderful post, great information.

  22. Techmaker says:

    Few of my readers asked me to my translate my Blogging tips and tricks blog in to Indonesian language. But later I forgot it. By seen this this post you remind it to me.
    Thanks john.

  23. Gift Ideas says:

    Using google language tool is the most important part of any blog.

    1. allan stuart says:

      this maybe a good idea , but for me it just make the webpage look weird.. 🙁 is there any special multilingual plugin that can make the translation smoothly . currently i don’t find any of it. human intervention is the only choice available now.

  24. Gift Ideas says:

    With google tools it is very easy to do. is there any other batter one?

  25. Mochamad says:

    I agree with your idea John. And I salute with Google Translate that make any posting can be beautiful. But I think we must understand English very well because sometimes the result of translation is not perfect yet.

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