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Getting the Point Across: A Primer on Website Translation Approaches


4 min read

Written by


Argos Multilingual

Published on

17 Nov 2020

Only 27% of the world’s top 100,000 websites are in English. If you want to make your brand’s voice heard properly, relying on a basic English version for all visitors won’t be enough.  

Content is the foundation of modern marketing, and in today’s global marketplace it pays to make sure that your website content is available in as many of the most widely used languages as possible in order to maximize your business’s reach and growth potential. What’s more, simple translation isn’t going to cut it – your content

needs to be properly localized if it’s going to speak to the cultural norms and values of your international target audience. We’ve identified five main methods of website translation and localization and provided some basic details about each:

Copy/paste. In this method, the customer’s creative team transfers translatable website content to an editable and translatable file, using copy and paste. These are very often Word or Excel files, and once they are translated, their content needs to be copied and pasted to a web content management system (CMS) in order to create a localized version of the website. Because this method does not use any technology, there are no tech-related costs, but it is time-consuming and prone to human error.

A CMS-specific import/export feature. A few CMSs offer native export/import features that support multilingual website content. Sometimes these are simple export/import features that allow for the export of content to XML and then the import of translated versions back into system, and sometimes they are complex systems like PTC/Arbortext with Windchill Service Information Manager).

Third-party plugins. Some systems don’t offer native translation features, which means language service providers (LSPs) have to use third-party modules. In general, most translation companies using CMS suppliers provide their own connectors.

Editing features connected to multilingual setups. The assumption here is that linguists will work directly in a CMS system and translate content online. This kind of approach is not preferred, however, as the LSP cannot use any translation or QA tools as parts of the process.

Translation proxy. This is a smart system that works completely outside the CMS system and web server that hosts the original content. It operates between the web server and user browser. A proxy intercepts user requests (using a different URL to indicate the target language, for example or and translates content sent from the web server to browser, using translations stored in a proxy database (similar to a translation memory). The proxy replaces original content with its translation into the target language requested by the user.

Whether you want a simple translation of your non-native language while browsing the web or a complex and comprehensive localization program for your website, there are a wide variety of options available. The one thing they have in common is that at Argos Multilingual, our people have expertise and experience in all of them. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you take your message places you never thought possible.

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