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How to not get lost in Translation

Content Marketing
Modern Content Management

Key Takeaways

- Localization is important to reach people in all markets relevant to the company

- Headless CMSs offer the advantage of optimizing translation workflows and bringing content together in one place

- Translation apps like Linguiny seamlessly harness the power of DeepL translations in Contentful - with just one click

Building an international presence as a business has never been easier. Well, at least it's never been easier to be internationally active - but most companies still don't have a good presence. Websites are either not accessible or only partially accessible in different languages. When brave content creators do take on the challenge of making content understandable for different countries, they quickly realize that copy pasting and Google Translate won't get them where they want to go. Spoiler: Not every path to the goal leads via various corners and detours. We have developed a shortcut for the otherwise bumpy localization workflow within a content management system, but more on that later.

Internationalization ≠ Localization

Companies that are active in several countries face the challenge of adapting their website to the local languages. Even if a lot is done in English online, we must not forget that a good target group approach works best in the native language. The more comprehensible the content is, the better the message is received - but even if this sounds simple at first, the reality of how many companies localize their content is still complicated. And just because a company is internationally active does not mean that it has successfully implemented localization.

Why is website localization important at all?

  • Localization makes all content accessible to target groups in all relevant regions: language barriers are broken down. With the right workflow, customers and partners can be reached worldwide - with little effort in content maintenance.

  • There are different "rules of the game" in different markets: Certain products or content such as certifications are only displayed in selected markets. In other cases, products are launched at different times in different markets. For such granular scenarios in particular, the right content management system is required, with which all special cases can be easily maintained and the right content is available for every localization.

  • 67 percent of all consumers are more likely to buy products, articles or services if the website is available in their native language. This was the finding of a survey by market research company CSA Research. Investing in translations will therefore also pay off financially.

Old school localization using a fictitious example

Let's take an example: The company Lampen und Glühbirnen GmbH specializes in the manufacture of light bulbs in Europe and has both a B2B and a B2C sales market. Business is going well and there are customers in the DACH region, Italy, France, Spain, Hungary, Greece, Poland, Croatia, Sweden and the UK - the market is set to grow further in the future.

The website has been running on Typo3 for years and content is created in a total of 11 languages. Lampen und Glühbirnen GmbH spends 70,000 euros a year on translations. A translation agency reliably takes care of the translations and the native speaker-qualified texts play a large part in the company's international success.

Although the common Typo3 localization extension "l10nmgr" has simplified the translation workflow in recent years, it is still based on an import/export logic in XML format. This makes it easier to view and check changes, but the individual translations still have to be imported individually for each page and language via an XML file. When mass processing multiple languages, this can quickly lead to content encoding errors, which can be unnecessarily time-consuming and costly to fix, as a developer usually has to help. Is this really appropriate for 2024?

We think this localization workflow sounds more like 2018. Apart from the fact that Typo3 lags behind other content management systems such as Contentful in many aspects (keyword: clarity, scalability, UI), the translation process is also anything but efficient. This fictitious Lampen und Glühbirnen GmbH is just one of a number of companies that want to tackle the challenge of effective translations in their CMS with the aim of successful website localization, but still don't succeed 100 percent... And then there are also many companies that don't really dare to tackle the topic of localization due to the (supposedly) great effort involved: content teams are already busy maintaining new and existing content in their CMS.

Contentful forms the basis for a modern localization workflow

Good news at this point: Translations in the content management system can decrease in complexity and even increase in quality at the same time. The basic prerequisite for a successful and efficient localization workflow is the choice of the right content management system.

We focus on two points when choosing a CMS: Firstly, we believe that a CMS should be headless. Both legacy CMS and monolithic systems are simply no longer up to date. Future-oriented companies that value innovation, competitiveness and good website performance and want to benefit from the latest cloud and SaaS solutions should switch to a CMS in which the front end and back end are separate (aka "headless"). Content can then be played out from a backend in various applications such as a website, blog or app.

On the other hand, it is important for us that a CMS has one single source of truth. Content managers need one place where content can be maintained so that they can work efficiently. As our trusted headless CMS, Contentful offers a clear content structure that is a clear single source of truth - so it's worth starting here and designing a customized workflow for translations, approvals and the publishing process. Various configurations also offer small teams the opportunity to design a complex workflow efficiently. The Contentful "Launch" app, which makes it possible to test major releases before publication, ensure quality and plan the go-live in advance, is one of the features that contribute to this.

Localization made easy - with Linguiny

In the past, we have often faced various localization obstacles ourselves and have experienced first-hand in various projects how chaotic and (unnecessarily) complicated localization workflows can be in reality. As a design-driven agency, our aim is to offer our customers and partners innovative solutions. And so one day we came up with the idea for Linguiny: Linguiny is an extension for Contentful developed by Becklyn that massively simplifies website localization.

DeepL Translations in Contentful - with one click

With the help of an interface to the translation tool DeepL, Linguiny automatically creates content blocks including the text formatting in all required target languages. Even if the content is changed, the translations are adopted for all languages: this means that no language can be forgotten and it can be ensured that all language variations have the same quality.

You enter the content only once and instantly have all translated versions live on the website at the next publish. There is no copy-paste chaos, no import-export problems or annoying feedback loops that cost time, money and nerves. Linguiny is the innovative future solution for localization workflows in the Contentful CMS.

Role-based workflows for qualitative results

One aspect that still keeps many companies in old processes is quality control. By working with translation agencies and manually checking all translations, there is a feeling of control over the content down to the smallest detail. However, this aspect is not an argument against switching to a modern website localization process. Because even with the Linguiny workflow in Contentful, the translations can still be checked in a predefined process before they are published.

Contentful also offers the function of different roles: for example, experts from a translation agency can be given specific access to the CMS in order to check content using a four-eyes principle. Before new content is published, comments and suggestions for changes can then be left directly in Contentful for the selected content blocks - the advantage of the single point of truth also comes into play in quality assurance.

Intelligent translation in the right tone

On top of the simple translation of content comes the learning ability of DeepL. With the help of the glossary feature, it is possible to create industry-specific vocabulary. This ensures that the translations are technically accurate and correct in terms of content. Recurring terms and phrases are always translated consistently.

There is also a tone-of-voice function that can be used to define a brand-specific tone for the translations. Depending on the configuration, the translated texts are then automatically more formal or informal, following a personal or a very technical tone of voice, thus strengthening the consistency of a brand regardless of localization.

It's a match

Linguiny is the perfect match for Contentful as a multilingual CMS. Even though website localization is a big challenge for many companies, localization becomes easily scalable with Linguiny. The huge time and cost savings in particular mean that marketing and content teams have more time for important topics that drive and develop the business forward.