When building a digital presence as a nonprofit, one of the most important factors to consider is the language of your visitors. As organizations that work around the world and with many people, there’s no doubt that you will have a lot of partners, volunteers, and communities with different languages. Thus a multilingual nonprofit website is a must.
Thus, when building your nonprofit website, you need to ensure that people who don’t speak the primary language you’re using, say English, are still able to access your website in a language of their choice. Adapting your website content to meet the language preferences of your communities is not just a way of staying accessible, but also a great way to connect with every community that you impact.
Thanks to technology, there are a lot of ways to do this. In this piece, we take you through website translation and the factors to consider, the different types by which you can translate your website, and the tools that are useful.
Factors to Consider Before Building a Multilingual Nonprofit Website
Before you make the first step to build a multilingual nonprofit website, these are the important factors to consider.
Understand your nonprofit community
The volunteers, partners, and communities that you serve as a nonprofit are different. Understand their needs and cultural orientation before you make a multilingual nonprofit website.
Even the same language sounds different in different regions. For instance, French isn’t the same around the world. France, Canada or Ivory Coast each have their own dialect of French. The same way English has different dialects based on a person’s location: the United States, Australia, or South Africa. These factors have to be considered before you translate your nonprofit website content.
Separate ‘translatable’ content from ‘non-translatable content
You also need to differentiate between which content on your nonprofit website should be made multi-lingual and which content shouldn’t. To do this, you need to analyze your site’s content with your team and find the most important content that you would want anyone to see, no matter where they’re located.
Don’t forget SEO
While you build a multilingual nonprofit website, don’t forget to create new search engine optimization guides and strategies for the different languages. This will help prepare your SEO and let your website visible in search engines no matter where a user is visiting from.
Different Ways to Translate your Nonprofit Website Content
When translating your nonprofit website into different languages, you have two main options at hand: human and machine translations. Here’s what each option mean and how they can impact your websites.
This is where your nonprofit decides to use a professional human translator to translate your nonprofit website content into different languages. In most cases, you would have to hire multiple people to translate into different languages. You could get individuals or translation agencies to do this work.
- Using a human translator, your nonprofit will get access to the best professionals to work on the project.
- Also, human translators are able to take into consideration the language nuances, the structure, and context of each language to give your site the best content in different languages.
- You can also use the services of volunteers to help you translate your website content.
If you’re a small nonprofit, this may be costly. Hiring human translators may come with huge costs for your organization, especially if you don’t have any volunteers.
Machine or automated translations
Automated translations make use of artificial intelligence software to translate your nonprofit website into different languages. While some tools may allow for automatically translating this into the primary language of the person visiting, there are others that allow users to switch from one language to another in their browsers.
- Machine translations are less expensive. There’s no need to hire extra hands for translation
- It’s also fast and saves time. With a plugin, you can start translating your nonprofit website content into any language of your choice.
There could be a lot of errors translating from the primary language to a different language. That is because automated translators cannot take into consideration the culture and context of each region before translating.
Tools to Translate your Nonprofit Online Website into Different Languages
There are many tools out there for translation. However, we would cover just a few of these tools that you would need to run a successful multilingual nonprofit website.
Yes. Google Translate is one of the first tools you should consider when building a multilingual nonprofit website. In a recent update, it was reported that the accuracy of Google Translate is almost at par with human translators as a result of the introduction of the Google Neural Machine Translation system.
If you want to do this manually, you have to go to Google Translate, select the primary language of your content and then select the other language that you want to translate into. Once done, go to your website and copy your content and translate into any language of your choice.
However, Google has also added the Google Translation button on their Chrome browser, making it easy to translate your nonprofit website into any language of your choice by clicking the translation button.
Translate WordPress is another great plugin for nonprofits running their websites on WordPress. While this tool still uses Google’s language translation database to get you translating your website, the tool sits inside your website and makes translation seamless.
GTranslate is another great tool to use when you want to operate a multilingual nonprofit website.
Apart from a great dashboard and its search engine friendliness no matter which language you translate into, GTranslate also allows you to edit these translations to suit the context of a particular language.
Another great translation tool out there is Weglot. It offers consistent and accurate translations for your website content. It’s easy to install and works on any website content management system.
Weglot has a great dashboard for monitoring where visitors are coming from, which helps inform you whether you should translate your nonprofit website content into that language or not.
if your nonprofit is looking for technical support to integrate translation software into your website, IndieTech Solutions is always ready to help.