English vs. Local Language / Why You Need to Localize and Translate Your Website in Multiple Languages

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Dr. Dipankar Kundu
Dar Al Marjaan Translation Services
English vs. Local Language / Why You Need to Localize and Translate Your Website in Multiple Languages

For a business to have an authentic online presence, it should go beyond only having an online presence. Well, a website is one of the signs that a company is up to date with current trends, but how well existing and potential clients interact with a website will very much dictate its success or lack thereof.

With over 7.7 billion people in the world, almost half of this population has access to the internet. This means that a company with an easy to use and understand website has the potential of reaching nearly 4 billion people.

However, one of the most significant challenges of going global is being able to communicate rightly to different people who understand different languages.

Thankfully, this challenge has a solution by the name website translation or website localization. By the end of this article, you will understand what it means for a website to be localized or translated. We will also cover the difference between the two terms and the benefits of having your company's website in more languages other than just English., one of the most significant challenges of going global is being able to communicate rightly to different people who understand different languages.

Website Localisation

Website localization involves modifying an existing site to adapt to different preferences and cultural differences of various countries without affecting the integrity of the site. This type of modification affects the cultural content, videos, images and any other aspect of the site that is differentiable in relation to geographical locations.

To achieve this, the website developer must have adequate knowledge of programming and cultural features. Its entire purpose is to capture the targeted audience.

The 3 Critical Aspects of Website Localisation

  • Website translation

    This deals with the language aspect of a website. Though it is discussed in later parts of the article, it is essential to mention at this point that web translation is the most significant bit of website localization.

    The reason is simple; even though other aspects of the site might be localized, if the user is not able to understand the language of the site, then communication is either limited or totally hindered. The language must always be clear and culturally sensible to avoid unforeseen offense or ambiguity.

  • The actual localization

    The actual localization goes into more detail beyond the site’s language. It involves making sure that all visual displays, geographical maps and currency information is in line with the target audience.

    It also ensures that delivery information for e-commerce sites are in line with the country’s policies and other researched aspects that contribute to trade efficiency.

  • Internationalization

    This part deals with the compatibility of the software to the dominant technology used in the concerned country. It makes sure that the engineering aspect of the website is intact through all local transitions. This makes it easy for website managers to handle different markets and allows a company only to have one website that serves a global market.

Factors to Consider When Localising a Website in Dubai

The benefits of website localization are obvious. However, once you decide to localize your site, there are several factors that you need to look into. They include:

  • Small yet critical variations

    There are slight variations that may confuse a visitor on your site, just because they come from a different part of the world. Some of these variations may seem minor, yet they do affect the response rate on your site.
    A good example is a difference between date formats in the UK and the US. The UK uses the DD/MM/YY format together with the United Arab Emirates, while in the US, the appropriate date format is MM/DD/YY.

  • Design and media content

    As advised by IBM, when designing a website that will include translation capabilities, the developer should include the 30% space increase allowance. This serves the translation from English to local languages as some languages will need more letter space.

    When it comes to images and videos, subtitles and captions need to make smooth transitions as well and maintain a natural look in spite of country differences. Any developer needs to pay attention to technical instructional imagery and make sure that media dimension specifications are catered for in the transitions.

  • Local SEO

    When handling a translation in Dubai, you need to make sure that you have gone through local competitor companies’ websites and understood their layout and reasons thereof.

    Make sure that your meta descriptions and title tags use local keywords without having to deal with duplication issues. Again, your Google My Business profile needs to be updated per transition to maintain authentic office information.

  • Multi-lingual SEO

    This is one area that can easily overlap if not critically looked into. It considers more detail about URL and domain structure, web hosting, audience research, localized landing pages, multi-lingual content, etc.

  • Quality

    How well does your site translate from one country’s content to another? Does it affect the general information? Is the transition mobile friendly? These are some of the questions you will need to answer to maintain a quality website that is still localized.

Website Translation

Several statistically proven facts show that people prefer interacting with websites that communicate in their local languages. Over 56% of consumers taken through research by Common Sense Advisory said that being able to understand the information on a website is more important than buying the price details.

With these facts in mind, no company that wants to succeed in the global market can afford to neglect the essence of website translation in Dubai.


Website translation is the part of website localization that deals with language transition of content on a specific site. As much as one can easily translate a website using Google, not every internet user has the time to research the way to go about it or even know that the option exists.

This is why it is the responsibility of any international company to make sure that its site has user-friendly translation capabilities.

Options for Website Translation

There are two types of translation services for your website. These are human translation and mechanical translation. It is essential that you get to understand each of these services before you settle on the type of translation to apply to your website.

  • Human translation

    Here, a professional is hired to be on standby to translate website information. It is important to note that most of the time, website information is more implied than stated.  As such, human interpreters are better positioned to understand cultural norms and idioms and, more fundamentally, the general information being communicated on the website.

  • Mechanical translation

    Mechanical translation utilizes automated software. Several mechanical translation engines are available in the market. It is vital that you do thorough research before choosing one, as that which is fit for one website may not be as fit for another. The main disadvantage of machine translation is that it may not understand the social implications of religious differences and other changing cultural meanings.

Website Translation: Three Critical Considerations

Turning your site from a single language system to multiple ones has several ways of going about it. Here are three considerations that will help you understand your options.

  • Multi-site or Multi-lingual

    Aside from having a system that translates your site in one or all Arabic languages used in Dubai, you could also opt for a .dubai or .ae domain name for your site. Alternatively, you could also redirect your site's users looking for .ae to a .com/ae/ page, which automatically informs your website that the user is looking for the Arabic Emirates version of the site. This is, however, not a multi-site as a plain .ae website.

    Multisites are more favorable for local SEO search as they appear closer to their domestic competitors compared to multi-lingual sites. However, buying different domains for your website can be a bit overwhelming.

  • A CMS with Multi-lingual Features

    Having a quality content management system makes translation in Dubai and other parts of the world easier. It is important to note that not all CMSs are developed to serve every market, so look for one that works well with your targeted audience.

    Its flexibility in relation to source languages is also vital as you might find comments from different languages that need a translation. If the CMS has been developed with translation capabilities, it will use an API to capture monolingual languages and translate them into different languages using translation management systems.

  • Keyword Strategy and SEO Plan

    Do you have the right keyword strategy? Any developer seeking to have a useful multi-lingual website should have a multi-lingual SEO from the word go. As much as countries might have the same language, they may not share corresponding keywords.

    This should be factored in when choosing a multi-lingual SEO. Make sure you are ever updated with keyword changes from all the regions that your website serves.


Differences between Website Localisation and Website Translation

With a comprehensive look at both website localization and website translation in Dubai, you can now quickly tell the difference between the two. In previous years, website translation was all it took to make your site global.

However, as time passed by, developers and marketers realized that the company websites needed to be more user-friendly than they thought they were. The sites then had to be localized to cater to currency, date and delivery information, among other critical details that helped make the user experience smoother.

Localization envelops every part of making a website feel personal to all users regardless of the country they reside in. Internationalization makes localization easier and more affordable, meaning that both contribute to the effectiveness of website translation — all three work to improve a company's interaction with its local and international customers.


Importance of Website Localisation and Translation

Seeking translation services has several advantages that you cannot afford to ignore. If you are still wondering if this move is essential, here are six points that will help you clarify your thoughts.

The Benefit of a Wider Market

Over 7 billion people speak about 6500 languages in the world. As much as English is a common language among many countries, a significant percentage of online shoppers prefer doing it on sites that communicate in their local language.

Maintaining a profitable business is about giving consumers what they want, including a mode of communication that is most comfortable. When a site embraces local languages, it increases its ability to reach more people, thus increasing its market range.

The Competitive Advantage

You cannot compete with a local company when your communication and promotion channels are impaired in the sense that the people you target cannot use your site. Talking to potential consumers in a language that they understand helps you compete relevantly with other local companies.

Combining a localized website with excellent customer service will get you an upper hand against your competitors.

A Stronger Brand

Brands that dominate the market have a relational advantage with consumers. People respond when they feel seen, and one way to make your customers know that you care is by making your site as user-friendly as possible. A brand is not strong if it is not able to make substantial sales.

It is satisfied consumers who turn a growing brand to the number one brand in its sector. A localized website makes your brand trustable and increases its reputation in a country.

Better Ranking

The more people are comfortable when using your site, the more they will return for more services. Translation services will improve your ranking among Dubai consumers from other parts of the World. A site ranks better when it implements SEO strategies and also attracts more visitors.

Higher Conversion Rates

It is not enough to have people visit your site if their visiting does not lead to them converting. A visitor will only buy your services when they have confidence in the information provided on a website.

A localized site will have better conversion rates when visitors know what they are buying, the use of the products and services, and how much it will cost them. Translating your site makes this information clearer for your visitors, thus leading to higher conversion rates.

It is Cost-Effective

As much having a CMS system that has translation capabilities or adding translation plugins on your site may mean a higher budget on your website development, the long-term benefit cannot be compared to the short-term expense. It is way more than a 100% return on investment.

If you have always wanted your company to go global, this is the cheapest way to start. You do not have to have outlets in target countries yet. You only need a favorable e-commerce site that the locals can understand and a way to deliver your goods and services.

Pitfalls of Translation Services in Dubai

Website localization and website translation cannot be effective if not done the right way. Several pitfalls can cost your site a great deal if not looked into as soon as possible. Some of these pitfalls include:

  • Partial translation

    Many developers and company heads think that having a site that only has the ‘important’ parts translated still serves the localization purpose. This mindset could not be any further from the truth. A user will feel left out on the parts that they cannot understand hence leaving a landing page as soon as they arrived. This also increases your website’s pages bounce rate.

  • Poor language selection

    Before you settle on the languages that your site will support, make sure you have done thorough research on the same. Else, you will end up misusing resources or have a website with inaccurate information. Not all conjunctions and letter placements mean the same in all English-speaking countries.

  • Target group and country selection

    Just like the previous point, this mistake is also made due to a lack of proper research and small assumptions. Is the product and services you offer relevant to the countries you wish to target? The answer to this question will determine which target group you will choose and the country that best suits the specified target group.

  • URL format

    Your URL choice has to sync with the official country name, language, codes, and ISO. The URL has a critical role in SEO, the site's architecture and other technical characteristics. A URL that utilizes the geotarget guidelines by Google has better chances of ranking better locally and reaching the desired audience more effectively.

  • International accessibility

    If your site limits users with specific VPNs, then you will not reach the target audience in such countries. Paying attention to user location helps to prevent this pitfall. Some countries deliberately block certain VPNs, but if this is not for a business reason, you need to make sure that your site serves all potential consumers.


Having a site in English is essential, but combining other local languages is imperative. One more thing as you seek Dubai translation services, make sure you have taken a substantial amount of your development process to test your multi-lingual site. This will give you the confidence of a site that has smooth language transitions and other local specifications. Ensure that you avoid the mentioned pitfalls as well, and you will be good to go.

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