Three Good Reasons To Be Brief In Localization
Translation Localization. First Rule: Conciseness.
The first rule to write and also to translate for the web is conciseness.
The reasons are very simple:
- When you reduce the length of an article, you are eliminating what’s redundant, therefore the text becomes more effective. Thinking that the more you write the more you communicate is a mistake: sometimes you’re just adding noise.
- The average time users spend on a page is less than 10 seconds. Thus, if you want to grab their interest, you better do it quickly. (see the article “How people read web pages”)
- A web page has a specific layout: producing a translation much longer that the original means you will have to change the graphic of the page.
When translating a website or even a small part of it, we are producing a new text. Therefore, we must follow the same rule as when we’re writing a text from scratch.
That’s why there are 2 translation techniques that are better to avoid on the web:
- Expansion: this means clarifying the source text by adding an explanation in the target text.
- Amplification: this means using more words to express the same concept.
These procedures can be used easily in literary translations, but if you use them on the web you run the risk of writing too much, consequently not communicating effectively.