Luckily, Sitecore provides all the features needed to maintain multiple language versions of copy and content right out of the box.
Responsibility for ensuring that all copy and all content is translated accurately, usually falls to the website content team. Often, this team is ill-equipped to cope with managing all that is required within the world of translation – either specialised translators / content editors are drafted in to translate and update each web page, or content is exported from the English-language version of the website, sent to a third-party translation service, and then imported back into the content management system (CMS) – this approach, incidentally, would likely require the development of an import tool to map all the different fields.
Whilst we appreciate that there is no substitute for expert human translation, both scenarios above can be very expensive, and there is a solution that can help reduce costs and save time – you can directly automate the translation process.
Automated translation for the Sitecore CMS
Creating an automated translation feature within a CMS requires tackling three key challenges:
- Having an effective means of exporting the content
- Transmitting the content to a translation provider
- Accurately importing the content back into the CMS in the right place
So how do you go about it?
One option would be to develop a bespoke, automated content translation solution that can be plugged directly into Sitecore. This would involve using scheduled tasks designed to gather content, send it to the translation provider, retrieve the translated content, and import it back into the CMS.
Another more sedate and lower resource option would be to adopt an existing tool that delivers translation services directly from the Sitecore Content Editor interface.
GlobalLink Connect for Sitecore, by Translations.com, is a translation suite we have used to great effect on many of our customers' websites, and its out-of-the-box features are impressive:
- Management of translatable content in the CMS: Content editors can configure content for translation, and see all content earmarked for translation, as well as the state of content pending or work that has already been translated and completed.
- Sending and receiving of content for automated translation: This is controlled via a timed agent defined by a time interval. When the agent wakes up, data selected by the content editors is transmitted to and from GlobalLink Connect, where it can be translated.
There is still a human element involved in this process, as content editors need to ensure that modified content is explicitly added to the content translation table - only then is it sent for translation.
How we made automated translation for Sitecore even smarter
To ensure fully automated content translation, our expert Sitecore development team has expanded GlobalLink Connect to automate the remainder of the process as efficiently as possible.
We designed a new scheduled task that automatically uploads translatable content on a regular basis and adds it to the submission table. To overcome content redundancy and unnecessary archiving, a number of additional automated checks were configured for whenever the task runs.
These checks, performed on a per submission ID basis, support multiple / simultaneous types of submissions, such as regular translation or translation with review. Other configurable settings include target languages, priority, instructions, and due date.
Additional automated content translation checks we developed include the following:
- To rule out items that have not been updated by content editors, GlobalLink Connect was expanded to run a basic check, comparing the last and previous dates an item was updated.
- The state of the previous submission is checked, and the new submission is not submitted if a previous one is still pending or blocked. This lowers the chance of sending small, incremental updates to items and thus wasting a translator’s time.
- A snapshot of the set of translatable fields to be submitted is taken, and compared to the snapshot from the previous set. Only after successful completion of the automated process is the new set of fields stored. This ensures that only items that have at least one changed translatable field are submitted by the automated process.
The result is a fully automated content translation service directly controlled from within your Sitecore website. It’s fully configurable, efficient, and cost-effective.
Need a multi-language website?
Whether you already have a website running on the Sitecore Experience Platform, or your business is expanding and you need a new international, multi-language website that delivers personalisation, marketing automation, and a better digital experience for customers, we can help.
GlobalLink Connect for Sitecore provides you with a powerful solution to initiate, automate, control, track, and complete all facets of the translation process – saving you time, money, and effort.
Sitecore combines content, ecommerce, and digital marketing tools all in one system, giving you a powerful digital experience platform that can help your organisation deliver highly-personalised experiences for your customers, giving you improved marketing and business results.