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Website translation for pharmaceutical companies - how to do it successfully

Providing customers with own language websites will increase visibility.

Conversis | 06th February 2015

Planning to localise and translate your content?

Should medical and pharmaceutical companies translate their website content?

At first glance the answer to this question seems simple – yes. According to research done by Common Sense Advisory and by Harvard Business Review, 72.4% of users prefer to read content and search for terms in their own language. Many people believe that the medical industry needs to reach out to as many people as possible with fully-informed content on the web in order to balance the ‘less-informed’ opinions and minority view web content. To reach the highest number of people, this content needs to be localised and translated into as many languages as possible. Many major pharma companies such as GSK, Pfizer and AstraZeneca have localised their websites into 20-30 languages although some country pages are just a single webpage on the English website (See http://www.gsk.com/en-gb/contactus/worldwide/guatemala/  or http://www.astrazeneca.com/colombia).

The challenges of website translation

First and foremost with website translation projects, it is essential to keep in mind that you are planning to localise and translate your content while you are first writing it. For pharma websites, this is not as easy as it sounds - localisation departments in large pharma companies often only receive the finished copy once it has been created in the original language (usually English for the afore-mentioned pharma giants). Using non-standardised web design software can also cause issues later down the line if the localisation agency you choose does not have its own engineers and technicians who can deal with the formatting of your website after translation. Moving towards standardised web content programs that are designed with translation in mind would make the dynamic translation of your website much easier so it is definitely something to consider right at the beginning of the process. As well as the basic upkeep of your website in different languages, it is important to choose a localisation agent who has experience in multimedia - video and audio clips, live feeds, comment boxes - to make sure you are on the ball at all times. This particularly applies to pharma companies who cannot afford to miss a negative feedback comment which could be interpreted as an 'adverse event' for one of their products.

In summary

We should not shy away from improving the informed medical information available on the web in as many languages as feasibly possible, whilst taking into account constraints on budget, timing and resources and making sure we choose a localisation expert with relevant experience and expertise.

conversismedical.com


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