Mandy Lingham
Product Specialist @ Prepr
Read time: 7 min

Lost in translation: Multilingual content creation and management with Headless CMS and AI translation tool

New in Prepr

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In a digital world without boundaries, language barriers often present a significant challenge, frustrating users when they encounter websites in languages they don't understand. Studies show that people prefer content in their own mother tongue, making multilingual content essential for businesses seeking a global presence. In this blog, you’ll discover how using an AI translation tool can make multilingual content creation a walk in the park. It not only broadens your audience but also improves your SEO. Plus, you’ll learn how managing multilingual content gets simpler with a headless CMS.

Do you remember the 2003 movie directed by Sofia Coppola “Lost in Translation?”

You know, the one where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson find themselves in Tokyo, experiencing a sense of disorientation due to the linguistic and cultural gap.

Well, sometimes navigating the Internet and trying to find something online can feel like a scene straight out of that movie. On one hand, the Internet has effectively dissolved borders, making the world smaller by connecting people and countries across the globe with just a single click. Yet, in the world of online marketing, where companies compete for the attention of a global audience, language remains a formidable obstacle.

Lost in the digital world - when websites don't speak your language

Now, "Lost in Translation" doesn’t directly explore translation or languages, but the movie is a beautiful metaphor that expresses the feeling of being lost in a world that feels unfamiliar. And we’ve all been there.

You are on a mission to find something on the Internet and you land on a website that seems to have exactly what you need. Excitement soars only to be dashed as you open the webpage and find it's not in your language. Frustrating, isn’t it? You may not believe it, but it's a scenario that countless online users encounter daily.

English is not always the answer for online content

If you thought that translating your website into English would solve all your problems, think again. Believe it or not, research from Sheffield Hallam University showed that only 6% of the global population speak English and 75% - yeah you read that right - speak no English at all.

Sometimes, even native English speakers may not fully understand each other. Is it a Sweater, Jumper, or Pullover? If you ask an American and an Englishman, you'll likely get different answers.

Diverse Audiences, Multilingual Content

Studies have proven that people naturally prefer content in their own language, even if the translation isn't exactly perfect. Sharing content in various languages is essential for businesses looking to expand their presence globally.

Translating content into the target language is the key to creating experiences that truly connect with a specific culture, increasing the chance of engaging potential customers. When you invest in translation and localization, you stand out from competitors who haven't taken this crucial step, giving you a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Boosting SEO with multilingual content

Translating and localizing your content can have a huge impact on your SEO strategy and boost your website's performance in organic search results. Search engines are all about delivering the most relevant results to your audience. So, if people love it, search engines love it too.

Plus with translated content, you can work on local keyword research which allows your website to show up higher in local search results. Moreover, visitors tend to stick around for longer when they find content in their language. This means lower bounce rates that tell search engines your content is valuable.

Headless CMS - The solution to multilingual content management

We came to the conclusion that making content that speaks to a diverse global audience is no longer a choice; it’s a necessity for businesses that want to thrive. Yet, as the volume of content continues to grow across different languages and cultures, keeping it all organized can feel like finding your way through a giant maze. Moreover, our content isn't confined to just computers; it's showing up on phones, wearables, and more.

That’s why adapting content to different languages and cultures can be a real challenge. While a traditional CMS often struggles to solve the challenge of managing multicultural content, a headless CMS can help you simplify your multilingual content management and ensure brand consistency.

But what makes it a better choice?

  • One Central Content Hub: A headless CMS separates where you create and keep your content from where it gets shown. This means all your content lives in one place, making it easy to create, update, and manage content in different languages.
  • Content Flexibility: Unlike traditional systems, a headless CMS can adapt to various platforms, including websites, mobile apps, and more. This ensures your content looks great no matter where it’s displayed and a consistent user experience across different devices.
  • Local Vibes: With a traditional CMS, making changes for localization requires modifying templates and styles which can be time-consuming and complex. With a headless CMS, you gain more control over how you handle content localization, making it easier to adapt without impacting the whole content structure.
  • Brand Consistency: A headless CMS lets your brand stay consistent across different languages by delivering a unified brand message while allowing for content adaptation for each market.
  • SEO boost: Although effective multilingual SEO strategies necessitate local keyword searches and a deep understanding of local search habits, a headless CMS provides you with SEO-friendly structured data. This allows you to structure your content and metadata more efficiently in order to help search engines better understand content elements. Additionally, it leads to faster loading times, a crucial factor for SEO rankings. And you know, Google rewards fast websites.

AI translation field - Bridging the language gap

So, You Got It? With a headless CMS system, multilingual content management is no longer a problem. But, what about the actual translation?

Translating content into multiple languages is not easy at all and not too long ago, it was not only expensive but also incredibly time-consuming, often demanding days, if not weeks, of dedicated effort from professional translators. The idea of having a computer that could understand and translate languages was a dream for many. However, when that dream finally became a reality, the initial results were, to put it mildly, a bit of a mess – awkward phrasings and lost meanings abounded.

But as the saying goes, we learn from our mistakes, and machine translations were no exception. Today, especially with artificial intelligence (AI) on the rise, translations are more accurate and reliable, often requiring nothing more than a quick review to achieve near perfection.

At Prepr, we recognize the vital importance of multilingual and multicultural content. That’s why in addition to providing a headless CMS with its numerous advantages, Prepr has recently introduced a new feature - the AI translation field. It's like having a helpful assistant to speed up the content creation in different languages. This tool ensures that your content remains consistent and SEO-friendly.

What's even better is that Prepr has made this process very simple. Just pick a language from a menu, click "Translate automatically using AI," and you're done.

AI translation field 2.0 - When words aren’t enough

But we know that translating content is not just about changing words. It's about respecting different cultures and you have to translate with localization in mind. That’s why our tool doesn't stop at translation. You can also choose the right tone of voice for your audience. Think of the differences between U.S. culture and Japanese culture, for instance: the former is very informal and casual, while the latter is quite formal. Prepr allows you to consider the target culture, ensuring your message gets across just right.

But there are times when translating everything can send you down the wrong path. For example, Braniff Airlines learned this the hard way. Their slogan "Fly in leather." was translated as "Vuela en cuero." in Spanish-speaking markets. However, in Mexican Spanish slang, "cuero" means "naked," not “leather." So, Braniff advertised its slogan as “Fly naked.” in Mexico.

With the Prepr AI translation field, you are in control. You can choose what to translate and what to keep as it is. It's all about making sure your message hits the mark without getting "lost in translation."

Discover more about the Prepr AI translation field here.

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