Lingo Stars

Bigger and Better

Don't be fooled into thinking you can translate your entire Web site or a business proposal intended for overseas customers with these basic, utilitarian products. If you want to appeal to a foreign national in his or her native tongue, you'd be much better served by employing a professional human translator. Globalink offers human translators that enable you to localize your documents--this means not merely translating the words but also addressing cultural nuances. The cost can run pretty high, however, at 15 cents to 50 cents per word; the variance in price is based on the language.

There are other, less expensive options for translating your Web site. Globalink's Comprende WebMaster is directed at small companies that want to appeal to overseas customers. For a monthly subscription fee, Globalink provides on-demand translations of a company's site. This means a German-speaking visitor to your site will be able to click on an icon marked "German" to read the text in his or her native tongue. Globalink doesn't make any claims about the accuracy of these translations and says only that visitors will get the gist of the information. Still, it's an affordable option for reaching a worldwide audience. To get your site ready, there's a one-time setup fee of $250; after that, it costs $100 per month to provide translations for five languages (French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish).

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This article was originally published in the September 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Lingo Stars.

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