How to outsource (website) translation effectively?


my website should be multi language, but every native speaker can see in the first sentences that the translation (by us) is not good enough.

So I have two possibilities:

  1. Let a native speaker correct the page. But I fear that original intention is somewhat lost by our own translation.
  2. Let a native speaker translate the page again.

Maybe you can help me with this decision. But the real question I want to ask is how to coordinate the translation with a freelancer. I thought I would post the translation job on or some site like that. Our website is edited via a CMS, but I cannot give people access to this CMS because its not intuitive enough and there are even graphics elements to translate. So how should the translator sent the results? Are there any best practices?

Outsourcing Website

asked Feb 18 '10 at 23:52
Steffen Binas
116 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll

4 Answers


You should prepare a plain text file and send to translation online service or freelancer specialized in this. Better is to use one translator for translation and after that other for proofreading. Look for native speakers only with some knowledge in the field. I have seen horrible translations by professionals that have no domain knowledge.

answered Feb 19 '10 at 04:11
2,288 points


Localization is usually a major hassle, really. I mean, it is not that hard, but it is surprisingly time-consuming relative to the ease of the task.

If your CMS is based on resource files (.NET RESX fx)(most CMS's are not) then you could use a service like Amanuens to handle the string synchronization for you. If your CMS is Wordpress or Drupal, then ICanLocalize has native translation plugins that could help you.

Two other common approaches are:

  • Copy and paste the text into an Excel spreadsheet / Word document, and email that around. Always gets to be a hassle, and if you're not super-careful then one day you'll find non-translated strings mixed in with translated content somewhere.
  • Teach the translator to use the CMS, and handle all translation inside the CMS. Don't allow the translator to publish pages, have a separate step for test, approval and publication of the translated content.

Given that your CMS is already 'out on the Internet', I would clearly prefer having the translators all translate from your native language and doing it directly inside the CMS. Email-based workflows break down fairly quick when multiple people are involved.

answered Nov 2 '10 at 07:51
Jesper Mortensen
15,292 points


I suggest do not go to a site with freelancers for hire. There are many background speakers there, but you will get quite a few people applying for the job who don't have expertise in translating and good luck getting it proofread.

If it is a professional site go to somewhere like: There are many similar sites, just search on Google.

Many of these sites have a certified team of translators and can organize proofreading etc. and their prices aren't so expensive.

This site: Claims to integrate inside a CMS, so may be just what you need.

answered Nov 2 '10 at 08:03
1,257 points


I recommend using a web-based localization platform, such as, which allows the creation of public projects that can be shared with others.
You can virtually invite people to join anywhere around the web just by sharing a link, and collaborators can self-enroll.
The common work space and the fact that it's online and thus compatible with many systems simplifies the process of website translation a lot.

answered Oct 12 '13 at 00:19
Ana Ferreira
11 points

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