5 things to know about Translating Product Descriptions


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    It’s no secret that product descriptions are important to your customer’s shopping experience. As online shopping continues to become increasingly dominant, the product description is where a prospective customer finds all the information they need to see if a product is right for them. If you’re looking to localize your service, product descriptions will be one area of content that is non-negotiable when it comes to translation. Oftentimes, descriptions are what makes or breaks a customer’s decision to purchase – so getting the translation right can make a big difference. Here are five things you should know about translating product descriptions.

    1. Be prepared

    If you’re serious about reaching new customers in different countries and regions, you must first understand your own customer base. What countries and areas do you currently sell to and where do you have your most success? Knowing this may impact the region you decide to strategically target with translated product descriptions. Bear in mind that product descriptions often have limited word counts and use only a small space on the page, different languages do not always translate neatly into the same length. While Romance languages tend to take up more room, a language like Mandarin can fit into a much smaller space. Preparing for potential challenges such as this will make them much easier to address.

    1. Decide on your translation method

    Translation requires skill, it’s rarely as simple as knowing how to speak two or more languages. It is the translator’s job to decide how best to interpret meaning so that no understanding is lost. Of course, it all depends on what kind of quality of translation you’re looking for. Machine translation may be one option, though be sure you look up different machine translation types to see what quality it can offer for your target language. If you’re seeking a professional level of translation that will be accurate and easily understandable to customers in different regions you should opt for localization company instead. Many of these translation services also provide quality assurance checks and employ native speakers. This is a huge benefit, as you can rest easy knowing that the finished product descriptions make as much sense in their target language as they do in their original format.

    1. Consider other types of localization

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that localization only refers to the process of translation. After all, the language barrier is generally the biggest issue when trying to sell your product in new countries. However, that’s not all you should think about. Different regions have different cultures and customs. Your production description is there to inform the customer – but also to sell to them. Use a translator who is a native of the region you wish to target and they can recommend changes in content to help convert customers. You can also undertake your own personal research to get a feel for what product elements are most important to the people in the country you are selling to.

    1. Make your descriptions SEO friendly

    It’s common knowledge that search engine optimization is integral to finding large audiences online. While different countries will have particular search engine preferences, the outcome is ultimately the same: good SEO equals a good ranking. As tempting as it might be to merely translate your current keywords, doing so is unlikely to work. This is where more research comes in handy. Do some keyword research in your target region, find out what words are used to bring up the product you’re selling, and then incorporate them into your translated product descriptions, doing so will increase traffic to your site.

    1. Stay up to date

    The commercial world moves fast. Undoubtedly, your online store will have changes, updates in stock, and products which are discontinued as well as new products introduced. It may seem like a pain, but ensure your translated product descriptions reflect any changes – otherwise, you may get a reputation as an unreliable seller in your target region and your sales will suffer. Staying on top of this ensures you are a seller customers can trust.


    Translating your product descriptions is a really important step in reaching new customers from other parts of the globe. While there is certainly some work and the potential cost involved, the eventual reward is well worth the effort. With translated product descriptions and new selling capabilities in new regions, you can increase your customer base tenfold.


    Henry is what you might call ‘a translation nerd’ with a big love of content writing. He regularly writes to share his expert insights into language, translation, culture, and all the odds and ends that come along with it. Make sure you keep up to date with Henry’s posts for more info, tips, and tricks on a whole range of topics.

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