655 WP-Tonic – This Week in WordPress & SaaS With Guest Tanya Quintieri From MrsDivi

Looking for advice connected to the best WordPress translation plugin what are the best way to have your WordPress website available in multiple languages?

With Special Guest Tanya Quintieri From MrsDivi

Intro: Welcome to the WP-tonic WordPress and SaaS podcast, Jonathan Denwood and his co-host Steven Sauder interview the leading experts in WordPress e-learning and online marketing to help WordPress professionals launch their own SAS. Take it away, guys.

Jonathan Denwood: Welcome back folks to the WP tonic this week in WordPress and SaaS. Got a great guess. I haven’t got my co-host he is ill getting tested today for the dreaded COVID. I wish Steven well, I hope he hasn’t got the dreaded virus that has dominated our psyche for the past two years folks. I’ve got a great guest. She’s part of the WP tonic round table panel. She’s based in Europe. She’s Miss Divvi Tanya Quintieri. I’ve just destroyed her second name. I’m gonna let her do a quick intro. We’re gonna be discussing all things transcription about WordPress Internationalizing. more about what the great leaders said in, the state of the word on Tuesday, which was also a lot of it about internationalization and translation so Tanya, would you like to give a quick 20, 30-second intro to the tribe?

Tanya Quintieri: Sure. So yeah, my name is Tanya Quintieri. That’s an acquired Italian last name. I’m American based in, just outside of Prague and the Czech Republic. I’m 45 years old. I’ve been doing WordPress since about 2011, 2012. And I’m a translator I’ve been doing that since 2002. And, yeah, for myself, I brought together those two worlds, under the brand Mrs. Divi. And, I specialize in WPM L been using that since the beginning. I have ebbed into other solutions, but honestly, nothing has really convinced me as much as WPML did. And, yeah happy to talk about globalization today. 

Jonathan Denwood: It’s all kindly linked isn’t it? I think it makes some sense. So it’s gonna be a great conversation. I’m gonna go for an advert from my major sponsor Castos. We’ll be back in a few moments folks.

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Jonathan Denwood: we’re coming back to support Casto and by doing that go to the WP-Tonic recommendations page. So it’s WP tonic slash recommendations. There are some great offers there, also a list of all the products and services that WP tonic recommends to the WordPress community. It’s all stuff that I’ve used, or my team has used, and I have confidence that you’ll find it great stuff, plus there are some great special offers on that page. Just go over there, be blown away. So Tanya let’s start in a little bit more detail. First of all, how did you get into WordPress, and then were your translational powers there before you got into WordPress? Or did you get into the translation area after WordPress?

Tanya Quintieri: So translation came first and that was totally by chance. At the time I lived in Germany and I had two small children and I decided to go back to school. And so I was missing income, obviously going back to school. And so I waited tables in the evenings. And, one evening after my shift, I was looking through a local newspaper and the software company was looking for a translator. And I was thinking, you know what, I’m American, I know German, I can do this can’t be that hard. And I sent them a test translation and they were all happy and I ended up working for them for over 14 years. But throughout that time, I learned how much I had no clue about translation and all the processes involved and, the auxiliary tasks that come with it.

And so I learned a lot about translation. I even founded an association for translators back in 2011. And, so I’m what you would call a, oh gosh, what is the English word for it? Oops, sorry my monitor is going off. So I came in sideways into the profession. I had expertise in marketing, but, didn’t know anything about translation. And, I started out with marketing translations and, as opposed to having a formal education as a translator, going to university, getting your diploma, et cetera. More and more people are actually translating like that. Especially when they work for clients directly and not through translation agencies, because most of the translations done worldwide, still go through agencies. I estimate probably about 75 to 85% of the entire volume. And most of those translators who do work for clients directly, be that small startup or huge global international firms. I would say a lot of them are people who came into the profession from a different angle.

Jonathan Denwood: So you were saying, and I just wanna point out that Tanya has been a real champion. She is not feeling a hundred percent herself, so, but she still agreed to do the interview and it’s much appreciated, Tanya. Hopefully– 
Tanya Quintieri:
Thank you.  
Jonathan Denwood:
We can push through this. So, I was interested in your reply. You were saying that it’s still dominated by translation agencies. Can you give, a little bit of insight about what they do, what may be a freelancer, that’s got a project and the client is, asking, how do we, I wanna offer this in various languages, this eCommerce website, or this membership website. They’re looking at plugins, but they’re also looking to hire a translator directly or through an agency, where do these agencies fit? And what are some of the things that you feel the audience has to know about them?

Tanya Quintieri: Okay. So, typically, and obviously there are always exceptions to the rules. But typically, this is what happens. When a company has, well, first of all, many companies don’t even know how to go about finding a translator or somebody that will translate their stuff. So they go online and obviously, agencies have a higher marketing budget, et cetera. So when you type, I don’t know, English translation into Chinese, the first couple of pages on Google are gonna be all about, agencies. And so that’s how clients usually end up working with agencies. The other thing is that most freelance translators are reluctant to outsource or to team up with other translators. So they usually can only offer their, own, language combination, and usually their own area of specialization. Whereas freelancers like myself, I outsource to translators who either work in other, industries or have different specializations. 

Like I would never translate, medical reports or patents or legal stuff. I just don’t do that because I don’t know enough about it. But I also have people working for me, via outsourcing who translate into other languages because that’s the next thing, oftentimes companies and today more so than 10, 15 years ago, people will not just start, okay, I’m gonna have my website in French and Spanish no they wanna have it in Italian and Swedish. And, God knows how many languages. And it’s hard for, translators or freelancers to put those kinds of teams together. So it’s easier for those clients to go to an agency where usually you don’t have translators working directly with the agency they’re just hired on a project basis as freelancers.

What the agency does is basically manage the project. They manage the databases that you need to have consistent translations. They manage deadlines, payments, think like that. So they basically do the translation management and the recruiting, I guess I’m gonna have to close my window.

Jonathan Denwood: So when, when you do that search as a freelancer, a WordPress freelancer, or you’re a small agency in the WordPress, and you’ve got this client and they want consultation. So you do the research yourself, up comes, all these agencies, and you, seem to indicate that they provide, technology in the background or they should do and management insight to manage a group of freelance, individuals that either they’re paying director they’re paying per project or on a kind of retainer or the ways that freelancers or self-employed people are hired. How does a freelance or a small WordPress agency make it? Are there any insights about any red flags around A, this is just too cheap B can you give any kind of tips or insights on how they can quickly make some judgment calls about probably the two to three translational agencies that they’re approaching?

Tanya Quintieri: Okay. So one huge red flag is when you run into agencies that say they offer all languages, all specialized areas. Maybe they do, but in that case, you’re probably just a number, and they assign them what do they call it? Their resources translators hate being called resources. So, you might end up having five different translators working on maybe 5,000 words of text just to get a quick turnaround. They don’t talk to each other. The translation can be inconsistent, especially when you have a project manager, assigned to your project who doesn’t even speak the target languages, so they can’t really have that final look at it. Therefore if at all possible, I would always either go for a freelancer who is well connected or for a small specialized agency.

And I think the best way to find that kind of contact is really, ask your business networks, ask for recommendations. If all goes wrong, you can try to contact your local translation, association, translators are in associations. And usually if you Google, I don’t know, in the US it’s ATA,  in Germany, it’s the BDU or, DDUB and, France has theirs in Italy and basically every country. And, usually, those translators are vetted so that you know, that they know what they’re doing. And then of course, when you speak to your contact, when you’re actually, explaining your project to them, the problems you’re having, whatever. Listen, if they ask the right questions. It should be relevant to what you’re doing. 

Somebody who specializes in, horse training for lack of a better example, might not know anything about how clients of a software company would want to be addressed. Or wouldn’t use the right terms or not find the right tone of voice. They wouldn’t be able to point out cultural differences for that specific target market or the target client or customer. So listening for the right questions often helps a lot. 

Jonathan Denwood: Yes. Are there any kind of, forums online resources, because I think any educated client or freelancer or small agencies that are looking for external services. when I’ve ever been in that situation, Tanya I’ve always gone online and done some pre-research to find out what are some of the key questions I should be asking and what are the right answers generally so I can get some red flags when I’m actually approaching some possible resources. So are there some online resources that, people can go to, to find out about what are some of the questions or some insights into the general industry in general?

Tanya Quintieri: Oh yeah, definitely. And again, I would have to refer to the associations. I know there’s one pamphlet that was written by a quite famous translator in the translation industry, obviously. And that brochure was translated into so many languages and is provided by so many associations. I believe the name is how to buy translations or something like that. But I can look it up and, and share a link later, but that’s basically a brochure that tells people how to buy translations, what to look for, what to expect. But then, there are a few translators who do a really good job with blogging and educating the client. So if you go online and, just type, how do I find the best translator for my project? I’m sure there’s gonna be tons of stuff that pops up that is really valuable.

Jonathan Denwood: All right, that’s fair enough. We’re gonna go for a break when we come back I’m gonna be asking Tanya about the role of artificial intelligence. And how the whole world of translational plugins in the WordPress ecosystem, some insights, some recommendations around that. We’ll be back in a few moments, folks.

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Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. Before we go into our other questions with Tanya, I just wanna say, if you wanna join the conversation and be part of the tribe, please go to the WP tonic Facebook group mastermind group. If you post any questions for Tanya, I will post them in the supporting, show notes, and also in the weekly WP newsletter. So if you wanna be part of the conversation, go there and post your questions there for Tanya. That would be great. And it would be great. If you were part of the active conversation in that group.

So the buzzwords, most people in the WordPress listen to this podcast are either real power users or they’re actively making their living in WordPress as designers, implementers, agency owners. They’re making their money from WordPress in some way. So, their, introduction probably, which was my own when I got involved in a couple of projects that needed, a couple of different languages was free plugins through the plugin and the plugin services. Can you give a quick, outline of maybe two or three of the leading plugins and quickly, what are some of their strengths and weaknesses based on your professional experience and insights Tanya?

Tanya Quintieri: Okay. Yeah, well, as I said, I love working with WPML just because it gives me as a designer, web developer, whatever you wanna call me, a very granular, form of control of the content that you put out there. And there are so many little satellite plugins around it, where you can just really, take the most or get the most out of, your translated website. One example would be they have a glue plugin for, Yost, the SEO solution. Not necessarily my favorite one, but in that case, when, you can put those two together like that is really, really neat. Also, it works awesome with, woo-commerce, any WooComerce plugin, really.

There’s a learning curve. I don’t believe that for beginners or people who don’t do it regularly, that WPML is too easy to use just because it’s so powerful. Sometimes I wish because I do have some products for freelancers, where I kind of give them the basic set of WordPress and I give them a basic design, and then they can go ahead and, fill their content and stuff. So it’s kind of like a, guided do-it-yourself thing. And sometimes I wish that for WPML there was like a light version for, people who don’t understand, PHP and, all that stuff. So it’s not the easiest thing to use, but if you’ve used it a couple of times and you’re interested in the technology behind it, then it’s really, really good, and powerful. I know it’s not cheap, but good things never are cheap. That’s my experience. There are a few free plugins out there.

Jonathan Denwood: You’ve made it clear that you think that’s the leader of the pack, but are there two others that, you don’t feel offer the power and, looking for the right words Tanya, maybe the quality or scope. But are there a couple that is less complicated that might not offer, but is still not useless? Are there a couple of others that you would push our audience may be to look at?

Tanya Quintieri: For simple brochure sites, you can definitely go with things like Polylang. That’s really pretty easy. Of course, it can also go the handmade route of, translating your PO files and Mo files and stuff like that. But then again, you need the knowledge to do that. So if it was a really simple brochure site, that doesn’t have any membership functionality or, e-commerce or events or anything like that, then something free, like Polylang is totally fine. I’ve heard they have a pretty decent support forum, where users help each other. And then of course there’s a totally automated route that you can take. And that is, using something like the Google translate plugin. It’s just a plugin where it automatically translates the content into any language you want, like on the fly, but the translations are kind of s**tty. Just because Google doesn’t use the best machines to translate.

I have used that for instance, for a site that had to go up super-fast. It was, an information site for refugees that were coming to Germany and they needed to provide a site where they could, check information on where they could get clothes, how they could get medical attention, et cetera, things like that. So basic information. And so we installed the Google translate plugin because there was just no time to get, translations in all kinds of African languages. So that’s an instance where I’m like, okay, I can do that. I can support that. But in all other cases, the more high-end your product is the more expensive your product is, the more I don’t wanna call it prestige. Sometimes when I see brands that are so fancy, and they have this huge marketing, department, and stuff. And then they go into a different market. And they don’t give a damn about the translation, and then I’m like, then leave it, don’t do it in the first place if you’re not gonna–

Jonathan Denwood: Yeah. I totally agree with you. So I know this is gonna be a difficult question, but, as I said, previous during this interview, Tanya, the couple times that I’ve been involved in the multi-language website has been around eCommerce. One was a manufacturer and a so direct, it was fireplaces and it, but it was a kind of, yeah, I won’t go into detail cause they might be still in business. Basically, they want your English, Portuguese, and I think it was German. And it was like a, one key product with about 12 to 20 [inaudible26:38 ], variations on, the main product. So I would classify that as small to medium and they had a reasonable budget for development through WooCommerce. 

I dunno if you’ve been involved in many eCommerce, solution setups. the parameters I’ve just given you to hire somebody like you and to hire somebody that could translate, let’s say German and Portuguese or Portuguese, what, kind of very broad figure do you think people should be really thinking that somebody that knows what they’re doing is gonna quote? I know this is a difficult question, but it’s a pretty obvious question that also that I would ask you isn’t?

Tanya Quintieri: Well, you know what, I don’t really think it’s all that difficult, difficult is to determine the parameters. So, let’s say if a plant shop were to come to me, right. Because, aside from the fact that I do marketing and, I teach translations, one of my big passions is indoor plants. And I’d love to do a plant shop page. So, but since none of my clients are planted shop owners, yet, I guess this is a good example, but I’m very knowledgeable about indoor plants. So if I were to translate that into English, first of all, I would know how to find a Portuguese translator. I wouldn’t do that myself, but I would know how to, and I team up with them, whatever. And assuming that I’m installing WPML, assuming that I am localizing the imagery, graphic design, et cetera because that has to be localized as well.

Assuming that I’m doing the research for legal grounds because, if you have, I don’t know, a US site and you start offering your stuff in German, you become responsible to make your site legally safe for the German market. You’ll have to start to add a legal notice. There is, obviously GDPR stuff that you need to take into account, et cetera. And a verse translator who knows about eCommerce global eCommerce will know about these things and can point it out to you. I mean, they can’t obviously give you a legal counsel or anything like that, but they can point it out. Like, Hey Jonathan, you’re missing this and this and this. And maybe we should get a lawyer to look into this just to make it safe. 

So if I were to do all of that from setting up the tech side, doing the consulting part, outsourcing the other language that I don’t speak on my end, you’re looking at an hourly rate of 129 euros, which sounds like a lot. But since I know what I’m doing, I can do more in that hour than other people. If you break that down to a word, like say you have a website, with the privacy policy to be translated, because that’s always a big chunk, maybe 5 to 10 products about pages, stuff like that. You’re probably looking at a word count of anywhere between five and 8,000 words. If you wanted to, calculate that down to a word price, then you’d probably be somewhere between 12, 15, 18 cents per word. Depending on, the terminology, et cetera, how much research has to be done. But that’s about the ballpark that you’re looking at.

Jonathan Denwood: So what would be a kind of the finished-off amount, the quoted amount, what are we looking at? 4 $5,000, 6,000, 10,000.

Tanya Quintieri: Depend on how big your website is and how repetitive your text is. Simple brochure website, maybe with five products, if I’d had to ballpark it per language, probably around 2 and a half, 3000. 

Jonathan Denwood: So what, I’m attempting is if you’re listening to these folks and you think you are gonna hire somebody that really knows what they’re gonna be doing and it’s for a higher price product. And, don’t think you’re gonna get all this done for $500. It ain’t gonna happen.

Tanya Quintieri: Well you can, you’re just gonna get [Inaudible31:24 ] results. 
Jonathan Denwood:
But it won’t be great. I think we’ve made that quite clear. Right. I think we are coming to the end of the podcast. So are you feeling okay to continue for an extra 10 minutes? That’s great. So in the bonus content folks, which you’ll be able to watch on the WP tonic YouTube channel, and also the WP tonic Facebook mastermind group page. I’m gonna be discussing with Tanya about how artificial intelligence, how this is affecting, how it is gonna be affecting this whole area a lot more in the next two years. so we’re gonna be delving in, and our own reaction to what Matt Mullenweg had to say about translation in his, state of the word on Tuesday. So Tanya, how can people find out more about you and your words of wisdom around translation and everything we’ve just discussed?

Tanya Quintieri: Well, for one you can find me on my website, Mrsdivi.com, M R S D I V i.com. You can find me on Facebook and on Instagram, or you can just drop an email WordPress at Mrsdivi.com and I’ll be happy to schedule a call with whoever’s interested in more information.

Jonathan Denwood: That’s great. If you really also wanna point out to your tribe if you got a WordPress product service and you also want to support the show, we do offer, sponsorship packages for, the smaller possible sponsor, from one episode to six months. You find, although that packaging, sponsorship information on WP tonic slash sponsorship, and, it’s a great way of getting your message out to a very focused and passionate WordPress group of people. 

Also, I wanna point out if you’re listening to this, is this is gonna be our last show of 2022? We will be back in the first week of January. I and my great co-host Steven want to wish you a great and healthy Christmas and New Year. And thank you so much for listening to the show. It’s much appreciated. And like I say if you really want to get more involved in the discussion, and I really want you to do that. Join us on the WP tonic Facebook mastermind group page, and join the conversation there. We’ll see you soon, and please join us for the bonus conversation. See you soon. Bye

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