How to manage HTML code when translating websites

In the majority of cases, websites are managed by Content Management Systems (CMS). There are Content Management Systems, such as Magento, which offer the distinctive feature of exporting text for translation along with part of the HTML code.

One of the technical challenges associated with translating a website is the management of HTML codes. Generally, websites can be designed and managed exclusively in HTML (or with HTML templates) or they can be supported on a Content Management System (CMS). The latter option is preferable for websites with a large amount of content or those that are updated frequently.

Translating with a pure HTML code

The leading computer assisted translation programmes on the market filter HTML code. When professional translators use SDL Trados Studio, memoQ or WordFast, they may have to customise this filter, as it is not necessary to translate certain tags.

Translating HTML code in Word, .csv or Excel files generated by a CMS

Firstly, it is essential to extract the text from the code. On one hand, this makes it possible to obtain an exact word count and, on the other, it opens up the possibility to hide the code when translating, thus protecting its integrity from possible changes that translators with limited computer skills may introduce.

It is common for files generated by a CMS and intended for the use of a translator to include HTML code. Although it is true that the most advanced CMS usually avoid such inconveniences and distinguish between the text to translate and code. Nevertheless, due to the large amount of systems used to export HTML code, filters are sold for computer assisted translation programmes.

At AbroadLink, we work with two of the most popular computer assisted translation programmes:

  • SDL Trados Studio, the industry leader, with a market share of over 50%.
  • MemoQ, a programme that was launched in 2007 and that is increasing gaining market share thanks to its available features and high performance.

The latter programme makes it possible to apply filters in various stages. This enables the separation of the HTML code in an independent file on one hand, and the collection of the text for translation for linguists. Thanks to this extremely useful tool. The code is not edited and nor can it be corrupted.

José Gambín's picture
José Gambín
José Gambín holds a 5-year degree in Biology from the University of Valencia (Spain) and a 4-year degree in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada (Spain). He has worked as a freelance translator, in-house translator, desktop publisher and project manager. From 2002, he is a founding member of AbroadLlink and currently works as Marketing and Sales Manager.