Website translation into Ukrainian
Adding a second language to the site is a must. In Ukraine, sites in several languages are especially popular, as the inhabitants of the country communicate in Russian and Ukrainian, and many national companies cooperate with neighboring countries. Sometimes the need for a multilingual site arises in connection with the expansion of the geography of sales or the opening of branches in other countries.
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OBVIOUS ADVANTAGES OF A MULTILINGUAL SITE:
INCREASED SALES - your products or services will become available to a wider range of potential customers, as a rule, this automatically leads to an increase in website traffic, and as a result, the popularity and profit of the company increases.
VISITOR LOYALTY — the ability to choose a convenient language for the site visitor makes it clear that the company has taken care of everyone and made the site easy to read. This enhances the image and location of its customers.
INCREASED TRAFFIC - The advantage of a multilingual site is that each language version is indexed by Google separately, generates its own keywords and search traffic. Now it does not matter in what language the visitor is looking for information - he will definitely see your site.
COMPLIANCE WITH THE LAW — our country has recently adopted laws on the popularization of the Ukrainian language. From January 2021, this language should be the main language for online publications, commercial sites and applications. Sanctions for the absence of the Ukrainian version of the site are not yet provided, but perhaps this is only a matter of time.
If you need to create a multilingual site or add a second language version, you can contact our company QFS TEAM. This is a daily task that we successfully solve every day. However, the development of a multilingual site requires good technical knowledge and a professional approach, since each version of the site must complement the functionality and be correctly indexed in the search. The cost of such services is determined individually for each project and depends on the amount of content on the site and the management system on which it was created. For more information, please contact our managers at the phones listed in the contacts.
UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE FOR SITES
Back in 2019, Ukraine signed the bill “On Ensuring the Functioning of the Ukrainian Language as the State Language”, this requirement applies to all websites, applications, online projects and services. The law came into force in January 2021, for this reason we decided to clarify the most controversial points and answer frequently asked questions.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW!
What are the requirements of the Ukrainian Language Law for websites?
Who controls the implementation of the law and what are the penalties?
How to add the Ukrainian version to the site correctly?
What are the advantages of the second language version?
Step by step guide to adding the Ukrainian version.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE "LAW ON THE UKRAINIAN LANGUAGE" FOR SITES?
The main requirements of the Law "On ensuring the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the state language", which affect all Ukrainian websites and applications, are reflected in articles 27-32 of this document:
All sites and applications of Ukrainian and foreign companies must have a Ukrainian-language version, which will be loaded by default for users in Ukraine. In terms of volume and content, it should be no less than foreign-language ones.
All posts and pages of companies in social networks and accounts must also be translated into Ukrainian.
There is also a provision that all electronic messages from companies should be distributed only in the state language: email communication, advertisements, service messages, sending via SMS and instant messengers, chat bots, etc.
All communications between companies and clients, as well as consulting, must be in Ukrainian. Call the client to confirm the order only in Ukrainian. If an online chat pops up on the site, all messages must also be originally in Ukrainian, and at the request of the client, the dialogue can be conducted in the language that would be preferable to him.
WHO CONTROLS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE LAW AND WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES?
Consideration of complaints for violation of the law will be handled by the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada for the Protection of the State Language. The regulator will be responsible for initiating an investigation of violations, drawing up protocols and collecting fines. The citizens of Ukraine themselves will not be able to file complaints with the court - they will have to send them to the Ombudsman.
Starting from January 2021, any citizen of Ukraine has the right to complain about you. 30 days are given to eliminate the detected violation. Otherwise, penalties will follow. But! Penalties for non-compliance with the language law will begin only 3 years after its entry into force, that is, from July 16, 2022. It will come to fines in case of receiving several appeals: first, a check and a warning, after a repeated complaint - penalties.
The fine for failure to provide information about goods and services in Ukrainian today ranges from 3,400 to 6,800 hryvnia.
HOW TO ADD THE UKRAINIAN VERSION TO THE SITE CORRECTLY?
The law recommends adding the Ukrainian version to the website for all companies by January 16, 2021. First of all, the following blocks need to be translated on websites: all visible text content, headings, metadata: Title, Description, micro-markup and image captions, etc. Most Ukrainian online stores are now available in two languages - Russian and Ukrainian. If you have the same situation, but the default is the Russian version, you need to bring the site into compliance with the law. This is not difficult to do, but there are certain nuances: in loading the site, it is important to make additional settings while maintaining the current traffic.
If you still do not have a Ukrainian version on your site, we recommend adding it. On average, the process of creating a second language version takes about 3 months. To accomplish this task, you need the support of an SEO specialist who will provide recommendations for the correct transition. Also, depending on the features of the CMS and the capabilities built into it, you may need the help of a content manager and developer.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE SECOND LANGUAGE VERSION?
The Ukrainian version on the site is the way to attract additional traffic. According to UNIAN statistics, depending on the subject and competition, the share of Ukrainian-language traffic on Google is from 10 to 20% of all queries, this is not much, but it is constantly growing.
The second language is an increase in reputation, a manifestation of loyalty to customers from the Western regions of Ukraine, patriots and people who are principled in matters of language. Many Ukrainians, who since childhood communicated in Russian in their personal space, consciously switched to the Ukrainian language. Accordingly, they will now also google in Ukrainian, and they will start visiting those sites where there is a translation into Ukrainian. Their choice must be taken into account, including when betting on the development of your business.
As a registered owner of a commercial resource in Ukraine, you must comply with the new legal requirements. It is probably possible to pay a fine or avoid checking. But is it worth risking your business and damaging your reputation? We are sure not.
The new law on the language does not have a clear wording of how the default version in Ukrainian should look like, so each business owner implements this rule as he sees fit. QFS TEAM specialists have developed a universal migration instruction that minimizes the risk of traffic loss and fully complies with government requirements.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO ADD THE UKRAINIAN VERSION.
STEP 1. TRANSLATE ALL CONTENT INTO UKRAINIAN
The ideal situation is if the Ukrainian texts are written from scratch. This can be the business owner himself (if the site is small or expertise is required for translation, which may contain specific terms), as well as professional journalists or writers. High-quality translation will be able to expand the semantics of the site with new queries. If you decide to use automatic methods for translation, be sure to proofread the resulting content. This is important for correct ranking for Ukrainian-language queries and for the first impression of the site, which, as you know, cannot be made twice.
STEP 2. CREATE UKRAINIAN VERSION URLS
At this stage, it is very important to limit the access of search robots to that part of the site where work is being done on filling and optimization. While the pages are not ready, they should not get into the index and somehow harm the positions. When all pages are ready, do not forget to open them for indexing.
There is an opinion that the URL of the Ukrainian version by default looks like this: https://site.ua/page/, and if you have a Russian version available at a similar address, it must be redirected to an address like https://site.ua/ru /page/. Such a transition format is fraught with traffic losses during the page regluing period, and possibly even after. There is no need for redirects to the language subfolder, therefore, when creating static URLs for localization, you can add the /ua/ or /uk/ subfolder and put the future Ukrainian version with the translation ready in accordance with the current site structure. As a result, your Russian version will be available at the old link https://site.ua/page/, and the Ukrainian version will be available at the new URL https://site.ua/ua/page/.
STEP 3. CONSIDER LANGUAGE SWITCHING ON EACH PAGE
Add a language switcher to the site header. Such a switch should work correctly and redirect the user to the language version of the page on which he is currently located, and not to the main one. Links to language versions should be available to search robots - this will speed up indexing and simplify page re-indexing.
STEP 4. TELL GOOGLE ABOUT DIFFERENT LANGUAGE VERSIONS
Check the markup of the language versions according to the recommendations from Google. On each page, you must specify elements with links to all versions of the page - the main and alternative ones. The hreflang attribute must contain information about the language of the content in ISO 639-1 format. Please note that for the Ukrainian language this is uk. Additionally, you can specify the country code if you have a multi-regional site.
Add links to Ukrainian versions to the Sitemap.xml file. To do this, you can create a separate map, which will contain the localized version, or add new URLs to the existing ones. There are no restrictions on the presentation, it is important to adhere to the general rules for generating a sitemap. If necessary, submit your sitemap to be crawled by the bot via Google Search Console. After creating a new language version, it will take time to index it. On average, indexing can last from 1 week to 3 months, depending on the size of the number of pages.
STEP 5. SET UP AUTOMATIC OPENING OF UKRAINIAN VERSION FOR VISITORS FROM UKRAINE
If a user accesses the site from a Ukrainian IP address, the Ukrainian version of the site should be loaded by default. For various reasons, services may incorrectly determine the user's physical IP address. Making an allowance for this, the default version can be given not only to users with Ukrainian IPs, but also to everyone who visits the site for the first time.
If the user agrees with the default language settings and does not change anything, then the next time he visits your online store, he will immediately get to the Ukrainian version. If he changes the language version, then any time he re-enters the site, he will get to the Russian version, since his choice will be saved in cookies.
The presence of the Ukrainian version on the site is not necessary, but experts recommend adding it anyway. It won't take much time or effort. The second language version will give you some advantages: it will attract additional search traffic, increase the company's image and the trust of visitors.