A Developer’s Guide to Web App and Website Translation

A Developer’s Guide to Web App and Website Translation

Share on social media:

With open APIs on the rise, it seems that every service used in the modern-day enterprises needs to be interconnected. While data synchronization through multi-tenant analytical tools is prominent, it feels there is still much room for improvement when it comes to a website and cloud-based app translation.

Establishing a link between content stored in resource files, versioning systems and translation tech is quickly becoming the standard for any international business.

Three key components are required for a streamlined process: content extraction, translation and versioning. All of which are provided by Text United. Read on to learn how to set it up.

Content Extraction From Resource Files

It’s as easy as connecting your GitHub repository through an API token exchange, selecting resource files and allowing Text United to filter out content from code. We use OKAPI filters for various file formats to ensure there are no accidental modifications to the actual code returned in translated files.

Supported resource file formats include:

  • MSWord

This means that the automatic content extraction works with most popular programming languages and frameworks.
Text United is compatible with web apps in:

Automatic translation project submission

After connecting GitHub or uploading your resource files, the content is processed, segmented for ease of translation, and waits for a translation project submission. This can be done either by yourself as the developer, or anyone else within your organization. Simply invite another user into the system via the ‘Invite’ button to hand over responsibility for this part of the process.

Professional Translation

You will be able to get a quotation from Text United’s translators, translate on your own through our web-based editor (CAT tool, an industry standard), and even delegate the tasks to your foreign offices or business partners.

Your files will be returned in the exact same format in which they were submitted as source material, without any code modifications.

If you decided to connect with GitHub, you will not have a problem with automatic commits – we’re aware of your security concerns so the files will come zipped, ready to download and ready for implementation whenever you’re ready.

Language Versioning Through GitHub

The system will allow you to set up a scheduled version check for any interval you may choose. It will compare the source files with their previous, production quality version, and if changes are found, it will automatically (or manually if preferred) start micro-translation projects for the languages you require.

This ensures that even the smallest modification of your source language (usually English) on the production server is noticed and updated for every other language you use throughout the website or web app.


 Translation Memory and Terminology Tools

In addition to this convenient way of moving content around, Text United is a fully featured, computer-assisted translation system with all its bells and whistles. The more you use it, the better it becomes at cutting down translator costs and turnaround time.

A translation memory is a database standard for digital linguistic content. It is used by professional translation agencies, so if you use one don’t hesitate to ask them for your translation memory file. It stores each and every version of your source text and its translations.

This is extremely useful when translating small changes in larger pieces of content. We implemented matching algorithms that suggest, if available, past versions similar to any segment of content. This not only speeds up the process but also cuts cost by decreasing the total number of words that need to be translated.

Terminology tools, on the other hand, are a scaled-down version of this memory file, focusing on specific terms used throughout your content. In essence, this is there to make sure that all your “Sign Up” buttons remain worded the same way and not “Sign In”, “Sign on” or “Register”. Multiply that by the number of languages you operate in and it becomes a tedious task. We’re developers so we know how annoying it is to fix this. Terminology tools make sure that you never face this problem again.



An API is available to allow file uploads, downloading of translated versions and more. One of our ideas was to sync Dropbox in this way, but there are a lot of other advantages that we have yet to figure out. Feel free to explore the API and leave your ideas in the comments below!

BONUS: How to add languages to your web app or website easily?

The easiest way of doing this is by coding in a control in the top navigation of your web app. Simply implement a language selector there, with paths diversified per language resource file.

For instance, if you have translated your JSON from English to German, upload them to the app’s root, named myApp_DE.JSON and direct the control to load content from there. This way you can have a multi-lingual app in no time.

Optimize accordingly with any inline content you may have and follow the pattern each time you translate. Remember: modifications to your original English version will automatically be scanned by Text United and delivered translated as a new JSON file. You just need to commit them to your latest iteration.

Translation experience made for you
Tailored solutions trusted by 100s of companies