What is the difference between WPML and Bureau Works?

WPML allows users to set up a language selector, export/import content for translation in XLIFF format, and simplifies what would otherwise be an arduous, manual process.
Gabriel Fairman
2 min
Table of Contents

WPML allows users to set up a language selector, export/import content for translation in XLIFF format, and simplifies what would otherwise be an arduous, manual process. Bureau Works is a translation platform that allows users to translate content seamlessly by connecting content to a network of over 36,000 professional translators in over 100 languages. In a nutshell, while WPML solves the problem of how to make your WordPress site ready from a content framework perspective for international markets, Bureau Works gets you the actual translations. As solutions, they complement each other.

Translation without Bureau Works or WPML

If you were to translate a WordPress site without the help of WPML, you would probably have to recreate or clone your English pages into their respective directories for each language. You would also have to design and configure the behavior of your language selector. In addition, you would probably be stuck with having to copy and paste content for translation and then back. You would also have to manually monitor for changes to the English copy that need to be propagated into their respective translations. Unless your site has only 3 to 5 pages that rarely if ever get updated, you are in for a tumultuous journey.

But is WPML enough?

WPML provides you with a robust framework that avoids all this hassle. You can easily import and export content in XLIFF format which avoids any copying and pasting. You don’t have to worry about cloning your site or manually polling for changes. Yes, there are quite a few settings and configurations that need to be carefully managed in WPML but the plug-in makes it possible to sustainably manage your multilingual website.But that’s only a part of the challenge. While WPML does offer machine translation packages, that’s only effective for content that works well with machine translation. Key site pages where buyers make important decisions about your brand and product are not suitable for machine translation. Back-end, technical support, or User-Generated Content with low traction are the ideal candidates for machine translation.When it comes to managing your translation program, you need a platform that allows you to keep track of your terminology, versioning, style, translators, performance, and other aspects that directly impact the quality of your translations and ultimately how your international users engage with your content.So while WPML or Weglot for instance opens up the door to internationalize your website, a platform like Bureau Works is what gets you through that door.

How Bureau Works helps you

Without a platform like Bureau Works, you would be stuck having to assign translations manually to your translators or working through a translation agency that would offer little control, visibility, and governance over your translation program. With Bureau Works, you can load your XLIFFs into a translation project with knowledge management tools that allow you to effectively manage your international linguistic corpus in terms of brand tone, voice, and style. You can ensure that you are working with brand enthusiasts who are working with cutting-edge technology in a secure cloud-friendly environment. With Bureau Works, you can use our XLIFF file engineering capabilities to protect the integrity of your code, isolate or block any variables, and QA your files so that they can be seamlessly re-imported into WordPress.

Keep SEO in mind

Once you have your keywords identified in English or any other source language, your mission is to find out what will be the corresponding keywords in the markets you are translating into. This is the trickiest part of multilingual SEO. Many concepts in English either do not exist or exist very differently in other markets. Take our example for instance. “Localization” is one of the top keywords potential clients use to find us, but even in English Localization refers more to the geographical location than to the complex multi-stage translation process for software for instance. In other markets, the concept barely exists and needs to be retrofitted into a variety of “Translation”. These kinds of changes will impact how translators work their sentences and need to be decided in stone as much as possible before kicking off any translation process.Translating and website is no small feat. The simplest of cases will become complex very quickly either due to several languages, file engineering complexity, content management complexity, file management complexity, or a combination of these specific factors. If you start with WPML and Bureau Works you are in a solid position to overcome these complexities with elegance and efficiency as opposed to brute force and resilience. If you would like to find out more about our tips on website translation, we recommend further reading in these links:

Gabriel Fairman
Founder and CEO of Bureau Works, Gabriel Fairman is the father of three and a technologist at heart. Raised in a family that spoke three languages and having picked up another three over the course of his life, he has always been fascinated with the role language plays in identity and the creation of meaning. Gabriel loves to cook, play the guitar, tennis, soccer, and ski. As far as work goes, he enjoys being at the forefront of innovation and mobilizing people and teams together toward a mission. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Gabriel was honored with the 2023 Innovator of the Year Award at LocWorld Silicon Valley.
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