Is your website speaking to the world?

May 14, 2013 |

Website translated by Alpha Omega TranslationsDid you know that if you translate your website in 13 languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Japanese
  • German
  • Arabic
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Indonesian

You can target 90% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) producers? If translation is not currently a core part of your online strategy, you could be missing out on a huge audience.

More languages: Language is becoming more important each day. In 2009, it only took 37 languages to reach 98% of people online. A mere three years later in 2012, it takes 48 languages to reach that same percentage!

A growing and more diverse global middle class: And many businesses’ target groups are also changing demographically. For the first time in history, there is a true global middle class that is emerging. By 2030, this group will more than double in size, from 2 billion people today (mostly in Europe and the US) to approximately 5 billion people. Asia will host 64% of the population of the global middle class and account for over 40% of the global middle-class consumption.

A more connected world via the Internet: Eric Schmidt, former chairman of Google, said that ‘For every person online, there are two who are not. By the end of the decade, everyone on Earth will be connected’. 750,000 people log on to the Internet for the first time every single day.

A more diverse customer base means the need to communicate in more languages. And as this middle class grows, and as people gain access to content and commerce through the Internet, many more languages will be required to connect with these global consumers.

Businesses face many challenges when they deal with translation of their website content, including:

  • Ignoring cultural differences between countries that use the same language.
  • Cultural differences: Even though several countries or regions may speak a common language there are still significant differences in spelling, vocabulary and phrases. Examples include Spanish (Latin America versus Spain), or Portuguese (Brazil versus Portugal). These cultures use different words and phrases to describe the same things. Readers from Spain, for instance, will immediately know that a message was written by a non-Spaniard and might conclude the message isn’t aimed at them, or worse, that you think Mexican’s and Spaniards speak the same language.
  • Forgetting that websites from the previous decade lack a Content Management System (CMS). That means there’s no infrastructure for localization. Site owners soon discover the major cost isn’t the translation itself but the development of a new website with a CMS capable of handling multiple versions of the same content.
  • Overlooking measurements used by people from other countries. These differences include miles vs. kilometers, the U.S. dollar versus Euros or the same date structure.
  • Seeing the Chinese market as one market when it’s not. For example, Hong Kong customers require a different Chinese dialect (Cantonese) and a different character set.
  • Taking a pass on the huge Arabic speaking market. That translation requires the difficult development of right-to-left adaptation capabilities from the website.

Don’t forget- trusting translation technology and a professional team to translate your website is the first big step to making all of this possible.

For an overview of our translation expertise, visit our website translation and localization page.

Download  Guide for Multilingual Website Development

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Category: Business Translation

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