Why not just English
OK, we all know that English is spoken worldwide, but how many people speak it exactly? And why does it matter? Well, let the figures do the talking:
- approximately 1.8 billion people speak English, out of which about 400 million as a first language
- it is the second most spoken language in the world
- less than 30% of the people on the internet use English
- research has shown that people are three times more inclined to buy if the business “speaks” their language
A few tips
Can you see an opportunity here? Having a website translated in several languages increases your chances of attracting customers, therefore expanding your business. When you decide to do so, there are a few things you should consider:
- Quality: do not use machine translation. Google Translate and the like can be great allies, but only when you need a general understanding or an approximate translation. For anything else, there’s M something card 😉 – I mean, professionals who will ensure that the quality of the translation is suitable for your business needs.
- Localisation: if you wonder why it is important, let me give you a quick example – this offer expires on 08/12/2011 – is that 8th December or 12th August? Different countries use different date formats; getting them right is essential. There is more to localisation than this simple fact, but you got the idea.
- Time: allow enough time for the translation. Rushing it might have less-than-perfect results (to put it nicely). For a large volume of work that needs to be completed quickly, your agency might have to split the work between a number of translators and that may mean inconsistency – in terms of style but also terminology; not to mention that the cost will skyrocket. More time will mean lower cost and better quality.
- Culture: it is always ideal if you think international from the very beginning, avoiding wordplays or cultural jokes that would not make sense if translated or, even worse, might offend (again, this is where localisation would come into play, making sure the contents is suitable for the audience).
- Questions: be willing to answer your translator’s questions and don’t be afraid to ask questions yourself.
How we can help you
So, have you decided it is high time you expanded your business? If your answer is Yes, Yes, YES!, then you are in the right place. Get in touch and let us help you.