“Localising your website” can have several meaning. It can be the tool that allows you to determine the location of a website by its IP address. It can also be translating a website by going further than a simple word-for-word translation. In this article we are going to be discussing the second definition. We will cover the topic of linguistic adaptation of a website in a given country.
Back in the day English was the most prominent language on the internet (with 80% of online content being in English in the 90’s). However, according to Internet World Stat’s findings in 2017, which revealed that Mandarin has taken the lead with 771 million internet users. Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese compromise the list of the top five languages used online last year . France is in 8th place with 102 million internet users.
After Brexit, Ireland and Malta will be the only two European countries with English as a native language. This is why companies don’t translate their websites exclusively to English anymore, especially when they are trying to reach a wider audience.
English is no longer the most dominant language worldwide
If English is the lingua franca in the business sector, it is imperative that companies have a localised website available. This localisation allows for companies to gain profit from foreign markets which leads to the increase in revenue. As of today, English has 983 million speakers, which makes it the second most spoken language worldwide. Chinese Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world, with 1.1 billion speakers worldwide, and 193 million non-native speakers. Next, it’s Hindi, Spanish, and Arabic that make up the top five spoken languages in the world.
Again using Internet World Stats:
- 75% of internet users are not English speakers
- 72% of users spend the majority of their time on the internet on website in their native languages
- 56% of users state that having a website available to them in their native language means more to them than the price of a product.
Website localisation therefore connects with international customers and encourages them to buy your product by addressing them in their native language.
Website localisation is much more effective than machine translation
The rise in globalisation means the growing interest for a 24-hour, 7-days-a-week customer service among internet users. Your website should be accessible and always working perfectly in order to satisfy your customers and increase sales. Only having your website available in English can lead to potential international clients becoming further out of reach and increase the bounce rates on your website. As previously mentioned, only 25% of internet users are English. Therefore, by having a website available in just English, you are leaving out 75% of the population of internet users.
Website localisation means adapting your message to the local culture
Google does offer translation services, but these only translate word-for-word. This means that your message can get lost in translation. To avoid this you should concentrate on getting your website localised.
For example, there are Spanish speakers all over the world, but each Spanish speaking country has their own specific dialect. Spanish spoken in Madrid is quite different to the Spanish spoken in Buenos Aires, or Mexican Spanish. The Spanish languages spoken by 46.6 million people in Spain, differs from the Spanish spoken by 418 million people in Latin America.
And even in Spain there are several languages spoken, Spanish (or more precisely Castilian), Catalan, Basque, Galician, Valencian…
Translators master their dialect, as well as the standard language, which allows them to produce content that target a specific audience and encourage them to use your website, which generates a lot of web traffic.
Expert translators can help you to reach your target audience
By having your website localised, our translators at ACSTraduction will help you to get in touch with potential customers.
Our translators are experts in their fields and will be able to carefully consider ways in which different cultures react to your content. They will be able to advice you on the best approaches in conveying your message so that it will be well received by your audience. Small changes, such as common idiomatic expressions, can have a huge impact on your target audience’s reaction.
Your website should be one of your main priorities in your marketing strategy. It’s the first impression that you make on your customers.
You must be sure that your website reflects your audience and attracts customers in a new country. Therefore, it is very important that you provide your audience with a localised version of your website, this will encourage them to buy your products. If you would like advice or simply to discuss you translation needs, all of our team here at ACSTraduction is at your disposal.