A quarter of the worldwide web population uses the English language. Nevertheless, according to statistics, China and India have the highest number of online users. It is projected that by 2021, nine out of 10 new internet users from India would prefer to use their local language when surfing the web.
(Source: Statista, “Most common languages used on the internet as of December 2017, by share of internet users”)
So what about the Spanish and Arabic-speaking population or the 22.8% of online users using other languages? It has become crucial for global companies to be able to communicate in a variety of languages.
Why is translation important for your business?
It’s all about winning over consumers in new markets. New business organizations in India are taking on the challenge of providing a convenient way to translate the manufacturers’ default language to the users’ first language with just a swipe. Tech giant, WhatsApp (India’s most used app with 200 million users) has also taken notice and is now supporting 11 Indian dialects.
In the Arabic-speaking world, 88% of consumers prefer to shop or buy products in their parent language, but less than 1% of online content is in Arabic. Why is this significant? Because this market is young, has economic power and competition is low. Tech behemoth Google enjoys an almost perfect 97% market share and doesn’t have competition in the Middle East.
There’s a growing demand for content translation, but a common mistake businesses make is assuming that it’s as simple as running marketing materials through software. There are nuances to language; some words may have different meanings in different parts of the same country. English-speaking countries like the U.S., Australia and the U.K. – for example, have very different ways of using the English language. These subtle differences necessitate translation experts to ensure that your message is read and understood clearly, regardless of where (and how).
Translation can be quite expensive, but it’s possible to reduce the cost. Here are three tips to help your business along:
Curate easy-to-translate content
Translation agencies have different pricing standards, but the easier the material to translate, the cheaper it will cost. Furthermore, a lot of modern translation companies are using translation management tools, which remember words, terminologies and style guides which speed up the process by efficiently translating and localizing product content for multiple markets, only once, which reduces unnecessary repeat translations and associated costs.
Produce local content
Creating product advertisements in local languages, for example, rather than translating everything from the main piece, would save you on translation costs and ensure that you don’t make any cultural faux pas, such as KFC’s “Finger-Lickin’ Good” tag line translating to “Eat Your Fingers Off” in Chinese.
Centralize the translation process
Investing in translation management software is not enough to cater to a global market – you need an elevated approach. A PIM (Product Information Management) solution can support your translation initiative. A PIM is a central repository, where your global team can access a single source of product truth, in all languages, ensuring the accuracy, consistency and completeness of your product data.
Considering variations in languages, there is no way to eliminate translation costs. However, by allocating resources and streamlining processes, you can reduce your translation costs and use the savings to invest in other areas.
This blog has originally been written bij Douglas Eldridge