As I have started writing in my previous blog post English- the Business World’s Lingua Franca? English is the number one language when it comes to business – but not always. Today I am going to discuss when local languages play a major role in the business world. I have been mentioning multinational companies in which most communication is held in English but however exactly those multinationals engage reaching foreign markets in their local language. But why?
Why Web Globalization?
On Accredited Language Web Globalization is represented as a business approach of internationalization. The author, Patrick, reveals that Web Globalization is the first step of successfully bringing a business into an other country than of it’s own origin. Moreover the author claims that it is crucial that companies start to make their websites (especially in the online business) visible and accessible to the foreign market they intend to conquer. Patrick explains that
Website globalization involves improving the back- end of a company website—the components that make the website appear on search engines. These components are often overlooked during translation and, as a result, the newly-updated website doesn’t place as well on foreign language searches as it should. Things like meta-descriptions, file names, image labels and even website URLs need to be accounted for during the globalization process. It’s a lot to consider, and organizations doing it for the first time may not be able to get everything.
Why Web Localization?
In contrast to the Web Globalization the most important step in Web Localization is the translation of language and the communication with the customer online. Valerie Badame describes in it in her recent blog post “Website Localization ROI: Building a Case for Global Marketing” as a “return on investment” which includes the great benefit of MNC reaching “untapped foreign markets”.
According to Richard Carrol, managing director at Keylingo, who published his post “Why Multinational Companies need Web Localization” customers are more willing to consume in their native language than in another language. In this context it is important to consider that depending on the country in question not every potential customer is in command of the English language. With this information it becomes evident that even though English is a business language, it is not always a successful language channel when it comes to B2C Marketing. Richard Carrol has outlined that
1. Most people want to read web content in their native language.
Carrol supports this statement by depicting that 9 out of 10 people prefer to read in their native language. In addition to that he states that44% of European Internet users wonder if they are missing information when browsing websities which are not in their native language.
2. Search engine optimization is important…everywhere.
In this context Carrol firstly mentions the usage of “certain key words into web content”. He argues that “Those keywords are based on search habits of Internet users and the competitive nature of the Internet landscape.”The most important aspect he explains is that every country searches in a different manner and that a company’s competition may be different from country to country. The author claims that this is exactly the reason why every website that belongs to a MNC requires an independent Search Engine Optimization.
3. One should always take a look at local design standards.
Richard Carrol also emphasizes that “having local expertise in your chosen target market will be key in your global success”. One aspect of local expertise is obviously the knowledge of the local language and culture. Moreover a MNC should aim to achieve a well balanced mix of a website’s content, usability and its design.
Web Globalization – Lingua Franca = Web Localization? True!
Taking a closer look at these information we can draw the conclusion that English cannot be an overall Lingua Franca (bridge language) in the (web) globalized world of business . Especially in the online business the local language, design standards and SEO are important…
to be continued in part 2