Consumer communications need to be global

Many online surfers assume that English is the only language on the net, but an abundance of research and statistics indicate that limiting your surfing activities to English language sites reduces your information gathering and purchasing opportunities.

An International Data Corp. (IDC) report - "Website Globalization: The Next Imperative for the Internet 2.0 Era", said the fast adoption of the Internet will continue in coming years, but the percentage of English speaking users will decline.

Forrester Research has found that at the moment only 50% of Internet users speak English, and by 2005 it is estimated only a third of Internet businesses will use English for online communication.

The changing dynamics of language use on the Net will be most affected by an increase in web participation in Asia. By the end of 2003, Asian Internet use will climb from 38 million (2000) to 95.83 million online surfers, which is predicted to be a quarter of the world total.

European Internet use is also expected to increase as a percentage of the whole, with Jupiter reporting that European Internet use will triple in the next three years.

The purchasing opportunities of net consumers who only have access to websites with English content will be minimized due to the limited amount of product information they can receive.

Consumers who wish to buy products or research information from Europe and Asia will need to have the ability to translate the content into their language.

This can be accomplished by browser tool plug-ins that machine translates web content on request.

At present a browser tool is available from WorldLingo. The translations are not perfect, but are sufficient enough to provide a surfer with the gist of the site.

Placing a browser tool on your Web Browser's Tool Bar is the pro-active way to ensure you have access to most of the Internet's content. The other methods of making the web accessible to all countries are in the hands of the Web Master's who make the Internet sites.

There are three key globalization areas that consumers should look for if they would like to have a two-way relationship with non-English speaking businesses.

Area 1. Do they have a Website Translator? - Businesses can download a Translation Object from and place it on their website. This allows consumers to view the web pages in any of 8 languages for free. Once again, the translations are automatic machine translations, so they are not 100% accurate, but they are a big step forward for visitors who do not speak the language which is used on the site.

Area 2: Is the Site Localized? - Localization is similar to translation, except it takes into account the cultural nuances involved for each country, handles the graphics, and localization partners frequently specialize in producing multilingual websites. After being localized, the Website takes on the look and feel of being developed for a particular language or culture.

If a site is localized into your language, it is a good indication that the business has considered your purchasing needs. Buying from these sites is as easy as making a purchase from a site that is located in your own country.

Step 3: Don't forget the email - How many emails do you get as a result of your cyber shopping activities? You should expect a similar number from non-English speakers once you start purchasing from sites which are written in another language.

You may be lucky and have a family of talented multilingual speakers on hand who can handle this foreign language email, or you can afford to hire native speakers. But many people cannot, therefore an email translation service is necessary.

WorldLingo has an email translation system that provides you with a free machine translation (MT) of the email and a quote for human translation (HT). The machine translation gives you the gist of the email and helps you sort the wheat from the chaff. As a consumer, the MT is useful as it may provide you with information such as the features of a product. However, if it is a big money purchase, such as a motor vehicle, you may want to use the HT option to make sure you buy sensibly.

By providing email and creating Websites that lets businesses speak in their customer's language, communications with foreign language customers will improve.

If consumers can find sites that recognize that the Internet is truly global, it is a win-win situation for both parties. Businesses will make more sales, and consumers will receive more choices.


About WorldLingo

WorldLingo is a leading provider of integrated, online translation solutions. The company's services range from cost effective machine translation solutions, to professional human translation and culturally sensitive localization. A global network of over 5,000 professional translators produces human translations. WorldLingo also offers unique, real-time translation solutions for two-way email and instant messaging. These solutions make it easy for businesses and professionals to interact with internal and external multilingual audiences anywhere in the world. By combining accurate and cost effective translation, WorldLingo is taking great strides towards breaking down language barriers in the world of commerce.

WorldLingo produces thousands of translations every day. Clients include AT&T, Sony, Eli Lilly, Belkin, Cadbury Schweppes, Qualcomm, Priceline, and Tribal DDB. WorldLingo is also an official supplier of translation services to the European Union. In addition, Microsoft has integrated WorldLingo's technology into Office XP and Word 2002. WorldLingo is a global organisation with offices in the US, Australasia and Europe.

For more information: contact WorldLingo