1. Globalize Your Web Presence: Selecting Additional Languages for Your Site
  2. Translate Web Sites Automatically Using Site Translator

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Site Translator 4.17

Globalize Your Web Presence: Selecting Additional Languages for Your Site

In the beginning, every Internet user spoke English.  Things have changed.  Today, restricting your web site to English speakers is turning away hundreds of millions of potential customers.  If you sell any product—including advertising—from your site, you probably can't afford to speak only a single language.  Luckily, translating your web site has become easier with software like Site Translator.

Once you have decided to create a multilingual web site, the next question to answer is: which language or languages should you translate your site into?  There are several factors to consider when making this decision:

  • Determine the audience size for this language
  • Determine what geographic (legal and physical) support issues will arise.
  • Estimate the costs (monetary and labor) to translate your site into this language.

Language GDP and Audience Size

English is still the leading language among Internet users, followed by Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, French, German, Arabic, and Portuguese in that order.

Position Language Internet Users GDP (b) % all Internet users
1 English 430,800,000 $14129 29.4
2 Chinese 276,200,000 $1127 18.9
3 Spanish 125,000,000 $3198 8.5
4 Japanese 94,000,000 $4326 6.4
5 French 68,000,000 $2223 4.7
6 German 61,000,000 $2850 4.2
7 Arabic 60,000,000 $694 4.1
8 Portuguese 58,000,000 $666 4.0
9 Korean 35,000,000 $605 2.4
10 Italian 35,000,000 $1490 2.4
(Source: Internet World Stats 2008)

Assuming that your site is in English, clearly your priority will be to add languages that attract the largest audience.  However, numbers alone don't tell the whole story.  See below for other factors.

Language Support issues

There are several legal and physical issues related to the location of the speakers.
  • If you plan to deliver physical goods, the customer's location affects the delivery time and costs.  Example: The great majority of Japanese speakers live in Japan.  Likewise, a large number of Spanish speakers live in Mexico.  Delivery to Mexico from the United States is likely to be quicker and less expensive than to Japan.
  • All nations have import and export restrictions.  You need to be aware of the trading regulations of each country.  You can use language to make a reasonable estimate of the countries you wish to cater to.  If you translate your site into Italian, a great majority of your new and potential viewers will be from Italy.  US export rules are enforced by the Department of Homeland Security.  For another country's import restrictions, you can contact that nation's embassy.

Language Translation Costs

The cost of translation is obviously a major factor.  For a commercial web site, there is no point in spending more money translating a site than you will earn back from increased sales.  For purely informational sites, you can increase your audience dramatically for only a small investment.

Site Trnslator - World Languages

Any language you can support using machine translation will be much less expensive than one requiring human translators.  If your site has frequent updates, then human translation becomes even more expensive.  Machine translation between many European languages, including Turkish, is available using Site Translator.  You can translate your entire site, including updates, for a small annual fee.  Translation, whether machine or human, from English into Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) tends to be more expensive and often of lower quality, although technology is improving.

Get More Viewers

Globalizing your web site can tremendously expand your audience.  Selecting the right language or languages to add is a key way to maximize the return on your time and resources.  With Site Translator, you can support multiple languages and increase the number of your audience.

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