Is Translation Really Necessary?

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A corporate website is an investment. As globalization unlocks more opportunities for global corporations, digital marketers and specialists significantly consider investing in language solutions such as translation and localization of the site.

Aside from the English website, multilingual versions help companies build relationships with the target market and communicate the kind of style they want to portray and build.

From east to west and the role of translation

May Meeker’s Internet trends indicate the rising role of translation. According to the venture capitalist and Internet expert, nine of the top ten successful Internet companies were based in the United States last 2013 and reported that 79% of the customer base live outside the country.

Interestingly, Tencent is the only China-based company that was included in the list on the 10th spot.

In 2014, there are four China-based Internet companies in the top 10: Baidu, Sohu, Tencent, and Alibaba—these four even outranked the popular online shopping company, Amazon, which is now on its 10th place.

The Internet radically shapes the consumers’ online habits where shopping and leisure activities are made possible in just a few clicks. US-based companies widen the options to their global customers where most of them are non-English speakers.

Language as a currency

Meeker’s report showed the increasing number of website translation initiatives in different languages of global companies.

  • A full quarter of companies that have translated content features 15 languages, while others support up to 60 languages.
  • 50% of the companies have translated content in at least 6 languages.
  • 46% of the companies have translated content in Spanish, French, German and Italian languages.
  • 62% of the companies are selecting Chinese, Japanese or Korean, while 22% of them support these three languages.
  • Average volume of translation content increase by 88% for the past 12 months.

Apparently, US-based companies see the need to translate the content suitable for the Asian market. In China alone, the language industry is taking shape over the past few years ago according to language and translation experts and the industry is expected to grow as the volume of translation projects increases.

Global brands such as Tesla, Easyjet, Marks and Spencer’s, and Asos have already started expansion initiatives by launching their respective Chinese websites and e-commerce space for the past couple of months, followed by other international brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge recently, focusing on translation and localization efforts to reach out their Chinese market.

Global companies cannot afford to overlook the role of translation that even eBay, made sure that the in-house team collaborates well with the recent merge of AppTek for their cross-border expansion on products sold to overseas. Translation is necessary for every industry.

With all these translation and localization initiatives, the constant development of various technologies and quick access to information, the process of translation and localization is becoming more efficient as professional translators and machine translation maximize the available resources.

Companies are also given the opportunity to think of creative and innovative ways to make their business websites interactive, user-friendly and rich in localized content to connect with customers quickly.

As stated on Internet trends, China does have ‘epic’ share gains. If you want to target the Chinese market, translation is really necessary, which is a non-negotiable strategy for business websites.

Do you need assistance in Chinese website translation or localization? Feel free to contact us anytime for more information.