The world today is no longer isolated due to the exponential growth in global telecommunications. However, the final communication barrier between humans is yet to be overcome – the different languages being used by different people. To that end, language translation provides the best possible solution in bridging the gap between people who speak different languages but still want to do business together.
The demand for language translation services has seen a huge increase mainly due to the explosion in e-commerce activities. As the internet provides the largest united market place in human history, all businesses are pouring in huge sums of money to ensure that they get a piece of the action. However, there are many practical considerations and challenges that await business owners who want to use language translations to expand their website businesses.
Firstly, which target language should be selected for language translation? This decision will depend on several factors such as the target markets you want penetrate; the largest amount of people who speak a certain language; or the language that is said to be popular amongst internet shoppers.
This is certainly confusing! But you will get there if you take it step by step. Try to do a research on your business and identify what it needs most. There is no need to carry out language translation for your website into Mandarin Chinese even if that is the most popular market with the highest number of speakers in the world right now. Focus hard on who your potential customers are. Mandarin Chinese translation is only relevant to your business if you are selling to Chinese customers. If your business is catered towards European and western markets, you are better off spending money on translation into various European languages.
However, if your business is international by nature, your attention will certainly be focused on Mandarin Chinese, English and Spanish. Mandarin Chinese is still by far the most spoken language in the world and has the fastest growing consumer buying capability. Having your website localized early in Mandarin Chinese is likely to put you at the front of the market. It is true that you might need to wait for some time before the Chinese ecommerce market becomes mature as many Chinese users are yet to go online. But the potential reward is huge, so the risk and investment now is definitely worth a try.
On the other hand, Spanish is widely spoken by many emerging markets in the west, albeit having many different dialects. The population of Spanish speakers is still growing and they are also estimated to become consumers with a high spending power. Spanish language translation of your website is likely to help you to capitalize on this future growth of Spanish online shoppers.
Finally, once you have decided on the target language for translation, you will need to shift your efforts to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is a technique where you optimize your website on selected keywords so that they appear favourably on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). This is a specialist area and it is recommended that you hire a professional to provide such service. The key is to ensure that the website translation uses the same keywords as those decided by your SEO expert.
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