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Websites And The Tower Of Babel
Posted 22 October 2003 - 03:17 PM
I imagine they are using some script to run through my html and doing an auto-translate.
As such I would have to trust that their translation is accurate - exacto - genau - ??????.
This all got me to thinking. How valuable is it to have your website in different languages?
(assuming you have products that can be easily sold to customers in other countries)
Has anyone here have any experience with creating and maintaining a website in multiple languages? Did you outsource? And if you did, with who?
Thanks for your time and insight,
Posted 22 October 2003 - 05:54 PM
We've had a number of threads with this same question, and each time I point people to the guest article I once published by Luc-Rock Paquin called: Best Practices for Multilingual Sites.
Now I see why this question keeps getting asked...it's that darn spam that everyone keeps getting. Am I the only one who trashes my spam without reading it?
Posted 28 October 2003 - 06:46 PM
I have some experience in multi lingual sites,... to give you an idea why: I am Dutch (native dutch speaker), I live in Brazil (portuguese language) and work with internet (mostly english language).
It depends mostly on what you sell (your targeted audience) and cultural backgrounds. Many countries have english as their native language,... many countries have a population that speaks english very well,.... some countries refuse to speak another language unless they really need to (example: France).
Using another language can be tricky because you also need to be able to respond in that language when you receive emails. So if you don't speak that language, or have no employees that speak that language, it is better not to use it.
If you do speak a language very well, it is obvious you should take advantage of it, but it is a lot of work.
Also,.. if your targeted audience is highly educated, you can assume that they speak english and there for you don't need to worry about using other languages. Just when you target people that are not likely to speak english, and you do wish to sell in non english speaking countries, you may want to use local languages, but I think this can be a very difficult task. Only really big multinationals like microsoft actually have multilingual sites (sometimes that s%#&s too because it forces me to read in portugese while I want to read in english,.. )
Unless you target specific countries, it is ok to do it english. Just don't use any automated systems to translate your site,.... there is nothing worse than emailing in your own language because the web site is in your language and then receiving an answer in english.)
Posted 28 October 2003 - 06:54 PM
Welsh is one of the only ethnic languages that is growing in its user base, largely due to the fact that we have schools that teach in Welsh only.
Anyhow I constantly have this argument with customers who want to have a bi-lingual website, their argument is that they will appeal to a wider audience, My argument is that they are inviting offence by not being able to deal with Welsh speakers when they contact you.
These people will IMO look upon you/your business as someone who is exploiting the language for commercial reasons rather than providing a true multi lingual experience.
At he end of the day, if you have to deal with these enquiries, it has to be in a language that you can understand.
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