Translation in 2016. Who will need localization into Chinese in 2017 and why?
Regardless of whether you are a representative of a small enterprise, non-commercial organization or global corporation, you already have your own website which is the company’s image.
But should you limit yourself just to one single audience if you can benefit from translation of your web-resource even from English into Chinese (as well as other languages)?
Here are some important moments in the localization aspect:
• Audience. There is no need in localization of the website into a hundred of languages. Instead, it is better to decide what regions the traffic is intended for and to work on the website development taking into consideration this decision.
• Interface. For example, if the website is multi-lingual, a user should easily understand how to switch to a different language.
• Correct translation. The verdict of localization professionals is unanimous: such a challenging task should definitely be performed by a native speaker.
However, correct translation is not the only thing to pay attention to when localizing a website. Among the other details to concern yourself with are: legal requirements as to the website content, the time and date format, finally, some elements which can be misinterpreted in a particular culture. China is an eminent example: 4 and 7 are interpreted in the context of death, and it’s better to avoid them while red color is a symbol of happiness – you can use its shades in the color palette of the website without any doubt.
What languages are spoken now?
This question sounds reasonable after you have decided that your website needs translation, doesn’t it? Which audience to choose as the target one – English-, French-, or Spanish-speaking? Let’s take a look at the statistics.
Top 10 world languages with the largest number of native speakers (the data is taken from accreditedlanguage.com, the statistics of late 2016)
The leading position in the table is occupied by Chinese (which is quite expectable as 1,302 million people consider it their native language) followed by Spanish, English, Arabic, and Hindi.
An interesting fact: about 7 thousand languages are spoken around the world but only 80 are enough to serve four fifths of the whole mankind.
We, however, are interested in the languages of the World Wide Web rather than the whole world.
Top 10 languages among the web users (the data is taken from internetworldstats.com) The situation on the Internet differs. The English language is the leader (online translation of a website into English is worthwhile), then goes Chinese being a native language for one-fifth of the users. Spanish (7.7%), Arabic (4.7%), and Portuguese (4.3%) follow the leading pair with a significant gap. The native for the CIS citizens Russian language is also in top 10: web content would have to be translated from English into Russian for about 2.9% of all users.
Usage of various languages for web content (the data is taken from w3techs.com) What’s interesting is that it is English that is used for over a half of web content though it is a native language for the significantly smaller number of people. Nevertheless, your potential client would be more pleased to speak one language with you. So, the translation into Chinese, Russian, German, and other languages of your continent is a necessity dictated by dynamic development of the modern market rather than a whim.
The year has come to an end. What languages will be on top in 2017? Specialists’ opinion is unlikely to surprise you: English will reign supreme on the globe for at least fifty years more. The second position is given to Chinese – due to the constantly growing population and increasing economic power of the country. Traditionally, Spanish, German, and Russian will be among the leaders as well.GET A FREE QUOTE FOR WEBSITE LOCALIZATION