International Business and Technology Blog

Going global with your Arabic website

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Wed, Aug 07, 2019

Arabic is one of the world’s major trade languages. Combine that with the dominance of the internet in many Arab-speaking countries and it’s clear that companies need Arab language websites to get found, be understood and do business across the Arabic speaking markets. In countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, over 90% of the population access the internet regularly. Social media and ecommerce are well developed. In fact, Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest online spenders worldwide. So getting your Arab website right is vital for your company’s success in these markets 

But what should that Arab-language website look like? Do you need one Arabic website for all Arabic speaking countries? What are the main differences with your English-language website? How about search engine optimization and keyword research for online Arabic? This blog shares some of our experiences building and managing corporate websites and social media marketing for Arab-speaking countries, but if you want more information, just get in touch!

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Markets, Languages

Will One French Website Reach all French Markets?

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Thu, Jun 06, 2019

Is it worth having a dedicated French website for France and if so, does that one website cover all other French-speaking markets? The answer is a clear yes to the French website and no to global coverage. France is a major economy that merits its own dedicated website to showcase your company and drive sales. But the website built for the French market is just not relevant for reaching your Quebecois or West African target customers. French is the 6th most widely spoken language in the world but like most aspects of the worldwide web, it is being relevant to the local market – localization – that gets your company found, understood and doing business globally.

France is one of the largest economies in the world and French one of the most spoken languages, so it’s no wonder that so many companies looking to export globally opt for a French website. But the French spoken in France is dramatically different to that spoken in Quebec or in West Africa. This blog explains why your French website is not relevant to your other French-speaking business targets and sets out some tips on where and how to get you started on building sales, brands and business in the French-speaking world.

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Markets, Languages

How Many English-language Websites Do You Need?

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Thu, May 09, 2019

A rose is a rose is a rose – except when it’s not. English is the most widely spoken language in the world, especially for business. So it might make sense to have just one English website for all English speakers. But in the online world, detail matters. Different English dialects use different keywords and getting the right keyword is essential to being found, understood and doing business globally. Some 63 countries claim English as a national language but having one English-language website will not give you instant access to those 1.5 billion English speakers. But the good news is that you don’t have to build 63 distinct English-language websites. In practice, regions can be grouped together and with some sharp proof-reading and keyword optimization for the local market, content can be re-used for multiple regions. In this blog, we look at some of the larger English-speaking regions and their distinct online linguistic profiles

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Languages

How different is Spanish in Spain and Latin America? Tips for a Spanish-language website

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Tue, Feb 26, 2019

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world boasting over 400 million native speakers across 21 countries. These numbers make the Spanish-speaking world an especially appealing target for exporters. But this major trade language has variations that impact your global trade and online strategy. What are the differences between Spanish in Spain and Latin America? How different is Spanish to English? And most importantly from your online point of view, will one Spanish website cover all Spanish speaking countries? We want to share with you some of our experiences in helping our clients to get found, be understood and do business in Spanish-speaking markets using their online presence. 

Did you know that Spanish is….

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Tags: All posts, Markets, Languages

Choosing your trade language: English, French, Spanish or Arabic?

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Thu, Nov 08, 2018

What are the most spoken languages in the world? 

When your company decides to increase its exports, chances are language plays a key role in choosing which markets to target. Investing in that export market means investing in that language - and what are the costs and benefits of adding a language to your export base? Focusing on four of the most spoken languages globally, this blog sets out some of the main linguistic issues exporters face when expanding their businesses into new markets with different languages. What are the most spoken languages? How many countries speak Spanish, or Arabic or French? What knowledge of the language do you need to be competitive? How different is the language to your native language? And what about English – is it really a global language?  

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Tags: All posts, Languages

Online Global: Language and Translation, The Big Picture

Posted by Bella zur Hausen on Mon, Oct 08, 2018

When going global with your website, language and translation is unavoidable. What are your company’s choices and what makes for great translation? Let’s discuss some of the key issues you need to have in mind when thinking about going global online. A website that your international prospects can understand and engage with is essential for today’s exporters. Your company’s international websites need to have local content, culture, language and demand preferences, to ensure your company gets found and gets understood. With website translation, localization and a focus on the target audience, misunderstandings can be avoided, and a unique online experience created for your customers:

“Localisation involves many tasks including translation, multilingual project management and software engineering and testing. […] For companies wishing to attract and hold international customers - either through traditional shops, e-business, or a combination multilingual sites and localisation are vital.” Bert Esselink, author of ‘A practical guide to localization’

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Tags: All posts, Languages

Think - online global - Outside the Country

Posted by John Worthington on Sat, Jun 10, 2017

Googling away on my iPad mini, while stuck at yet another airport somewhere, I found reference to a book called “Think Outside the Country”. The subject matter looked interesting, promising to be “A Guide to Going Global and succeeding in the Translation Economy”. I wanted to know more, clicked to my Amazon account and for $29.00, two days later in yet another hotel somewhere, the hard copy was mine to hold and read.

IBT Online provides website localization and international online marketing services to help companies grow their sales, brands and businesses online globally, and that since 2002. So at IBT Online we all think outside the country, and perhaps more importantly, we all do Online Global outside the country, as we have delivered more than 1,000 localized country specific corporate websites through our succesful Online Global program. 

When I read about the author, it stated that John Yunker is “the world’s leading expert on web content globalization”. Now that is an ambitious claim that sets expectations. So this blog turns out to be something of a book review.

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Languages

Google translate: an update...

Posted by John Worthington on Wed, Apr 26, 2017

Google's perpetual drive for innovation means more disruption is coming our way. An example is Google’s new translation system that has delivered measurable improvements in the fluency of Google Translate. Google has begun rolling out the service across all its languages, chat boxes, web pages, articles, blogs, emails, social media, message forums…First updated were the most commonly used primary languages (English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, French, Korean and Turkish), as well as Google’s >192 country specific search engines, the Google Translate website and the Website Translator plugin. Our research shows that Google Translate is now better than ever for personal use, but remains bad for business!

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Languages

Love and hate Google Translate

Posted by John Worthington on Mon, Apr 25, 2016

Google Translate boasts 103 languages, covering 99% of the online population and processes more than 1 billion user translation requests per day. I love Google Translate because it is so easy to use and it costs nothing. I hate Google Translate because the results I get range from an approximation to complete gibberish. Great for personal use, but bad for business. Given the complexity of languages in the world (check out our translation article), those of us challenged with international communications know that quality language translation is extremely complex: it is hugely demanding of expertise and time, and so of money. As they say, “you get what you pay for”. 

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Tags: All posts, Languages

10 CMS requirements for building multilingual websites

Posted by Tereza Santava on Tue, Oct 06, 2015

Content Management Systems (CMS) are not our fellow human beings, they are just online tools for building and editing websites. So why do so many of us feel so passionate about them? If you discover a new CMS feature that will simplify your work, you love your CMS. But if it doesn’t work as you instructed and the editor displays a mess instead, you hate your CMS. The relationship gets sometimes complicated. But whatever that is, today’s question that we will answer is: What should you require from your CMS when building multilingual websites?

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Tags: All posts, Website Localization, Languages