I would want one if I only knew!
No matter how good your services or products are, if people don’t know about them they can’t take advantage of what you offer. The best way to reach potential clients and customers is through a multilingual website. Business globalisation is increasingly rapid and competition is greater than ever – those who do not keep up can be left behind.
Good writing and translation is essential
- but there’s more to it
It is vital that a multi-language website be created in the right way. Poor written content, or even just content that most readers will simply ignore, means the ship has sailed. Arguably, a poorly translated website is worse than no translation; nothing sounds as amateur as language that has clearly been translated by a non-native speaker – and that perception of unprofessionalism will contaminate readers’ views of your products and services. So good writing and a good translation are essential. But there’s more to it than that.
Global and local
A good global website needs to go beyond a good translation. It has to be culturally and locally sensitive too. The language, design, style, images and colours need to suit the target audience – even within a single language regional variations can be key.
Several factors need to be taken into account when creating a multilingual website:
Within a particular language several regional variations may exist; for example US and UK English have some marked differences in both spelling and tone.
- Style and tone
What might be simply dynamic and extrovert language in one country could be perceived as arrogant or pushy in another.
Different languages require varying amounts of space – French texts for example tend to be substantially longer than Chinese ones.
By the using the right combination of keywords your site will be easily found by search engines in various languages with different search behaviour.
In western countries black is strongly associated with mourning, whereas in many parts of Asia white has the same implication. Red is a supremely lucky colour in China but might appear garish in other countries.
In short your website needs to be both global and local. Global in the sense of reaching a wide audience in many countries, and local in the sense of speaking to the individual in a familiar way and showing sensitivity to local culture.
CLS – A web-wise partner
CLS Communication has an experienced team of writers who can create the website content that works best for every location. We also have over 3,000 specialist translators with wide international experience – with offices in Asia, Europe and North America, and partners throughout the world, our employees themselves represent a broad cultural spectrum. On top of that, we have a team of expert editors who can come up with the right tone and style for your particular local audiences.