The growing importance of Website Translation

In previous blogs we have covered the merits of Website Translation and now it seem it’s becoming increasingly more important.  If your website is only available in one language then you may be missing a trick, but more likely numerous tricks.  If that language is English and you think you’ve got the monopoly on all web users, think again.

Website TranslationAccording to an infographic created by Smartling, 24% of web content was in Chinese at the end of 2011 and 27% of content was in English.  With Chinese hot on its heels, the days of the English language dominating web content could soon be coming to an end.

Take a look at these statistics from the infographic to see why:

  • Only 26% of Asia’s population (3.5 billion) are online but account for a massive 45% of the world’s web users.  Languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Burmese and Chinese
  • Whereas 61% of Europe’s population (816 million) are online and only account for 23% of users.  Languages: Belarusian, Czech, Danish, Dutch and English
  • 78% of North America’s population (347 million) are online and account for 13% of users.  Languages: English, French and Spanish
  • 39% of South America’s population (597 million) are online and account for 10% of users.  Languages: Dutch, French, Spanish and Portuguese
  • 13% of Africa’s population (1 billion) are online and account for 6% of users.  Languages: Afrikaans, Amharic, Arabic, Berber and Chichewa

It would seem from these statistics that Chinese could easily surpass English as the number one language of the web in the very near future.  As the percentage of users in Asia increases, so will its current share of 45%.

The infographic also illustrates that:

  • In 2000, English was the dominant language online by a 26% margin
  • By 2005 English language online had shrunk by 7%
  • By 2011 English was still the number 1 language online but only by a 3% margin
  • Chinese has increased by 11% since 2005 and is the number 2 language online
  • China added more internet users in 3 years than exist in the USA
  • China, India, Nigeria, Russia, Iran added the most users from 2007-2010

The infographic also states that ‘Global e-commerce will grow 19.4% annually, reaching nearly $1T in 2013’, therefore doesn’t it makes sense to be part of that growth? 

This information makes a very persuasive argument as to why it’s time to shake off complacency, be proactive and make your website more accessible to the world’s web users.  The best way to achieve this is through Website Translation

At Enigma Translation we can translate your website content into as many languages as your business needs to ensure you reach a truly global audience.  Just think your company profile page in multiple languages, available to users worldwide and potential business or sales opportunities just around the digital corner.

Don’t let this global trend surpass you, contact Enigma Translation on +44 (01604) 750 799 or via email, our website or Facebook.

Could CBeebies be helping to produce a new generation of translators and interpreters?

The Lingo Show on CBeebies aims to teach pre-school children different languages through play.  The show’s featured languages are a reflection of the diverse languages spoken in local communities across the UK including Polish, Punjabi, Urdu and Somali.  The show also concentrates on languages taught in schools such as French, German, Spanish and Mandarin and introduced the Welsh language last month on St David’s Day.

Translation servicesChildren learn languages easily
Is it a myth or fact that children learn languages more easily than adults?  According to The Lingo Show children are very receptive to new sounds and happy to reproduce them.  The most effective way of learning a new language is when it is delivered frequently in small amounts in an engaging way.  Visual associations and games also help children to digest the new language too and this is what the show provides. 

Perhaps children find languages easier to learn than adults because they have not yet developed the self-consciousness that can affect adults when attempting to speak a new language?

Not for everyone?
Guardian columnist Zoe Williams recently wrote about her mother’s sceptical reaction and her 2 year old daughter’s reaction to The Lingo Show. 

When the show’s narrator asked the young viewers to say hello in Mandarin, “nee hao”, it was seen as a pointless exercise by Ms Williams’ mother because in her opinion her granddaughter could barely speak English as it was.  Ms Williams wrote that she protested this fact in her child’s defence only for the child to respond “Miaow” instead of “nee hao”!

Okay so maybe it will take some time for Ms Williams’ child to grasp Mandarin, but she did at least respond with a similar sound.  And surely being exposed to a language other than her mother tongue can’t be a bad thing.

Good exposure
Children being exposed to different languages through TV is a positive step and will hopefully aid their language education in school.  It will also assist interaction with peers whose mother tongue may not be the same as their own.

Parents need to keep up
However, parents need to stay on their toes if they don’t want to get left behind by their children in the language department.  The majority of parents will need to retrieve fragments of languages from their own school days or could perhaps benefit from watching The Lingo Show with their children.  After all it would be a shame if the children could only conduct conversations in Mandarin or other languages with inanimate objects such as the TV!  They’d be much more useful as translators or interpreters!

If you need translation help, get Enigma Translation on board now rather than waiting for your child to digest the next episode of The Lingo Show.  We are fluent in French, Spanish, German, Welsh, Mandarin, Polish, Punjabi, Urdu, Somali and many other languages – see our website for details.

Call us on +44 (0) 1604 750799, contact us via email or Facebook.