Which Languages Should Your Website Be Localized Into?

Before we start discussing how to localize your website, we must first explain the difference between translation and localization. In contrast to translation, localization considers factors like the calendar, metric or imperial measuring units, and currency. The translation is part of localization. Meanwhile, localization also includes elements like culture and communication styles. When expanding your website to reach a new audience, it’s crucial to translate and localize your website to present your brand to the contemporary audience as clearly and authentically as possible. Website localization services will help you with all those mentioned above.

But what languages should you localize your website into? The following factors may influence your decision:

● Target Markets

One of the most important factors which languages to localize your product is your target market. The first step is to define your market and which countries are the most likely to purchase your items and have the most significant demand. You can examine which countries now have the most purchasing power and prominent e-commerce marketplaces or which are predicted to experience significant increases in purchasing power or market size. Tariffs, internal taxes, and governmental restrictions in those countries are additional factors to consider.

● Benchmark Competitors

Visit your competitor’s websites to see if they have been localized into other languages. This could provide you with some comprehension of their corporate goals. Afterward, you can choose how to compete effectively by translating your website into the same or a different language to capture a more significant portion of the new target market.

● Current Website Traffic

Your website’s traffic can provide you with all the data about your target audiences, which can then be used to develop target audience profiles or modify your business plan. Knowing your audience’s origin, the language of origin, or the languages they use to explore your website will help you decide which language to localize your website into next.

● Expenses

Some variables, including the degree of technicality of your material, the original and target languages, the number of words, the availability of qualified translators, and the location of the translators, determine the price of the actual translation. Common languages like English and Spanish are considered to be the cheapest to translate because there are a lot of qualified translators available. However, due to the low number of speakers and skilled translators in the world for most African languages, such languages tend to be expensive. The cost of translation is affected by the location of the translators because those who work in areas with high living costs typically demand higher rates. Because of the high cost of living in those nations, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic, and Korean are some of the most expensive languages to translate.

● Design

You must determine whether your business has the necessary engineering capability in-house or whether you can outsource the web design to localize your website into several languages without affecting the overall design.

It would help if you altered some of your website’s pages to create a place for the text because some languages, including Arabic and Hebrew, are written right to left. The translated text may be significantly longer or shorter than the original depending on the original and target languages. Furthermore, compared to languages using the Roman alphabet, character-based languages like Chinese, Japanese, and Korean typically require fewer characters and less space to express the same idea.

Balancing your brand’s image and localizing the visual design is crucial.

● Top Languages Used on the Internet

Although it’s unlikely that this would be the determining factor when choosing which languages to localize your website, you may also consider which languages are most often used online. The most popular language is undoubtedly English, followed by German, Russian, Spanish, French, and others. When you translate your website into these most popular languages, you may market your company as a worldwide and multicultural brand, which can make an excellent first impression on potential clients.

Selecting the appropriate languages for translation and localization is essential when launching a website for foreign audiences. It’s challenging to know where to begin with the thousands of different languages that are spoken throughout the world.

Thankfully, most of the world’s population speaks a small number of common languages. Your website’s localization and translation into these languages can help you quickly enter vast new markets.

Top 10 Languages for Website Localization

1. English

English is one of the top 10 languages for website localization is not surprising, given that it is the most widely spoken globally. Twenty-seven more countries use English as their official business language in addition to the 67 English-speaking countries. Additionally, more than 25% of internet users access only English-language content online.

2. Chinese

Chinese has one of the largest user bases in the world after English. More than 1 billion people are native speakers. Some scientists contend that Mandarin Chinese is the language that is expanding the quickest globally. Chinese is spoken and written by more than 19.8% of internet users in simplified and traditional forms. According to Retail Insider, China has the largest e-commerce market in the world as of 2022.

3. Russian

Approximately 260 million people currently use Russian content online, and 6.4% of all content on the internet is in this language. In addition, you should think about localization for Russian users because of their low proficiency in English.

4. German

There is German, which ranks as the tenth most spoken language worldwide. German makes up 5.6% of all web material. German is the official language in six countries. Since Germany is Europe’s largest e-commerce market, localizing it can be profitable.

5. Arabic

Arabic was the language with a minor online presence just a few years ago. But times have changed, and one of the most critical languages for localizing websites in Arabic. More than 5% of internet users are native Arabic speakers. Your website can target not only the Middle East but also a significant part of Africa if it is localized for particular Arabic-speaking nations and translated into Arabic.

6. French

Another widely used language worldwide is French. French is the official language of 29 nations. The second-largest e-commerce market in Europe is found in France. You’ll need to translate and localize your content into French to reach these markets.

7. Spanish

Spanish is becoming more widely used. Spanish is the primary language used by 500 million people in their personal and professional lives nowadays. Spanish speakers make up 7.6% of all internet users, and 4.6% of them access only Spanish-language websites.

8. Portuguese

Portuguese has become crucial for today’s globalization efforts since the Latin American region substantially contributes to the global economy. Several countries speak Portuguese as a first language, including Brazil, Angola, and Mozambique. Approximately 4.1% of internet users actively use Portuguese for communication.

9. Hindi

India is a profitable market for international brands because it is one of the world’s most extensive and populous nations. Although several languages are spoken in India, more than 43% of people identify Hindi as their first language. In several states, Hindi is the primary unofficial language of communication.

10. Malay

Internet and mobile device usage are at record highs in Indonesia and Malaysia. Around 274 million people speak Bahasa/Malay, and 2.9% of online users only use Malay when browsing. This is consistent with an increase in Malay language content searchers.

Why Should You Localize Your Website?

Global purchase habits are influenced by language. Online users are more likely to stick around and have faith in a website they can comprehend, especially if it speaks their native language. It’s crucial to keep in mind that not all internet users speak English.

Your business website should be multilingual if you want to sell your brand. With a multilingual website, you may reach a more excellent range of potential clients, making growing your business easier.

You Might Also Like