Why Translate? If You Can’t Read It, You Probably Won’t Buy It

So when’s the last time you ponied up your credit card information to buy something from a website in a language you can’t read (let alone are ‘proficient’ in)?

If you can’t remember when, you’re not alone.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Consider some statistics. Of the 10 languages that make up 80% of the total online population, just 29.3% primarily speak English, according to business consultant Common Sense Advisory.

And yet, 67% of web servers are in English-speaking countries, leaving a staggering number of non-English Internet users without access to a whole lot of content and online services. The numbers also show that almost 75% of those surveyed rarely or never buy from English-language websites.

That’s a lot of missed potential out there. 

Native Language Gets the Vote

The numbers for an English-language business site get even more sobering when you look at a recent report from the European Commission, which says when given a choice of languages, 9 out of 10 Internet users would visit a site in their own language.

So, why translate? Because, language is non-negotiable if you’re looking to expand your customer base into non-native English countries. The case for European businesses to offer multiple (European) languages is pretty obvious, given the free trading among the EU zone. The case for American businesses to offer, for instance, Spanish for the US hispanic population is perhaps less well-understood.

But with new technology, it’s no longer a complicated and expensive process to turn casual website viewers into customers by offering options in their own language. Hundreds of small businesses have already used Smartling to build and host their foreign language sites. You can get started for free today and see how your site will look in say, Spanish, in just a few minutes.