Business Translation Center

Which language should you translate your website into first?

by OFER TIROSH 26/04/2017

Deciding to open up your business venture to new markets overseas is an exciting step. If you plan to reach out to new audiences in other countries, then finding a decent professional translation service is no doubt on your list. However, once you’ve found the perfect company, which language should you go for first? 

Ethnologue advises that there are 7,099 languages spoken in the world today. Your website will already have ticked your native language off the list, but that still leaves 7,098 options when it comes to presenting your site in other tongues. 

Many companies decide to approach the translation of their website one language at a time. Their plan is to trial a translated version of the site in one language initially, see what benefit that brings to the business, and then translate the site into additional languages. This is a great approach, as it allows the company to monitor and appreciate the advantages that professional translation can bring to its operation. 

Choosing the first language into which to translate the company website is a big step. Companies need to consider where they want to sell their products and services, and which locations are likely to be most profitable for them. For manufacturers, geographical proximity will also play a role: after all, it’s a lot easier for a French company to ship its products to Spain than to Australia!

Companies that provide services, rather than physical products, are not so restricted. However, they still need to undertake market research to find out where their services are most likely to be both needed and well received. 

The impact of cultural and political factors also needs to be considered. If your company sells online security products, for example, they may be particularly sought after in a country which has been rocked by recent hacking scandals. 

Speaker volumes are also worthy of consideration. Mandarin has more than a billion speakers, while Japanese has 127 million – important numbers for those looking to sell to markets in Asia. Depending on the product or service that’s being offered, considerations like this can make a big difference.  

Ultimately, the choice of language will come down to a combination of all of the above, along with various other nuances that are specific to the company in question. A first website translation is an exciting process and can signal the start of big things for the company in question. And if you’re in any doubt, you can always ask the professional translation team at Tomedes for guidance.