Posts by Tag

See all
Marek Makosiej
January 27, 2023
14 min read

Global Website: How Multiple Languages Generate ROI

multiple languages generate roi of website


Few companies think about how their customer journey would work in their home market in other languages or regions. Many companies do not realize the importance of reaching their customers globally with content that speaks to them - not just the right translation, but a complete language experience. They convey the credibility and trustworthiness of a brand. Every market is different, and not knowing or taking this into account can significantly damage a company's reputation and growth in new markets.


A Common Sense Advisory (CSA Research) study of 3,002 consumers from 10 countries shows that 60% of consumers never buy products not in their native language. In contrast, 75% felt more comfortable buying products with information in their native language.


If you plan to expand your business internationally, sooner or later you will need to translate your content. This may be your business, legal or technical documentation, or your website. For 17 years, ATL has been helping businesses and their global success with world-class business translation services. In the years we have worked with our clients on business translation projects, we have learned essential aspects that contribute to a smooth and value-added translation process.


Translators play an important role in facilitating cross-border business and global networks by overcoming language barriers. English, while still considered the most important language for global business, is only the third most spoken language in the world. Many other languages are becoming more popular as many developed countries participate in the global economy. More and more of their inhabitants are using the Internet. In the past, the world's web content was predominantly in English, but that is no longer true. Even those who speak English as a second language usually choose to read, watch, and store in their native language.


In this post, we'll talk about one of the most important aspects of translation that can improve the overall experience of your customers and product users with your multilingual website.


Multiple Versions of the Same Language


same language, different versions


Language is only the first obstacle to making certain content accessible and understandable to a wider audience. Professional translation providers must also deal with dialects.


Let's say you want to translate your text into Swiss German. In this case, your language service provider must use Swiss German and not the German spoken in Germany. Even though there are more similarities than differences between the German language variants, your audience will probably notice if you use the wrong variant. In other words, to someone who does not speak either version of German, the differences may seem tiny, but to someone who does, they make a big difference.


Let us take Arabic. There are a variety of versions spoken in different regions of the world. Although all versions of this language may look and sound the same, the different variants or dialects completely change the understanding and communication.


Languages of your multi language site, as well as their versions, affect the layout, interface, navigation menus, and website design in general. Take right-to-left languages, for example. The layout, fonts, headers, footers, even URL structure, and of course the main content for these will be completely different than with other languages. Your HTML code and any design actions you take must take that into account as it has a huge influence on the site's functionality.


Of course, it's all easier if your website has a single language but when you want a global reach it's not the case anymore. You may leave that one as the primary language of your website but you have to make it available to your users in their languages as well to improve their experience and the way they interact with your site in their browser.


The language website offers has become critical for global business growth.


Why Does It Matter for a Website in Multiple Languages?


website in multiple languages


When you run a search in a search engine like Google, you expect valuable results. So what happens when you open a homepage of a site that looks promising and you cannot understand a word because it's not in your language? You bounce immediately.


This is how it works, so even if you don't have a budget for professional human translation, with a recent leap of quality of Neural Machine Translation services like DeepL or even the paid version of Google Translate, it's better to make your website multilingual this way than not do it at all. If you get things right, including the language selection drop-down menu in the navigation area and SEO so that your potential buyers find you, you should see the stats soar soon.





User experience is everything these days. A solid foundation of it is a Content Management System in which your website is built. (Yes, you could use some website builder but it's not the best solution for professional businesses that Most of the leading CMS systems have features that allow easy website translation and localization. They also have integrations, connectors and plugins to Translation Management Systems (TMS) to make the whole process as easy as possible for you so that you don't become a translation coordinator. Translation can't slow you down, after all. It was meant to boost everything internationally, right?


Speaking of which, there are other translation tools that help you to build your multilingual site in the preferred languages of your audience in different countries.






Related content: 4 Hacks for Producing Marcomm Content in Local Languages Globally







What Is a Dialect?


announcement in different languages


Dialects are the versions of an official language used by a particular social group, region, or country. Dialects may appear or sound identical to the original version of a language. Like accents, dialects are different in their own way. However, they affect more than just the pronunciation of certain words. Dialects tend to bring in their own version of words or even their own phrases that make them different. Even when two Spanish speakers communicate with each other, they cannot communicate properly because their environment and culture influence both versions of Spanish.


Dialects and Website Translation Difficulties


translation difficulties can come from the use of dialects


One of the most common misconceptions about translation is that translating a language is a simple and straightforward process. However, when it comes to dialects, things are not so simple. Below are two major challenges caused by dialects.


Finding the Right Translator for Your Website


find the right translator


This problem occurs when your audience uses a different version of the original language. You may have a translator who speaks perfect Arabic, and you hire them to get your translated content right. However, you later discover that he has difficulty with the translation because he speaks Saudi Arabian Arabic. The task involves Egyptian Arabic, which is completely different from the version spoken in Saudi Arabia. In this case, the translator might have difficulty translating words that he does not know.


Incorrect translations can damage the image of your brand. Therefore, it is important to study the dialects before starting the translation. The most important step is to determine your audience. You also need to know more about their culture and how it is interpreted in order to address their concerns appropriately.







Translating Different Terms


create a website localization glossary


The second problem associated with dialects is the lack of accurate or precise words when translating from one dialect to another. Dialects can be influenced by culture or regional differences, adding different words and expressions over time. In simple words, a person may be fluent in a particular language. However, he or she will not be able to interpret a text directly from another version of the same language.


Let's say you are using the original content taken from a particular dialect. In this case, you might encounter difficulties in translating many expressions directly from the original language into the dialect. This makes the work even more complicated, even for an experienced translation provider. You need to research thoroughly to understand the origin and meaning, and then translate that particular term into another dialect without affecting the original meaning.This is a complicated task that requires the expertise of an experienced linguist, or preferably a native speaker.


To understand this better, let us take the example of the English language. Choosing the English version for your content is a critical move that needs to be well thought out. For written English, the language versions differ in terms of grammar, vocabulary and spelling. Terminology also becomes more critical in English translation. While all English speakers understand the standard written forms, a native American speaker cannot do anything extra with a text in British English. This works the other way round, too. So your decision depends on what kind of relationship you want with your reader. Consider these:


  • Countries you want to target
  • The purpose of your content (do you want to convey information, or to connect with the target audience?)
  • Language versions used by your competition


When you know the above, you can select the right language version.






Related content: 15 Languages for Translation That You Should Know About







British and American English


english textbook


The two versions differ in spelling conventions, word definitions, and grammatical errors. For example, Americans say "aluminum," while the British say "aluminum," with an extra "I," making the pronunciation different. Let us say you run a large ad in New York City with the word "aluminum" (with an extra "i" in it). Of course, that would stick out like a sore thumb.


That said, there are many small or significant differences between the two versions. On the Internet there are many comprehensive lists of words from British and American English, which can be especially useful for SEO projects.


Then, there are other versions, too.




Spoken Canadian English generally sounds like American English, while written Canadian transcript contains elements of both American and British English. French works in a similar way in Canada: French in Quebec is so different that its counterpart used in France.


Australia and New Zealand


Although the English spoken in Australia and New Zealand is very different from other versions of English, mainly because of the accent, the standard written form is very similar to British English.


International English


If you can not decide which of the above versions to use, you can consider international English. Although there is no standard definition of international English, the idea is to develop a neutral language that is free of cultural references. International version includes a spelling system that mixes both American and British forms so as not to alienate anyone.


Dialect is undoubtedly one of the most complex aspects of the translation process. If it is not used correctly, it can lead to an incorrect translation of the content or a lack of meaning and intent. For this reason, you should definitely hire a professional translation provider or a native speaker who will address the differences caused by the dialect.


Tips for Translating Into the Correct Version of a Language


multi language website translation guidelines


There are numerous differences between the various versions of a language. That is why you need to know exactly what version of the target language is. Appropriate systems and workflows will save you time and bring you closer to your goal. At ATL, we work with experts who can translate your content for almost any market, anywhere in the world.


Below are some tips that will help you choose the right language version.


If You Are Targeting Multiple Regions with Your Website, Consider All Language Versions


language versions for target regions


Some countries speak the same language in name (e.g. Portuguese). However, the geographic location of your audience can make a big difference when choosing a localization service provider. Portuguese spoken in Brazil is very different from Portuguese spoken in Portugal. Let your translation service provider know in advance who your audience is and where they are located. With this knowledge, the translation company will assemble the right team for your translation project.


If you are producing content for a Portuguese audience and a Brazilian audience, you should contact a translation service provider that can deliver both translations. This will ensure that each version is accurate for the your audiences. Not only are there differences in the languages used by the audiences in these countries, but there are also differences in punctuation.






Related content: Website Localization Into Multiple Languages at Once: Pros and Cons






If You Have a Small Budget, Choose a Neutral Version


budget for website in multiple languages


Do you want to reach audiences in multiple countries that speak the same language, but you do not have enough budget to localize content for each country? Maybe you are trying to reach customers in multiple Latin American countries, but do not have enough budget to use separate versions of Spanish? In this case, you should use a more neutral Spanish that people in each Latin American country can understand. Even though some words differ from country to country, using a more neutral version of a language can be very useful for your content.


Do a Thorough Research of Your Multilingual Audience


research your target audience


If your audience is a specific community in a specific geographic area, find out more about them. Find out who lives in the region you want to target so you can be sure who your audience is. Do a little research to find out what version of the language they commonly use.


Choose Native Speakers


professional website translators should be native speakers


Despite advances in translation technology and the ability of smart tools to instantly translate written text, machine translation does not properly understand acronyms, allusions, jokes, slang, technical references, and so many other things conveyed by the written word alone. We may still be decades away from technology evolving to the point where it can fully capture human language. Until then, it is best to hire native speakers who have a thorough command of the target language. They are quite capable of providing the most accurate and appropriate translations.


Don't Dial(ect) Down Your Website Languages!


don't dial down your website languages


Multi language website with the right language support is one of the fastest ways to grow your international customer base. But building it right is a challenging task. But it is rewarding at the same time. There are many elements you need to take into account. Languages are very important for building multilingual versions of your site. You need to decide what default language of your web pages will be, what additional languages you need to grow your business on a global scale, when add a new language, whether to use automatic translation or hire a professional Language Service Provider (LSP). The list goes on as there are other items to deal with, such as multilingual SEO.


If you are not sure what language dialect your audience in a specific country uses, do not make assumptions. It's always best to discuss your options with your translation team. Work directly with professional translation services to decide how best to meet your language needs. Thoroughly researching where your audience is coming from will save you time and money. It prevents sloppy translations created for the wrong target.


The beauty of multi-language sites is that they work wonders for businesses that are serious about their growth worldwide. That's why the very first thing executives should seriously consider is making sure they build them if they haven't done it yet, so that they can enjoy the ROI such an investment guarantees. Why not start now? Go and grow!


Recommended articles:

How to Boost the Translation Into Multiple Languages at Once

Website Localization Buyer's Guide