Speak My Language

Former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt once said: “If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying from you, dann Müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen,” (“then you have to speak German”).

For any business aiming to successfully penetrate foreign markets, these wise and relevant words cannot be overlooked. With 72.1% of international consumers spending most or all of

their time on sites in their native language and 85% requiring information in their own language before making an online purchase, a monolingual website is just not going to get you the exposure and benefits you seek.

Translating your website is definitely the way you want to go, but it shouldn’t stop there. Simply translating your website will not maximize your company’s reach, nor will it effectively deliver information to your target audience. Localization will.

While translation (whether machine, professional or crowd-sourced) will convert your website text into another language, localization will ensure your entire website “speaks” the language of your target market and is adapted to their culture as well as satisfy any technical and legal aspects.

Let’s take a closer look at what localization takes into consideration and offers, which translation alone does not:

  • Text that is more accurate and recognizes local sensitivities.
  • Graphics

    and multimedia assets that can be fully adapted and localized so they are culturally appropriate and acceptable to the target audience.

  • Adopting the correct local currencies, units of measurements, date and number formats, addresses, and phone numbers.
  • Choice of colors – colors have different associations in different cultures.
  • Customizing style sheets to suit particular language requirements. For example, accommodating for text expansion for languages that tend to have longer translations such as German and Spanish; accommodating for languages that use double-byte characters such as Japanese; accommodating for toggling between two languages and fonts and languages that read from right to left such as Arabic.
  • Search engine visibility so a

    translated website is found by users searching in their native language.If you are interested in translating and localizing your website, try dakwak’s 14-day free trial. dakwak offers multi-layered translation and a publishing workflow system that enables you to pick and choose your translation mechanisms. The interactive and customizable platform allows you to manage and personalize all your website content easily and effectively for each target language.

Increase your Website Traffic with dakwak

Translating your website gives your company global exposure; but more importantly, it drives traffic to your website, which in turn can lead to increased sales and revenues – what every business ultimately wants to achieve.

The fact that 85% of consumers require information in their native language before making an online purchase cannot be emphasized enough. That is about a billion internet users surfing the web looking for information or something to purchase in a language other than English. When you “speak” the language of your potential customers, it builds credibility, communication, trust and loyalty. Why would any business, large or small, want to miss out on that huge opportunity? Just imagine if you could reach out and be visible to even just one percent of those people!

So how do you go about reaching your target audience and driving traffic back to your website? You may be thinking: easy, just use a free online automatic translation tool such as Google Translate and you will instantly be visible to the world.

Not quite.

Online automatic translation tools do not offer the valuable features that technologies such as dakwak provide to effectively reach global audiences:

Search engine visibility:
our technology allows your website to be found by users searching in their native language. Online translation tools do not add search engine

visibility to the translated versions of your website.

Localized text and media content: online translation tools only offer strict machine translation; however, dakwak allows you to control the text and media content uniquely and dynamically on each translated version of your website. Furthermore,

unlike on-the-fly translation tools, with dakwak you can replace specific sections of content or present different content for each translated version of your website. This means you will be delivering localized content and creating a fully localized experience for your visitors.

Fully functional translated website: online translation tools are limited to page translations based on your visitor’s demand. dakwak, on the other hand, offers fully functional translated versions of your website.

A multi-layered translation system: creates great flexibility by allowing you to choose between three levels of professional translation in addition to machine translation, crowd-sourced translation and translation by your team. Online tools only provide machine translation and crowd-sourced translation is only available for improving the quality of the machine translation and not the translation of the website itself.

Still not convinced? Why not try dakwak free trial, available here

Effective Website Localization: Some Aspects to Consider

Since its launch, English has been the dominant language of the World Wide Web; however, in the last few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of users whose native language is not English.

These days, to access international markets, reach potential customers, increase traffic to your site and ultimately grow your business, website localization is a must. If you are not familiar with how website localization can help your business go global, read our post about the benefits of website localization.

But before jumping into action, there are a few things to consider when localizing a website. First of all, localization is not just simply translating a website. Yes, translation is a major part of it, but in order to reach the end user, a website has to be adapted not only to their language, but to their culture as well.

Languages: What language(s) should you translate your website into? It really depends on your target markets and audience, and in-depth research into where you want your products and services to be visible can help clarify your marketing goals. That said, the so-called “killer” languages – the top five languages accounting for almost one billion Internet surfers are Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, and German.

Sometimes, localizing your website for a specific language can be tricky because some languages are spoken in more than one country that not only have different language usage, but also different cultural traditions. For instance the Spanish spoken in Spain is somewhat different to that spoken in Latin or South America and the cultural customs and values are also different. Likewise, the French spoken in France differs from the French in Belgium, Switzerland or Canada. In these cases, it may be best to localize a website for a specific country rather than a language.

International content: Translating a website is not as simple as it may appear, regardless of whether it is machine or professionally translated. So, it’s always a good idea to keep the source content of a website simple, consistent and if possible free of cultural references. This makes it easier to translate and will increase the likelihood of the content still making sense in another language.

Images and colors: Images can have a huge impact on potential customers and the last thing one wants to

do is offend the very people one is trying to reach. When localizing a website, it is important that images are adapted to conform with the target market and culture; an acceptable image in one culture could be considered negative or offensive in another. For example, in Scandinavian countries equality is highly valued; so an image depicting a director sitting alone behind his desk will not be viewed positively. But an image of a director mingling with his staff would. While some countries find it acceptable to portray women wearing little clothing or bikinis, other countries would find it offensive.

As a general rule, it is best to avoid images or symbols that have a religious connotation, any nationalistic symbols, or images that show body parts and hand gestures.

Although it seems trivial, your website colors can also affect traffic to your site. Colors have different associations in different cultures; in the Far East particularly, colors are deeply engrained in the culture. In China, black is a symbol of death and in Japan, white is the color of mourning.

Numerical data: A very simple yet often neglected detail is to check all numerical data when a website is translated and localized to make sure it adheres to the format used in a target country. This includes dates, weights, measurements, use of decimals and prices – which ideally should be in the local currency. Websites that have online payment methods should offer preferred methods in the target country (some countries have unique payment methods).

The Benefits of Localizing your Website

With English being the top language used on the Internet, why worry about translating and localizing your website? While it is true that the majority of web pages are in English, these facts cannot be ignored: 72.1 percent of consumers spend most of their time on sites in their native language; 56.2 percent of consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their native language is more important than price. (Common Sense Advisory)

Our high-tech environment may have solved many of the problems of our world, but perhaps the biggest obstacle to global understanding lies in language. Localization helps break language barriers and can be an invaluable investment for companies expanding into international markets. Here’s how:

Goodbye language barriers: English may be at the top of the languages used on the web today, but following closely are Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese and German. These languages represent almost one billion Internet users and who wouldn’t want to tap into that potential and grow their target market?

Increased profits: All businesses aim to grow and increase their profits and localization can help achieve that. Successfully penetrating and selling in an international market depends a lot on interacting with your

customers in their native language. After all, 85 percent of people require information in their own language before making an online transaction.

Credibility and loyalty: A company that offers its website in multiple languages comes across as a professional, global business, which builds credibility. Customers respect businesses that speak their language and offer services and products tailored to their culture, and are thus far more likely to be loyal and spread the word around.

Search engine visibility: Localizing your website ensures your company’s presence in a particular country. The translated parts of your website are indexed by search engines and found by Internet users searching in their native language when translating using dakwak’s technology.

Scalable and affordable: You don’t need to be an industry giant to reap

the benefits of localizing your website. Localization can be flexible and inexpensive. For instance, you don’t have to translate pages that are not relevant to a particular market or country.

Discover how dakwak can help you with website localization

dakwak Among the Top 15 MENA Tech Start-ups

dakwak has been ranked among

the top 15 MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region’s most innovative tech start-ups expanding globally, by Wamda. Wamda, a platform propelling entrepreneurs in the MENA region also voted dakwak as one of the best users of technology in 2011.

dakwak is a web-based technology offering translation and localization in over 60 languages via three systems: machine translation, crowdsourcing, and professional translation.

Stemming from the fact that 85% percent of all consumers require information in their own native language before making an online purchase (Common Sense Advisory), dakwak strives to tackle the language barriers businesses face when expanding into international markets.

dakwak features at a glance
With dakwak, your days of shuttling resource files and source codes back and forth for translation are over. We offer hassle-free set-up and zero integration with our cloud-based technology, which is compatible with any framework, programming language, and secure socket layer (SSL).

Performance and simplicity
dakwak allows you to always be in complete control over the translated version of your website and offers real-time tracking of your translation process. The dakwak technology places various functions at your fingertips:

  • Our translation memory function stores words and phrases to ensure they are used in the desired context across the translated versions of your website.
  • An edit in place widget helps eliminate any learning curve by translating the content directly from within your website.
  • Do you already have

    translated content? Don’t lose the time and money already invested because with dakwak you can simply migrate your old translations to our platform and build on top of that.

Search engine visibility
Unlike “on the fly” translation functions, dakwak ensures the translated parts of your website are indexed by search engines and found by internet users searching in their native language.

The dakwak technology is flexible; you get to choose how and when your website content is published according to your unique needs. You can translate your content via machine translation, crowd-driven translation, or professional translation. You decide which method(s) you want to use on which pages.

Read more about how dakwak can help you