Websites in English, and the rest
"English-only websites stunt global reach"
by Helen Leggatt
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Leggatt wrote an article based on the findings by Oban Multilingual
that 70% of internet users, some 900million people, do not have
English as their first language.
This is another instance of language unites us, but languages keep us divided.
The issue is whether it makes sense for a company to invest in other languages.
It is not enough to have a website in the target language but also a
customer service, documentation and payment facilities.
Furthermore, we mustn't assume that just because someone's first
language is not English that they cannot also do business in English.
The philosophical issue might therefore be, what right do we have to
assume that because someone is not a native speaker of a language
then they do not speak that language?
And a business ethics issue is, why is it that some IT companies do
not give customers the option to buy software in the language they
want? For example, I am writing this on a Samsung mobile but the
Windows Mobile system is in Spanish and many utilities are not
available in English;I do not write in Spanish. It is, of course, not
a technology problem. From my experience when commercial software is
translated into other languages it is far too expensive; never mind
that it sometimes occupies more memory space.
Tags: english, website, language, translation, expensive