The International Data Corporation recently discovered that prolific internet users are 4 times more likely to buy a product from a site that they can understand in their own language. This is a great revelation as it now gives businesses the go ahead to start creating a multilingual website.

There are a number of useful tips for creating a multilingual website as described below:

Tip 1: Use a human translator

One of the most important tips often overlooked by businesses especially those with little knowledge of language except their own is trying to use a machine translation tool to do the work. This only does word by word translations and won’t get to the depth and breadth of your product which a customer will need before making a purchasing decision. Choose an experienced human translator and you won’t regret it.

Tip 2: Choose your market

Where you expect the most important market to be will determine the multilingual nature of your website. Quite a lot of research is necessary for this as you want to ensure you build a big a customer base as possible.

Tip 3: Use of colour

Be strategic when choosing a kaleidoscope of colours for your multilingual website. Not everyone views colours in quite the same way. For example, green tends to symbolise the environment, but in China a green hat for example symbolises that a man’s wife has been cheating on him. Purple, which is sometimes connected to royalty in western countries, is used in mourning in Thailand.

Tip 4: Dialects are important

When French is being translated from English one of the most useful tips for creating a multilingual website is the dialect used by potential customers. For example a French speaker in France uses the word ‘déjeuner’ for lunch, while in both Belgium and Switzerland ‘diner’ is the preferred word. These sorts of differences may not seem that significant but they might if your company is a fast-food franchise setting up in French speaking countries. You have to get your dialects right, otherwise you are sure to attract misunderstanding.

Tip 5: Promises about delivering your product

Only make promises if you are sure you can deliver. In other words if you are marketing and selling in your own country it would be quite realistic to say that an ordered product could be on someone’s doorstep within 24 hours. You can’t make this sort of promise if you’ve got to ship your product across the other side of the world to meet a customer’s order.

Tip 6: Create an easy to navigate website

One of the final tips for creating a website is to make sure your business’s website welcomes its multilingual customers in a straightforward and welcoming manner. It should always be both engaging and up-to-date and as this is what customers are looking for whatever language they speak.

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