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Friday, 1 May 2015

What website languages to use by 2025?

Ever since 2008 my inbox keeps flashing the words 'German', 'Dutch', 'Danish', 'Norwegian' at me.

As well as requests for Advertising in Germany, Holland and all Scandinavian countries. 

But that's today. What about the future?  Worldwide: personally I predict the return of the importance of the languages of our neighbouring countries. For the pendulum always swings back (in this case from mondialisation to deepening of own culture).

For Europe, the GlobalEurope Anticipation Bulletin, not just any source, predicts: 

1. A great comeback of German 2. Increase of importance of Russian 3. And, for communication outside of Europe, Spanish

They do indeed seem to be safe bets. Just safe bets obviously don't often result in much return, if any, so as small business owner you want to investigate and improve the chances.

Better it is...

To definitely first perform research around you
To people who represent your typical or future target market (not friends or relatives or whatever online forum). 

For example: I love working with web designers from India. But if I need a website for Brussels, the web designer just needs to come from there too: it's a Must that he/she lives and breathes the cultural opinions regarding quality, reliability, Golden Ratio, what constitutes a trust maker or breaker - etc.

Most communication is unspoken, it's already part of the fabric of a segment of society.

Still better it is...

To be clever.
Predictions as the one above create more competition. Such a serious prediction is read by tens of thousands, who talk about it to others, which quickly spreads over millions of articles... so rest assured that by 2025 everyone might target exactly the same languages/markets again.

Just as half of Europe is targeting Scandinavia in Google Adwords today - making that the cost per click is extremely expensive.

It's never the popularity of the language that makes a translation or knowledge of a language beneficial to you: it's the niche as well as being ahead of others.

Being ahead of others is a very clear advantage. It were the first who went onto YouTube, the first who started with a mobile website, that were able to increase their market share.

And being clever is that other pillar of all online marketing. Far better it is to target a language spoken in a country that, say, represents only 2% of the world population but stands for 4% of its GDP - and not 0.1% of the world can translate back or to this language. Etc.

I read the story about a Briton who learned Dutch. Yes, a Briton who learned Dutch. Take a moment to ponder about that. And wonder if you would have guessed that it also makes him more successful and more in demand than thousands of others who also offer more language combinations. For maybe only 1% of the market will demand a native speaker for the end language - but he's got that market completely to himself.

Even better it is...

It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it!

It might be far better to target one extra language, than a 100 of them. For whatever the sport, the field of study, the craftsmanship or anything else in life: you have to be the best to win. Or at the very least better than others.

Marketing is all about emotional connection.

You won't connect with any website visitor with poor translations, only a bit with insipid ones, only averagely if the seriousness or cultural knowledge is average, and so on. You want to really connect on a very high level with (possibly) the ideal segment of the highest level of your target market.

Why even learn a language or translate a website - if we all speak English anyway? Well, did you ever try to get a mass audience on the dance floor? Or make them change from sitting there having a good time - to sing along and having a great time? What is that one moment that they do so? They can like or even love a whole evening in any language - but it's only a song in the own language that creates a shudder: 

Language is not merely a communication tool: it comes with a very strong emotional connection: it's a communicational knife slicing through the rational brain straight to the limbic system and beyond.

Any person addressing any other person in his or her own language, has a very strong advantage: the potential for an emotional click. In marketing: an increase in likeability, memorability, reliability, conversion. 


And it's not about whether or not there's a connection: but its quality. The quality of your connection or profitability will only be as good as the quality of the language used.

After all, it's enthusiasm that connects and sells, quality sells, reliability sells - not any order of any alphabet. 

Bernardus 


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