Presented at DocTrain East 2007 Conference by Maxwell Hoffmann, ENLASLO -- Although the many reasons to localize content should seem self-evident, many North American firms continue to maintain websites and product documentation in English-only. Many high-tech products initially penetrated markets where English was widely spoken by staff using expensive resources. In the 1990s, internet access and high bandwidth was typically available in some countries only with a workforce that had reasonable English language skills. The world has changed: as local overseas economies strengthen and internet connectivity becomes more available, non-English speakers have already become the majority on the internet. Web purchases are becoming common in populations segments that did not have internet access 8 or 9 years ago.
Because most North Americans don’t have a compelling reason to learn a second language, it is easy to ignore the proliferation of non-English speakers in key buying positions worldwide. But there is far more to it than that. Overseas customers who can speak English as a second language are far more comfortable purchasing products and services for which they fully understand documentation and warranty information.
Even if you have already “seen the light” regarding the compelling need to localize, chances are you have a challenge selling your upper management on this concept. This session will cover critical data points that support your campaign to move your company into non-English markets. The session will also explode some of the many myths that executives pick up in airline magazines, including the fantasy that a “black box” machine translation solution will allow you to penetrate markets in China. The possibilities for expressing your message effectively in any language are nearly limitless. The key is finding the critical requirements of your targeted locale, as well as the country.
The presenter will cover the most common pitfalls that newcomers stumble over, from trying to eliminate critical preparation to letting a company employee do the translation “in their spare time.” Although there can be significant set up costs involved in localization, the return on investment is considerable and easily measurable. Actual metrics will be shared to show how you will recoup your investment when you localize. This is one presentation that you cannot afford to miss.