People immersed in their own languages and cultures never really think how important language is until they inadvertently buy a product on eBay or some other online store that was manufactured overseas and the producer has only included the manual in the language of the country of manufacture. Maybe it was oversight or it might be that there are so many languages to choose from that it would not be economical for the company to roll out a manual in all those languages.
The fact of the matter is that statistics indicate that 72% of consumers would prefer to purchase products that offer information which is written in their language and a staggering 56% reveal that language takes preference over price when buying products. This is great for German translators as even though Germans have a reputation for being good at learning languages they still prefer to read instructions in their own language.
Germans don’t need to worry if they feel inferior because they don’t know English well enough to browse the Internet. Only 27 percent of information found on the Internet is in English so it’s not so much that German English translation is a priority but just as important is English German translation. The non English speaking German can feel at ease when browsing and selecting products from websites or reading the latest news.
There is still a long way to go yet when it comes to truly internationalising the Internet as barely 6 percent of the world’s population speaks native English with more than a quarter of the Internet still only in English. This is quite a challenge for the language translation industry.
It’s not just the Internet that is still way behind when it comes to translating its content into other languages but the British are not fairing too well on that front either. It appears that UK exporters lose 20 percent of their business annually because they don’t adapt their marketing techniques, product descriptions and other important details to take into account different languages. This is not entirely their fault as international language usage in the UK is not prioritised and it has resulted in a skill shortage in the world’s languages that has meant that 16 billion pounds is being lost yearly from potential overseas trade opportunities due to these language deficiencies that have occurred.