You are a click away from meeting your next global customer. Are you ready for it?
International business has a very wide scope. Basically, it refers to a cross-border transaction of anything that has a value, such as goods, technology, knowledge, or even services like banking, insurance, design, etc.
With this in mind, internationalization is a business strategy that involves making products and services as adaptable as possible to easily enter different national markets. Therefore, language has a critical impact on internationalization.
In this article, you will find some key elements to consider if your company is opening up to new markets, so your company can provide better products and services for people around the globe.
Design for internationalization
It all starts with evaluating and selecting potential foreign markets. Psychic distance will probably be a key factor in expansion patterns and organizational performance.
After you have chosen your target market, from a language point of view, you will have to consider cultural factors, idioms, and expressions. Design and language will have to work hand in hand, whether it comes to the translation of websites, labels, or marketing materials.
Take into consideration the results of the 2020 Web Globalization Report Card, according to which, the average number of languages supported by the world’s leading global brands is 33 languages. This is amazing! And the numbers show there are signs of growth of multilingual websites across most industries.
In light of this, here are some tips you should consider:
1. Having enough space
The most common internationalization problem is not having enough space for translations. Think of the label “New!” for example. In English, it’s four characters with the exclamation point. But in French, it’s nine characters: “Nouveau !” That’s more than double the size.
2. Pay attention to details
Other customizable components that differ from country to country are:
-Product measurements due to different metric systems.
-Currency applied to e-commerce or Smart wallets.
-Date and time zones. Depending on the language, the date can be expressed in a different order.
– File weight for users is generally low bandwidth regions.
3. Heads up for metaphors
Icons, colors, images may need to be altered because they may have a different symbolism in the local culture.
Every button and every interaction is a metaphor for something in the physical world, so don’t take them for granted. The classic double-decker from the UK is not common anywhere else, so if you are a British company and are going for a bus icon, you should consider a different one for your new target country.
For example, IKEA internationalizes the assembly instructions for its furniture by using only diagrams and illustrations, without including any text that would need to be translated. The goal is to be as culturally neutral as possible.
To sum up
Overall, internationalization is not an automated process. It requires a dedicated team to maintain, monitor, and update materials to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
At Stillman Translations, we know how to tackle this process. We are keen on content quality and strive to administer comprehensive solutions for your needs.