The other day, a colleague of mine, a fellow translator, brought a study to my attention. It was a study emphasizing the key impact that language has on everyday business, especially at the age of the internet when companies can sell their products on a global scale.

Communicating With Your Customer in Their Native Language Is Crucial

This paper was explaining that when they are given the option, 9 out of 10 internet user prefer to browse a website in their native language. Yes, you read correctly, 90% of the people feel more comfortable researching information in their own language. Did you know that?

This document rang a bell with something I often hear from some of my clients: “We already translated our website into English, so people can find the information if they need. Nowadays almost everyone speaks English, no?” I really believe they are missing something there. I think that most of them underestimate what they are losing when they don’t take time to localize their website or documents in their client’s native language. Of course, it is a lot of work and an extra investment, but if you don’t, you’re likely to lose 90% of your readers in the process.

The study continues and explains that 72% of people are more likely to buy a product if they can find some information in their native language. I can totally recognize myself there. It drives me nuts when I buy a new product on the internet and find out, after unpacking, that the assembly instructions are only available in Chinese and Japanese. It is even worse for me, as a translator, when these are translated using machine translation. Sometimes it is even impossible to understand and we just have to start a guessing game.

Translation in the Local Language Is Not Optional

If you want to win new markets abroad, keep this study in mind and remember that the time and money you’ll invest in translating your website or documents will be paying sooner than you think: you won’t drop 90% of your audience anymore and 72% of your web shop visitors will be more likely to buy your products.

As Nelson Mandela puts it:

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

Do you want to speak to your clients’ heart?

Way too often, translation is considered as optional and “we’ll do it when we have time and budget for it.” It is exactly the opposite. A good translation is an investment that will bring sales. I’m sure you also came across assembly instructions that were machine-translated. For translators, it is rather funny when you can understand the original, but from the user’s point of view, it is terribly frustrating. Your customer will be more inclined to buy your products if they can read about them in their own language. Don’t expect the customer to struggle and fight with his dictionary to find out if your product is a good fit. After he sees that the info is not available in his language, he will quickly leave your page. As the company, you have to make sure that all your product descriptions are plainly translated in the language(s) of your target market. If not, you are at risk of not performing as good on these markets.

To help you make sure that all the info is available in your clients’ language, ask a professional translator to assist. Check my article on how partnering with a professional translator can bring value to your business.

If you understand the importance of translating your website into French for your clients, get in touch with me. I’ll be happy to answer your questions if you have some and share my expertise so that your communication will be a success on French-speaking markets. Visit my website at