The other day, a colleague of mine, a fellow translator, brought a study to my attention. This paper was explaining that when they are given the option, 9 out of 10 internet users 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/clients 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 or 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.

If you want to win new markets abroad, keep this study in mind and remember that the time and money you’ll invest in professionally 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? If so, get in touch with me, I’ll be happy to be your “French voice” and take your company’s message and values on the French-speaking markets.