Top Translated Languages: Into Which Languages Should We Translate Our Content?
Global politics, economics, commerce and communication needs change quickly. There are significant differences in language service demand in different areas of the world. The language combinations in demand in Europe may not be in demand in the US, for example. Likewise, each industry may have unique language pairing translation needs. Common business translation may vary greatly from scientific, medical or legal translation projects.
Professional translation services are no longer limited to large international businesses, SMEs (Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises) also benefit from expanding their reach to new audiences. Local and regional prospective customers often prefer to receive information in alternative languages when evaluating the purchases of goods and services. The Internet and global logistics have allowed the flow of goods and services to expand across the globe. Therefore, a strong and clear online presence available in multiple languages will open new markets for almost any organisation.
To make the language translation priority decision more complex, every online article suggests different top translation languages and it changes year to year! Therefore, how does an organisation decide which languages are top priorities to translate its content into? This article will outline the languages that are consistently in demand and how to evaluate your unique circumstances.
First Priority is English
As we have already shared in other blogs, English is the most spoken language worldwide. Many countries use it as its primary or secondary official language and thus documents are most often translated into this language first. Yes there are numerous dialects and variations of English (British, American, Canadian, Australian etc.), but English speakers are able to understand each other across these differences. Therefore, choose the variation that is most in demand in your region and stick with that throughout your communications. If you find significant demand for a specific English dialect, a professional translation company will provide localisation and transcreation services.
If your organisation’s language of operation is not English, you will consistently need to decide which public messages to translate. There is no doubt the official language of the Internet is English. Therefore, it is very important your online presence, which includes your website and any social media profiles and content, is fully translated into English. If your online content is not provided in English, your target market will be limited to the native speakers in your local area only.
What Are the Most Popularly Translated Languages?
The buyer preference statistics show, even on the Internet, that global customers still prefer to make purchasing decisions and ultimately buy in their native language. In fact, often being able to fully understand and evaluate purchases in their preferred language is something they are willing to pay more for. In other words, providing your content in multiple languages is more important than the price for some of your prospective customers.
The data varies by source and year, but there are trends on the most popularly translated languages. In alphabetical order, the following is a comprehensive list of the languages that are most frequently translated into:
- Chinese (Mandarin)
- Indonesian (Malay)
- Portuguese (Brazilian)
Translating or localising your content into these top languages will likely increase your target audience, increase brand recognition and popularity as well as boost your sales.
What languages should we translate our content into?
Every industry, market, individual product or service needs to conduct its own market research to determine who the ideal potential buyers are. Multiple buyer personas should be created, and marketing tactics customised for each persona’s unique purchasing preferences and journey. Remember, some target markets may be larger in number, but smaller in ultimate purchase volume. Before choosing your top potential target groups, ask yourself: Is our goal currently to maximise awareness and reach or to maximise sales and net profits?
Once you identify your prospective buyers by top categories, it will be easier to determine how they prefer to buy. With further investigation, it should become obvious as to which languages they would like to purchase in.
When in doubt, start with studying historical purchasing data from your current customers or better yet: Ask them about their purchasing preferences and language of choice!
Leverage your professional translation agency partnership
Many clients forget to utilise the industry expertise of their language service provider (LSP). With experience across industries, countries and languages, your translation company is more than a vendor; they are a valuable source of current information.
At Renaissance Translations, we are honoured when our clients ask for language translation advice prior to starting a project. We are here to ensure your project goals are met. Let us provide expert consultation to make your translation decisions easier.