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Why bother with translation?
Although English is the dominant language in use on the web, claiming 30% of internet users, that leaves 70% of the web population that is accessing information through other languages. French is a case in point. With a 5% share of the web's language pie, it may seem like a small number until you realize that this figure converts into 54 million web surfers. After English and Chinese (in second place at 14% of users), the third most popular language on the internet is Spanish, with an 8% market share or 89 million pairs of eyeballs.
If you are at all interested in reaching out beyond the 30% English share of the market to sell your products or services, the first step is to recognize that linguistic communities will respond positively to a service provider who acknowledges cultural differences and validates their language needs.
How hard can it be?
Who hasn't thought that they have a "good book to write". If you didn't understand how difficult writing could be before you tried it, you certainly gain a different appreciation for the skills required after making the attempt. It's much the same for how hard it can be to become a proficient translator.
So think twice before handing over a language translation assignment to someone who happens to speak the targeted language fluently. Fluency in a language does not necessarily establish someone as a good translator, just like a good knowledge of anatomy does not necessarily anoint one with surgical skills.
Many of us have read the stories of mangled translations and the hilarious results they can produce. Chinese to English translations have acquired some notoriety in this regard. (See some examples on this site.) But examples also abound of how a mirthful blunder can morph into a public relations nightmare. The result is that the comic twist of "Lost in Translation" can all too quickly translate into lost customers, lost opportunities and lost dollars.
The point is that there are linguistic and cultural nuances that must be taken into account when addressing people in their own language in order to put your best foot forward.
Leave the translation to an expert!
Professional translators have an understanding of the linguistic issues we have already described and of their economics. They understand the value of getting it right. Of course, there remains the challenge of finding the translation resource that is best suited to a particular language pair and/or subject matter. That's why credible organizations align themselves with a translation agency or company that has access to a wide range of competent translators in a variety of different languages and subject specialties.
You can request a quote through the Translation Classifieds quote service or contact the resources listed here directly.
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Spanish Translation Store
With 150 million Spanish speaking people in North America and an estimated 40 million+ of them surfing the internet, it may be time to avail yourself of some Spanish language resources. Find a Spanish language website translation service near you.
Translation Software Store
Have you surfed the web in South America lately? Do you know what your Spanish-speaking markets are thinking or what your competitors are saying and doing in other languages? Translation software isn't just for translators. Give your business a competitive advantage with any one of the high quality language translation applications available in the Translation Software sub-category of this website or in our embedded amazon.com powered Translation Software Store.
View a selection of the world's leading Translation Software brand name applications:
The Traveling Linguist
"When in Rome..." Get maximum value out of your travel dollars, Nothing beats being prepared and there's no experience like mixing with the locals. What better place to find the language travel resources than on a website frequented by linguists and the global linguistics community.
TranslationClassifieds.com: Everything the web has to offer in terms of books, reference material, software and hardware that is of particular interest to translators, as well as the translation and linguistics community can be found here. In addition to the full selection of amazon.com books and supplies we offer a broad selection of name-brand material from the linguistics community: SYSTRAN; Babylon; LingvoSoft; Rosetta Stone; Transparent Language; LanguageCourse.net; SmartLink; Praxis Language... and much, much more.