8 Rules to Follow When Launching a Website for Multilingual Countries

Launching a business can be challenging but what’s even more challenging is expanding it beyond national borders. Companies need to take legal, financial and cultural influences into consideration in addition to bypassing the language barrier. 96% of the world’s consumers are outside of the United States which stands to reason that breaking down the language barrier is of the utmost importance even if you solely exist online.

Here are a couple of tips which should help you launch a multilingual website more efficiently.

Rule #1: Know which Is the primary language spoken

Many countries like South Africa have more than one official language. Switzerland has four while Canada has two. South Africa has eleven officially spoken languages. Knowing which is the primary language will allow you to effectively launch campaigns for customers in the region. It also shows your respect and admiration for the people of that region.

Rule #2: Conduct Surveys

Companies should lean on the abilities and knowledge of local experts. Local experts can help you understand the region’s culture, heritage, language, and dialects something that will come in handy when developing multilingual websites. Plus online surveys via Google Forms, Qualtrics and SurveyMoney is a lot easier when you have a local expert help.

Rule #3: Bring onboard an Interpreter

Having a trustworthy and experienced interpreter on board can help give your design, content and marketing team feedback. The interpreter will help to untangle any miscommunication especially if you have teams working in two different regions.

Rule #4: Remove Slang, Jargon, and Idioms

The content you draft for an international audience should be free from idioms, jargon, and slang at least as much as possible. Most idioms are region specific, and the same goes for slang. So, minimizing all three elements will reduce the instances of miscommunication or misrepresentation.

Rule #5: Rely more on visual

One of the most effective ways of getting your idea across via a multilingual website is to rely heavily on graphics. Everyone can understand clear graphics, and it reduces the need for excessive text.

Rule #6: Know the basics of the language

It is important that team members at least understand the basics of the new language like work, greetings, and warnings. Knowing the basics of the language will help other departments of your business coordinate and work on the website.

Rule #7: Translate keywords

Translating keywords from English for SEO purposes is extremely dangerous, to say the least. We recommend not translating keywords. Keywords are convenience words and not real world worlds. So, if you want to do SEO in that language make sure to do the research for that region and language. The easy way to ensure trouble free SEO in that language is to hire a native speaker who also has search marketing experience to list the right keywords.

Rule #8: Get local domains

The main .com can be in English while regional or country specific websites can be with those abbreviated domain names like abc.co.uk for the UK, abc.eu for the European Union, abc.ae for the United Arab Emirates, etc.