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What should you consider when writing content for a multilingual website?

31 March 2021 · Martyna Gorska

A multilingual website is an essential part of an international growth strategy. With digital marketing and advertising agencies under ever-increasing pressure to deliver quality content and stay culturally relevant, here we discuss writing content for multilingual website.

Research shows that more than 1 billion of the 1.7 billion people who use Facebook speak a language other than English and that 82% of consumers are more likely to buy a product if it’s marketed in their native language.

So, what should you consider when writing content for a multilingual website?

In sales and marketing language is one of the most powerful instruments. When you need your content to be used across a variety of regions and to accurately reflect your marketing messages, you need to consider the following:

Localised content brings more exposure

Your multilingual website could have all the elements to be successful overseas, but if you are trying to communicate only in English, people who speak a language other than English simply will not be able to find you.

In most languages, words can have several different meanings. Without expert knowledge of both languages, it can be difficult to know the correct translation for the context. When you need to create a multilingual website in a foreign language, the reality is that inaccurate automatic text translation – or machine translation – can fall short. Ideally, you need a fluent English speaker to create a post in English, and a French fluent speaker to create a post in French for a French-speaking audience. If you are managing social media posts in a language your audience is comfortable with, you are much more likely to get engagement.

Understanding local and cultural context improves performance

When preparing website content for a foreign market, it is very important to be sensitive to different cultural norms and values. Each culture has its own. For example, in China, there is a list of keywords that will result in your content being banned by the government. Without truly understanding the culture of the people who speak the language, it becomes easy to offend people when interacting with them.

If you want to effectively communicate your content to your foreign audience, you need to consider whether or not your website contains culture-specific references and how you can adjust the content to make it relevant to them.

A consistent tone of voice makes a company appear more client-focused 

Think of all the places in the world that speak French, outside France — Congo, Djibouti, Burkina Faso, Belgium, Haiti, and so forth.  I am sure you are aware the French spoken in these countries is by no means identical to the one spoken in Paris, for example. Localisation uses cultural elements and the local linguistic standards as its guide.

If you want to emotionally engage your global audience, it is not only about using the right words but also about adopting the right tone of voice. As a result, you maintain the power of your marketing messages, reinforce the brand with a consistent tone of voice, and build an authentic, long-lasting connection with customers.

An adequately localised website and social media will gradually lead to a better online presence.

The article was provided through the courtesy of ilc communications.

 

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