Marketing on the World Wide Web has some remarkable implications for your business. But if your site can be understood by only English-speaking audiences, you’re reaching about 25% of your potential market. That’s a huge population you’re not reaching.
You probably already know WordPress, but did you know about its multilingual capabilities? Getting started with a multilingual WordPress site requires a few basic steps, but doesn’t require any special technical know-how.
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From English to Spanish? German? French?
Which languages you translate into depends on where in the world you want to reach. To select your target languages, research and collect data about who is currently accessing your site. Spanish might be a good place to start since it accounts for about 8% of all internet usage. That alone would be a nice increase in your potential market. French speakers make up a little more than 3% of internet users. German speakers constitute about 2.2%.
Another large market to consider is China. In fact, Chinese speakers are second to English in internet usage with more than 19%. Add in Arabic (5.3%), Portuguese and Indonesian/Malaysian (4.1% each), and Japanese (2.9%) and you’re talking more than a billion additional potential users.
Extending WordPress functions to reach those audiences
To add that essential layer of functionality to your WordPress site, you’ll start with one or more translation plugins, which offer several language options. Pricing varies for each translation plugin. You could consider WordPress Multilingual (WPML), which is used in hundreds of thousands of sites. This plugin lets you write and translate content in a number of different languages. WordPress says WPML is powerful enough for corporate sites, yet simple enough for blogs.
Other options to look at for your WordPress site include Polylang, a free download, or Weglot Translate, which has free and premium plans depending on the size of your site. Google Translate is another plugin available for free download.
Machine translation vs. human translation
Machine translation sometimes works fine without human editing, but the output is not always reliable. There will be language nuances the machine translator won’t catch. Marketing content, which is generally intended to evoke emotion, is best left to a human translator. Human translators may employ machine translation software as a tool to speed up their work, but only with a careful eye to catch any mistakes the machine makes.
Your best translation begins with TranslationServices.com
Breaking into international markets just makes good business sense. Deciding on the best option for your web content translation—machine vs. human—takes a bit of study. Keep this thought in mind: our professionals utilize their dedication and experience to make sure your translation project gets the results you desire—and then some. Contact us today, and we can answer your questions and offer a free quote.