Tag Archives: English

The languages businesses speak (online!)

 

Whether you are just starting out or already have a global business, your online presence plays a vital role in taking your products and services to the right audience. The value and reach of your message increase the moment you start to make use of the global platform that is the internet. Your website, your social media posts and all other online avenues that carry your brand name are now the biggest influencers for your customer. However, with increased competition and changing consumer behaviour, customisation is key if you want to stand out from the crowd. This includes delivering your message in the language of the consumer.

 

“The Web does not just connect machines, it connects people” – Tim Berners-Lee.

 

According to a survey, consumers around the world prefer content in their native language, with around 60% of online consumers rarely buying from English-only websites.

 

The question is, which language/s should your online content be in? Even though it usually depends on your specific target market, the question becomes far more pertinent if you want to venture into the global marketplace. Logic might dictate going for the most spoken languages across the globe, so your products and services get the most coverage. According to Statistica, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world with English taking the third spot. So, why don’t we have most of our content in Mandarin (Chinese) first and then think about English?

 

Native languages

 

Because English remains the language of globalisation!

 

English

 

Used in 94 countries by 339 million  native speakers, and being the main language of the United States and an official language of the United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa, to name a few, English is still the essential language for business.

English also still ranks highest in the list of the most commonly used languages among internet users at nearly 25%. Here is a look at this list:

 

Languages in the internet

 

However, having once being the lingua franca of the internet, English’s share of digital space has diminished somewhat, with Chinese, Spanish and Arabic all pushing into the list of top online languages. These languages dominate the internet, making up roughly 82% of the total online content.

 

Chinese (Mandarin)

 

Closely following the US economy, China has witnessed significant growth and expanded its reach across the world market, whether it’s for pharmaceuticals, engineering, technology or consumer goods.

Also, with the largest number of native speakers, you just can’t ignore the language in the digital sphere. By March 2019, China had topped the list of countries with the most internet users, with well over double the amount in the United States!

 

Spanish

 

Spanish is the official language of 20 countries and the native tongue of 460 million people across the globe. With over 37.6 million native speakers, the United States is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Along with other Spanish-speaking countries, such as Spain, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, it offers a whole gamut of business opportunities.

There are currently 344 million Spanish-speaking internet users in the world, a number that is expected to grow with the predicted growth in purchasing power of the Spanish-speaking countries.

 

Arabic

 

The Arabic language is spoken by 319 million speakers all over the world and remains the official language of many growing economies in the Middle East and Africa.

Internet access has continued to grow in the Arab-speaking regions. According to the mobile network operators’ global trade body GSMA, an estimated 65% of people in this region will own a smartphone by 2020. Also, with trade initiatives such as the ‘Digital Silk Road’ between Saudi Arabia and China, there is growing demand for digital content in Arabic.

 

Arabic language

Portuguese

 

There were around 140 million internet users in Brazil in 2016, making it the largest internet market in Latin America and also the fourth largest internet market overall. Recent trends predict that the internet penetration rate will grow to 61 percent by 2021.  Here is an interesting statistic: In 2018, 58.51 m users shopped online in Brazil!

 

Indonesian (Malay)

 

While e-commerce sales currently only account for five percent of Indonesia’s total retail sales, this figure is expected to rise to somewhere in the range of 17–30 percent in the next five years. According to McKinsey, the value of the e-commerce market is expected to reach USD 55–65 billion by 2022, having been just USD 8 billion in 2017. This gives you an indication of the growth of the digital economy of Indonesia, further adding to the importance of Malay as a language of world wide web.

 

French

 

French is the official language of over 29 countries throughout the world and the European Union as a whole. This automatically makes it a vital business language for the UK, considering in 2018 around 46.6% of UK exports by value were delivered to the European Union.

Also, most French-speaking countries, including France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg have seen a consistent rise in e-commerce. In France alone, revenue from the e-commerce market amounted to USD 49,929 m in 2019 and is expected to see healthy growth of 7.7% by 2023.

 

Japanese

 

Japan is one of the fastest-growing online markets in the world. This could may be due to the single-language culture, steady economy growth rate, and a predominantly urban population.

In 2017, Japan had an estimated 82.59 million online consumers. By 2021, this number is estimated to rise by 6.33 million. With 93.3% of the population using the internet, Japan offers massive opportunities for e-commerce and digital marketing.

 

Japanese language

Russian

 

The historical influence of Soviet Union has ensured Russia remains an official language of the United Nations. It is also commonly used in some of the post-Soviet states that are now growing economies and offering many business opportunities.

Morgan Stanley projects online retail sales of physical goods in Russia will grow to USD 31 billion in 2020 from USD 18 billion in 2017, and could reach USD 52 billion by 2023. But despite the digital growth, Russia still has one of the lowest English proficiency levels in Europe.  This means that, to tap into the country’s e-commerce market, your business should be conducted in Russian.

 

German

 

Germany has one of the largest economies in Europe with a massive online presence. In terms of domain endings, Germany’s .de is the second most popular domain extension with 13.05 million websites registered. Furthermore, total online sales of goods and services in 2016 for Germany stood at around EUR 66.8 billion.

Many other countries with developing/developed economies, such as Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland also have German as an official language. So, having your content in German will open up a large market for your products and services.

 

If you are thinking about having your website content, marketing collateral or business documents translated in any of the above languages, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our award winning team!

 

Written by Marya Jabeen

There’s more to English than US v UK

 

Globally over 80 countries recognise English as an official language, with current estimates stating that nearly 1.5 billion people speak some level of English. Although, theoretically, we should all be able to understand each other, certain variations are so different that they could be considered a new language. We sometimes forget that there are many distinct variations other than British and American English, such as Australian, Irish and South African. A country’s geography, history and the other official languages have a huge impact, as does social media. Since we have already tackled US and UK English in depth in our three previous blogs, let’s take a closer look at some other variations…

 

Australian English: you don’t want to sound like a ‘great galah’!
In 2012, Australia had 16.5 million native speakers of English and a further 3.5 million who spoke English as a second language, a number which is only growing! There are many languages which predate the British colony belonging to three groups: Australian aboriginal, Tasmanian and Torres Strait Island. While these have had little grammatical impact on Australian English, they end their syllables with a vowel sound which has transferred overtime and softened the accent, giving it a singsong quality.
Australia was colonised by the UK in 1788, over 250 years after the USA! It’s no surprise then, that it bears more resemblance to British English, especially when it comes to spelling. Like Brits, they use “-re” endings instead of “-er” (for example ‘centre’ not ‘center’) and “-our” endings instead of “-or” (for example ‘colour’ instead of ‘color’). They also spell words with ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ (for example ‘organisation’) and use double ‘L’ in words like ‘marvellous’ and ‘travelling’. However, although British and Australian English have their spelling system in common, when spoken Australian English is a lot more informal. You’ll find Aussies abbreviating words such as ‘afternoon’ to ‘arvo’ and ‘barbeque’ to ‘barbie’ and in some cases, words take on completely different meanings in the other: flip-flops become thongs, countryside becomes bush, a soldier becomes a digger… When translating documents for Australian companies we ensure that the grammar and spelling is consistent to the target audience using quality management software and an expert localisation team. So don’t worry, we always do a ‘bonzer’ job of it!

 

 

The luck of the Irish and the best way to avoid ‘malapropisms’
The official language in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is English, but a large majority in the Republic of Ireland also speak Gaelic. Gaelic has had such an impact on language in Ireland, that now the two languages blend together in many cases, for example “having the craic” means having fun, which could cause confusion for non-Irish folk!
The term ‘malapropism’ describes when you replace something in a sentence with a similar sound, creating an amusing effect. For example, if you are singing Elvis Presley’s ‘You Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog’ and accidently sing ‘You Ain’t Nothing But A Hotdog’! The term comes from Irish playwright, Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 play ‘The Rivals’, as the character Mrs Malaprop does this often to comic effect.
Another fun fact about Irish English: it is not very common to hear ‘yes’ and ‘no’. For example, a typical response to a yes/no question in Ireland, such as “do you speak another language?” would be “I do” or “I do not”. There are also differences in prepositions, as actions are done ‘on’ someone, (for example “the car has broken on me”). These are just a few differences which we would consider at Surrey Translation Bureau while localising the document to Irish English. Our localisation team is grand!

 

 

South African English: it’s beter bang Jan, as dooie Jan
There are eleven official languages in South Africa and so blended phrases like the one in the title above are more difficult to understand than in some other English variants. This is a cross between English and Afrikaans and means “better to be safe than sorry”; something strongly recommended in the world of business! Whether you prefer your document localised into South African English, or the other way around, we would be happy to help. Unlike other variants, as well as internal influences, there seems to be a balance between British and American English influences, as in South Africa they follow British English grammar rules, however use Americanised words, such as “chips” not “crisps” and “jersey” not “jumper”.

South Africa was first colonised by Great Britain in 1815 after previously being colonised by the Dutch Empire, meaning that, of all the variants discussed, this is one of the newer English versions, and so outside influences, like the USA, also have an influence. Due to the variety of languages used officially in South Africa, it is therefore important that when conducting business in English, that the language remains consistent and professional.

 

 

 

It is incredible that so many people from so many countries can communicate with each other in their own mother tongue with little difficulty. However, in written communication, while spelling and grammar may still be understandable, if the information you are producing is highly target market-specific or if professionalism and appropriateness is vital, we recommend localising your content to really meet the requirements of your target audience.

 

At Surrey Translation Bureau, we offer localisation services, meaning that, as an expert English Language Service Provider, not only can we make sure that the language used in your documentation is high-quality, consistent and culturally appropriate, but we can additionally ensure that all references and figures used are tailored to the demands of your target market. We hope that this series of blogs has helped highlight the importance of choosing an English language specialist for your English translations. If you would like to know more about what we could do for you, please get in touch at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk!

Translate German To English

Do you require the professional help of a linguist? Perhaps you have a document that you would like to translate from German to English? Or maybe in your profession you receive documents in various languages, and are concerned the translation isn’t clear? If so, look no further than Surrey Translation Bureau for all this and much more.

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Our dedicated and qualified team of professional project managers and translators will provide you with the perfect English & German translations. In addition to our core translation service, we also offer editing, revision, typesetting, and many other services. We provide a high-quality, comprehensive and professional service to all of our clients.

Whilst using various apps and websites can help to translate a document, things can often get lost in translation. Important information can be lost, and data can be misunderstood. It’s wise to invest in the help of a specialist translation agency who will manage every element of your translation professionally.

 

When you choose us, we’ll provide you with a quote and deadline as to how long it will take to complete your project.  One of our dedicated project managers will oversee your translation. They will complete the project efficiently, and to the very highest standard. Because we want to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied, our project managers are on hand at all times.

 

Here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we offer a complete translation service and are here to help. We’re dedicated to providing a first-class service, and can translate a variety of languages, all of which are proof-read by native speakers of your target language.

We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have regarding translations from German to English, and vice versa. Contact us on 01252 601 058 or email us your query at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk for a quote or to discuss our services.

We can help you translate from Greek to English!

 

Translate Greek to English
Translate Greek to English

Our dedicated and qualified team of professional project managers and translators will provide you with the perfect English & Greek translations. In addition to our core translation service, we also offer editing, revision, and many other services. We provide a comprehensive and professional service to all our clients.

 

We are a trustworthy organisation who prioritises confidentiality. So worrying about security is not something you need to think about. This is one of the reasons why we are rated so highly by our customers. Here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we strive towards the best, making sure every bit of work that we do is perfectly analysed and translated.

 

Often using apps and websites to translate can mean things get lost along the way and easily misunderstood, but with Surrey Translation Bureau this will be a thing of the past. By investing in the help of our specialist translators, you can trust in the unfailing reliability on which we pride ourselves.

 

By choosing Surrey Translation Bureau, we are able to provide you with a quote alongside a schedule as to when the document will be fully translated from Greek to English, or vice versa. A dedicated project manager will oversee your translation, ensuring the translation is swiftly done and of a high standard. They will also subject the document to rigorous quality control checks. This project manager will guarantee all your queries are answered, and ensure your satisfaction throughout the entire process.

 

Here at Surrey Translation Bureau we offer a first-class, complete translation service, with the capabilities of translating from a variety of languages, all of which are completed to an impeccable standard. The use of native proof-readers means you can trust us with your most essential documents and know they are being completed to an excellent standard.

 

To see how we can help you, get in touch on 01252 601 058

 

Need help translating an Arabic document? STB can help!

Our dedicated and qualified team of professional project managers and translators will provide you with the perfect English & Arabic translations. In addition to our core translation service, we also offer editing, revision, and many other services. We provide a high-quality, comprehensive and professional service to all of our clients.

 

First spoken in Iron Age North-Western Arabia, there are now over 1.6 billion Arabic speakers. Residents of over 27 countries speak Arabic today! So are you having trouble finding a translator for Arabic translations? Look no further. Surrey Translation Bureau can help you translate any Arabic documents you need.

 

Arabic writing at Surrey Translation Bureau

 

Many people find it difficult to understand the language, but many more struggle to read and write the language. It is written in abjad script, which runs from right to left across the page. This means many people can find Arabic a difficult language to read and write.

 

We are a trustworthy organisation, and we prioritise confidentiality for our clients. As a result, our customers rate us very highly. Here at Surrey Translation Bureau, we strive towards the best with every document. We make sure every piece of work that we do is both perfectly analysed and translated.

 

Get in touch with us today and we can instantly provide you with a quote and deadline for Arabic translations. One of our dedicated project managers will oversee your translation. They will ensure everything is completed efficiently, and to the very highest standard. Because we want to make sure every customer is 100% satisfied, our project managers are on hand at all times.

 

We would be delighted to answer any questions you may have regarding translations from Arabic to English, and vice versa. Contact us on 01252 601 058 or email us your query at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk for a quote or to discuss our services.