Last month, Eurobarometer released a study that examined how Europeans react to foreign-language content on the Internet. The results were clear: if you do business online and have an international clientele, translating your website could help you attract customers and may even increase sales.
English may be the most common language on the Internet, but it’s by no means a universal tongue. While the survey showed that one out of two European web surfers were willing to seek out content that wasn’t in their first language, that high percentage is skewed as citizens of some EU member countries are more likely to seek out foreign-language content than citizens of other countries. From a press release summarizing the results of the study:
“This figure hides great variations as between 90 and 93% of Greeks, Slovenes, Luxembourgers, Maltese and Cypriots indicated they would use other languages when online, but only 9% of UK citizens, 11% of Irish, 23% of Czechs and 25% of Italians said they would do so.”
When it comes to actually putting their money where their eyeballs are, the statistics are even more stark: Only 18% of the respondents were willing to buy products online in another language “frequently or all the time,” and 42% would never buy a product online if the website was in another language. Read more