Article in partnership with Day Translations. Having looked at some trends in the translation industry in a previous article (see related post Language Translation Trends), it is now time to do a data deep dive to discover what is worthy of more attention.
Studies from organisations such as CSA Research show that consumers prefer to browse websites and make online purchases when the information is presented to them in their local language. This is the case even for fluent non-native English speakers who browse English-content websites in addition to websites in their mother tongue. For example, 60% of respondents in a 2020 study stated that they preferred purchasing something from sites in their own local language or mother tongue rathern than from websites written in English. The sample for this particular study was of almost 9,000 people across 29 countries so the data have strong statistical importance. Respondents preferred to engage with the content from a website in a way that resonates with them, featuring the correct cultural context, and this is such an essential component of e-commerce for brands that either already have an international presence or aim to have a global reach.
It’s Worth Paying for Professional Translations
Low-quality translations can be a deal-breaker for consumers. While a percentage of them can compromise and accept that sometimes a few websites are badly translated (they can even laugh about it and create memes to mock them!), as long as the information is still easy to understand; however many prefer to have exactly the same user experience with international websites as they would have with local websites and they may feel a degree of unease while browsing, often abandoning web pages or carts altogether.
Some industries can’t afford to have poor translated content as it can lead to misinformation and potential damage. Sectors such as medical and pharmaceutical rely on very precise information, which requires expert translation, no compromise is acceptable in such cases. This also means that there is solid demand for translation services in these sectors.
Return on Investment (ROI)
One piece of data that is a key factor when deciding to translate a website is the return on investment. Companies surveyed by Localize (source) reported that making their web content available in multiple languages resulted in a 1.5 times revenue increase.
Increased Organic Traffic
Other studies looked at the impact of translating social media content into local languages, finding that localising content had caused a significant increase in organic traffic – amounting to more than 1000% growth.
Localising specific e-commerce elements of a website can also bring impressive results: just by translating product or service descriptions, product reviews and checkout or basket pages it can boost sales by an average of 60%. Localised pages tend to get better engagement with less bounces and abandoned carts compared to their non-translated counterparts.
Growth Area: e-Learning
Online learning has been experiencing continuous growth, particularly during and after the 2020-2021 pandemic, as people stuck at home used their time to learn new skills, re-train or complete academic courses and degrees. The online education market is expected to be worth $325 billion in 2025.
From platforms such as Udemy to local universities offering online courses, e-learning has reached new areas and is covering more and more topics each year. Using Udemy as an example, a company that has a net worth of $1.3 billion (2023), it offers its online courses in 75 languages, catering for both individuals and companies.
Alongside the growth in the e-learning market is the increased demand for video translation services, as most remote learning is delivered via video.
On a final note, translated subtitles for online videos and streamed content have a huge market potential, as the going rate for translating English subtitles into other languages ranges from $3 to $10. With video being the preferred mode of communication that consumers want to see from brands and companies, translated subtitles for videos can raise the bar for the content making it more accessible to a much wider audience. Not only that, but subtitling has been an important inclusion tool for people with hearing disabilities, making content more accessible.