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RE: Re[2]: Business Case for i18n?

From: Cornee van der Linden <vdlinden25@hotmail.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 09:33:48 -0400
To: webmaster@befrienders.org, www-international@w3.org
Message-ID: <F2021LEdyt3cew8k69R00004d94@hotmail.com>

Hello Eric,

I think that adding more languages does not always result in more business 
for each website. It depends on the type of business you're in. If you are 
an informational site, it certainly will increase the amount of visitors. If 
you try to sell something through your website, just adding languages won't 
do it. In order to get more business, you would also have to offer local 
payment options, local products, local distribution, etc, etc.

Regards,

Cornee van der Linden
Global Logistics Technologies


>From: "Eric Jarvis" <webmaster@befrienders.org>
>Reply-To: <webmaster@befrienders.org>
>To: <www-international@w3.org>
>Subject: RE: Re[2]: Business Case for i18n?
>Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2001 10:27:35 +0100
>
>I'm very lucky in working for an organisation that is determinedly
>global from board level down. We currently have our site in 10
>languages with 5 more following later this year.
>
>One thing is very striking. When we add a new language we get more
>visitors to the site. In commercial terms, more languages means more
>business. It's very clear the new visitors are using the translated
>pages, the traffic elsewhere on the site doesn't drop, and the
>figures for visitors from the countries where the newly added
>language is spoken rise dramatically.
>
>If you need a "bottom line" argument that's the one. We are a
>charity so I don't have to justify the translations financially. If
>I had to I have NO doubt that it would be very obviously worthwhile.
>
>One final point. There are ideas that are easy to express in some
>languages but difficult or impossible in others. Anyone who speaks
>both English and Italian will know how many concepts related to time
>and duration simply can't be translated accurately. This means that
>diversity of language encourages diversity of thought. So whilst it
>may be convenient in the short term to try to standardise as much as
>possible into English, in the long term it will be limiting.
>
>There you go, philosophically and economically the right thing to
>do. Anyone think they can come up with a medical advantage of being
>multilingual?
>
>--
>Eric Jarvis
>Assistant Manager, BI Online
>Tel: ++44- (0) 20- 8541 4949
>website: www.befrienders.org
>
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: www-international-request@w3.org
>[mailto:www-international-request@w3.org]On Behalf Of
>Rich.Landess@edwardjones.com
>Sent: 13 June 2001 20:33
>To: www-international@w3.org; avine@Eng.Sun.COM
>Cc: asgilman@iamdigex.net
>Subject: Re[2]: Business Case for i18n?
>
>
>This is absolutely the sort of change we are attempting here where I
>work. They really seem to have a hard time understanding that the
>first language a product would be localized into is US English,
>followed by whatever additional languages we need to support.
>
>Hang in there Andrea, we are changing 281 million mindsets one at a
>time. It's just going to take a bit...
>
>Rich
>
> > Along that line, I'm wondering what folks are doing about their
>English
> > products.  I'm trying to convince folks that even though the
>product is in
> > English, it should not be designed only for the USA.  That is,
>locale-related
> > formats should be dynamically selected, or user selectable, rather
>than in a
> > localizable resource file.  So for example someone using the
>English product in,
> > say, Germany won't see their dates in MM/DD/YY format.
> >
> > }sigh{
> > Andrea
> > iPlanet i18n architect
> >
> > Marco Cimarosti wrote:
> > >
> > > Al Gilman wrote on www-international@w3.org:
> > > > From time to time I get the opportunity to answer questions
> > > > like "Why mark
> > > > stuff as in Maori?  Almost nobody can read it, anyway."
> > > >
> > > >
>http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2001AprJun/thread.htm
>l#709
> > > >
> > > > In a rapid glance over the Internationalization home page at
>W3C I found
> > > > lots on 'how' to internationalize the Web but I didn't
>instantly stumble
> > > on
> > > > the story 'why' that I could cite.
> > > >
> > > > Some brief and pungent explanation of how "Without i18n, we
>can just drop
> > > > the first two W's in WWW" would be handy for those of us
>conversing with
> > > > those who don't have the intercultural experience to "get it"
>without a
> > > > little light explanation.
> > >
> > > You could use the old rhetoric trick of replying with a
>question.
> > >
> > > Ask them the *same* question with "English" in place of "Maori".
> > >
> > > Then make a pause to allow your audience to think "But this is
>not the same
> > > thing!", then translate the question in Chinese, Hindi, Spanish,
>Portuguese,
> > > Bengali...
> > >
> > > While the audience is still shocked by your linguistic skills,
>start writing
> > > on the blackboard  some statistics about this language (e.g.
> > > http://www.sil.org/ethnologue/top100.html).
> > >
> > > First write the English figure, then add other languages and sum
>them up as
> > > you write them.
> > >
> > > I am sure that, while English is getting smaller and smaller
>compared to the
> > > running total, your interlocutors will start feeling more and
>more "Maori".
> > >
> > > If you are holding a slide show or discussing by e-mail, you
>could use
> > > Michka Kaplan's "Everybody is Provincial" page as a written
>version of
> > > basically the same story:
> > >
> > >         http://www.trigeminal.com/samples/provincial.html
> > >
> > > _ Marco
> >
>

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Received on Thursday, 14 June 2001 09:34:26 GMT

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