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Chinese web localisation could transform your business.

Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.

With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.

With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.

With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?

Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.

China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.

Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.

To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.

WordPress Translation now easy with livetranslation.com

WordPress (WP) has evolved a long way from the journalist-loving blogging platform it once was to becoming a powerful CMS of choice for many SME’s. What it lacks in out-of-the-box functionality is compensated for with the vast selection of user-contributed plugins, which evolve practically at the pace of the web itself.

Matt Mullenweg (all hail) & the team beautifully balance the division between core functionality and community contributed functional extension, making it elegantly simple to learn. Making a platform so usable means that marketers can use it in as much anger as the journo’ types.

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Meet the Team: Dominic McGrath

Dominic McGrath, Project CoordinatorHi everyone!

I’ve recently joined the Web-Translations team as a project coordinator. I am originally from Bradford but familiar with the local area and went on to University of Manchester where I graduated in 2009 with a BA in German and Business Management.

Since graduating I have worked in a couple of different industries – finance and logistics – but always with the view to these jobs being short-term. I have been on the lookout for a role that could essentially combine my knowledge of another language with my innate passion for business, and have found a perfect match with Web-Translations. I furthermore believe I have found somewhere with the right tools to enable me to develop and to launch a successful career.

I am highly driven to achieve goals and to deliver for our customers as the business looks set to grow and expand into new markets, and what’s more, I look forward to helping other businesses do exactly the same.

Outside work I’m passionate about sport, in particular football, and have never wavered in my support of a team going through dire straits at the moment. I also love to travel and experience different cultures and meet people from different nationalities. Building on the time I spent living in Frankfurt, I travelled around Central and South America during the summer of 2010, and am certainly keen to do more of this! I got to go on the recent trip to the dmexco event in Cologne with my new colleagues Lynn and Cassandra, and am looking forward to putting my skills and newfound knowledge into practise.

I look forward to the challenge the future holds.

Should the German language use English words?

The question of the introduction of anglicisms into foreign languages is not new, it has long been a polemic, controversial topic about which many feel strongly. Words such as “le weekend”, “das Marketing” and “un hobby” spring to mind. Recently, German linguists have expressed fears that the introduction of more and more English vocabulary could be dangerous for the future of the German language.

The German Language Association, Verein Deutsche Sprache (VDS), makes monthly updates to its “Anglicism Index” to include English words that have been recently incorporated into the German spoken word. They then suggest German alternatives for these words. Recent additions to the VDS list include “follower” and “live-stream”, words for which there also exist German equivalents.

Opinion is currently divided regarding the threat that the introduction of English words carries to the German language. VDS spokesman, Holger Klatte, recently commented: “Particularly in the areas of technology, medicine, the internet and the economy, English is becoming ever more important.” He also stated: “There are not enough new German words being invented, and many people find they are excluded from the conversation because they can’t understand it.”

Not everyone is in agreement with VDS and the threat English poses to the German language. The Managing Director of the Society for the German Language (Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache), Andrea-Eva Ewels, comments that “only 1%-3% of the average German’s vocabulary of 5,000 words is made up of anglicisms.” This Society believes that the inclusion of English vocabulary enhances the German language, rather than harming it. However, the public in Germany seem to be on the side of VDS, with 39% of interviewees questioned in 2008 confirming their opposition to anglicisms.

There are a handful of foreign words that we use in English, such as “déjà vu”, “siesta” and “rendezvous”. How would we feel if more and more foreign words were introduced into our everyday vocabulary? The most important question that this discussion and debate poses is surely: why use an English word when a German word will suffice? Is there a benefit to incorporating a new English word into the language, in place of the equivalent German? Let us know what you think…

German exports up 3.8% during June

There has recently been a further sign of recovery in Europe’s biggest economy – German exports were up more than 3% in June, and the country has experienced unprecendented growth of 2.2% from April to June this year.

A weakening of the Euro in recent months coupled with a strong demand for German goods in Asia has helped to boost exports. (more…)

Online Purchases Increase Across Europe

As e-tailers prepare for another record Christmas period they should consider the changing trends in consumer confidence across Europe for new opportunities. Consumers are buying more frequently in every country in Europe, but as the pace of growth slows in the UK and competition stiffens, smart businesses will look to serve multilingual markets where consumerism grows faster and is less competitive.

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