Important translation issue : Web Site Localization

In communication terms, the world is becoming a smaller place. With the advent of technology such as the World Wide Web, the only real limitations companies have in selling to the world market are languages and cultural differences. Language, culture, customs and philosophies define the individual and the community. These differences can be a huge barrier to business, and bridging the linguistic and cultural gap is an essential element of all successful business communication. Fortunately, world cultures vary along fundamentally consistent lines. There are potentially a number of huge, untapped markets available, and there are real opportunities to get a firm grip on new and emerging markets before the competition.  Internet users around the world have rightly come to expect that websites will be available in their own languages, meeting their own cultural norms, with full functionality.  Websites are created by companies to perform certain marketing and advertising functions. Localizing the content of a website poses some of the largest technical, linguistic and cultural challenges, since a website is technology-based and interactive, with text that is continually changing, and users who are heavily influenced in their judgments about companies by their interactions with a company’s website.

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written by Jesus Maroto & Mario de Bortoli