| Feature Article|
Language a Crucial Component for Businesses
International collaboration is the new core facet of doing business
Five hundred and thirty seven million people use the Web in English; 445 million use it in Chinese. Yet the vast majority of users, 985 million people, navigate the Web in other languages.
"Although every Web site is global from the moment it goes live, few are designed with the world in mind," says author John Yunker. Companies miss crucial opportunities if they don't address a global audience. Research shows that people prefer to visit Web sites written in their own language.
A Eurobarometer survey, for example, found that 90 percent of European Web site users will always visit a Web site in their own language if they are offered a choice. Only 53 percent of users would choose to use an English Web site in place of one in their own language. Up to 60 percent of users who did navigate to an English language website expressed missing interesting information. In some countries, users only watch and read online content in their own language. This reluctance extends to buying products. A paltry 18 percent of users surveyed said they would "frequently or always buy products in a foreign language."
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