75% of the world’s population does not speak English. Successfully tapping into foreign-language markets means increased sales and improved profits. The most efficient way to accomplish that goal is to tailor your approach with translation of packaging, manuals, and promotional materials that not only is accurate, but also reflects your target market’s cultural specificities—what the translation industry calls localization. That’s PLG’s bread and butter, and we will develop that subject in future newsletters.
Our clients are well aware of the benefits of marketing their products in foreign languages. In the past few years, requests for French translation have come to represent 40% of our business, much of it destined to the francophone Canadian market right next door to us. Let’s take a quick look at some of the statistics available in the public domain showing why translating your product in French makes sense in a global world.
- There are an estimated 274 million French speakers worldwide.
- An estimated 7.7 million of Canadians reported French as their mother tongue in 2011, a number that increased from 7.4 million in 2006, even though the proportion of the overall Canadian population decreased slightly in the same period.*
- French is the 9th most widely spoken language on the planet and the only one, together with English, to be spoken on all five continents.
- French is the 3rd most widely used language on the Web with 5% of Internet pages, after English (45%) and German (7%) and ahead of Spanish (4.5%).
- With 18.9% of world exports and 19% of world imports, French-speaking countries account for 19% of world trade in goods
- In the European Union, French is the 2nd most widely spoken mother tongue (16%) after German (23%) and ahead of English (15.9%)
- In the European Union, French is the 2nd most widely spoken foreign language (19%) after English (41%) and ahead of German (10%) and Spanish (7%).
- French is spoken in over 40 countries and territories around the world:
- Burkina Faso
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Ivory Coast
- Republic of the Congo
In the Americas:
- French Guyana
- Saint-Pierre and Miquelon
- French Polynesia
- New Caledonia
- Wallis and Futuna
2 Source for points 1 & 3-7: