A survey undertaken recently by CSA Research (formerly Common Sense Advisory) of 8,709 consumers in 29 countries worldwide discovered that 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information in their native language, with 40% stating that they would never purchase from websites in other languages. This is a 3.6% increase over a similar survey carried out in 2012 when 72.4% of the respondents indicated their preference for content in their own language.
Marketers targeting Africa have been content to issue the content for their campaigns in English and French, overlooking vast audiences who would prefer to read the offer in Arabic, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Swahili or Zulu.
To understand the linguistic diversity of the African continent and how to put that diversity to work for you, see our African Languages Translation Guide.
Some key findings:
- The African continent is the world’s most linguistically diverse
- Knowing the languages of your audience is a must-when deciding the target translation languages that are the most key to communication.
- For business-to business (B2B), business to government (B2G) and government-to-government (G2G) communications, Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Swahili are key
- For business-to-consumer (B2C) communications, the most widely spoken local languages in each country are essential
- Include an audio version (podcast) to vastly expand your reach into local audiences
Native speakers of certain African languages use the local idiom in their daily interactions with family, friends and community service-providers. The official (usually European) language is the one to be used in business and in transactions with the government. The latter practices descend from colonial times, yet continue to the present. As local languages are in such wide, everyday use, it is imperative for a business to employ them when communicating its message.
For many languages, especially the ones with large numbers of speakers, the written version of the language diverges from the spoken one. A translation that “works” when written may not work as well when spoken. The addition of an audio version neatly resolves this concern, as our translators will use a natural, local style in their spoken version of the message.
Pronto Translation’s linguists and Language Matter Experts have the necessary “on-the ground” experience as well as academic knowledge to meet these challenges.
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