When I see technology vendors developing software that cater for languages other than English it makes me extremely happy. Question is, why has it taken so long?
Now ofcourse technology vendors cannot cater for all the 6,900+ languages currently spoken around the world but if you look at the top five languages spoken around the world:
- Accurately translate text within the application, back translate to the local language a few times to ensure phrasing and vocabulary are natural sounding
- User interface should be flexible with different languages as the same word written out in different languages may be longer or shorter than another
- Consider using graphics that are not considered offensive in some countries. Also in-graphic text will also need translating
Isn't it clear that at least vendors would have considered the top 2 languages as well as English? Now this is not a blanket statement, as there are some vendors out there that cater for languages other than just English, but there needs to more vendors that should do this.
Linking back to the contact centre industry, contact centres in Asia and South America are growing in seat sizes at rates of 10-30% per annum whereas their western counterparts are growing, if at all, at less than 10% per annum.
This proves that overseas markets for traditional western based technology vendors is the ideal and possibly inevitable way to expand. Software is well and truly global.
There are several factors that vendors need to take into account when developing multilingual software, here are a few to start you off: