Multilingual sites and international business culture differences

Its not what you say, it’s the way that you say it

Some statistics

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More than 24

Officially recognised languages in the European Union

English only websites reach less than 25% of internet users.

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54%

Europeans speaking only one language

Almost half of Europeans speak no English at all.

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45%

Potential sales increase

Increase in sales achieved by businesses that are proactive in their use of language and cultural skills (BCOC)

Things to consider when building a website in another language•

Choice of plugin

Multilingual SEO

Country and market specifics

Translations

Design and formatting

Flags

Each language version needs to be native to the local user

Popular Translation Plugins

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Polylang

Each page created separately
Elementor formatting can be adjusted per translated page
Polylang connect needed to show the correct language templates
Free and pro version available
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WPML


Each page created separately
Elementor formatting can be adjusted per translated page
Only pro version available
Most widely used
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Translatepress

Front-end visual translation approach
Integrated Elementor, but no individual formatting options
When changing native language, translations need re-confirmation
Free version for 2 languages
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Weglot

Automatic translation - Easy
Convenient
Expensive over 2000 words
Not easy to change formatting

They all have + and -

0 %

There is a choice between ease of creation, updates, and cost.

Marketing your business in Europe

In order to understand the marketing practices of the European country you are targeting for business, you need to understand your customer base and learn about any country-specific laws that may apply to your business

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culture

Ideas that appeal in the UK may not work elsewhere in Europe

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Customer trust

How does trading cross-border affect your products and services

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Legal implications

Advertising and marketing can be restricted in some countries. For example Germany restricts the value of promotional offers due to anti-competition rules

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Position your brand

You may already have a well-established brand – including name, trademarks, logos and more – but you should check if these translate well into a new market.

There are European cultural clusters (e.g. Anglo-Saxon Europe, Scandinavia, Northern Europe Southern Europe, Central Europe and Eastern Europe, so you can cover more than one market.

Be sensitive

Cultural facts

France

Don't talk about your personal life since it's considered inappropriate at a business setting. Do not address anyone by their first name. Only use a person's title and last name.

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Germany

A thumbs up is actually the sign for "one" in Germany.

Netherlands

Keep in mind that Holland is a region of the Netherlands so don't refer to the whole of Netherlands as Holland.

Spain

It isn't considered rude to interrupt when speaking, so if you're interrupted, don't get offended.

UK

England is not the UK. The UK refers to England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Brits don't like personal questions unless you are friends.