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As the World Turns: The Changing Fortunes of Online Languages in 2017
Big changes are afoot in cyberspace. In recent years, populations in Africa, Asia, and Oceania surged online with the aid of cheap data plans and government investments. In Myanmar, for example, the mobile grid went up in 2014 and a total population of 53 million now shows 33 million subscriptions, with 80% smartphone penetration and over 50% with active

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Underserved Languages Create Challenges and Opportunities for Global Enterprises
Does your site support Chinese, German, French, Spanish, or other major languages? What about Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, and Mongolian? Could you be missing out on opportunities for increased sales because you are targeting the wrong languages? Probably, but you aren’t alone. In our annual examination of the top 49 online languages on websites

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The Top 10 Languages That Reign Online
CSA Research conducted our annual study of the market for outsourced language services and technology for the 11th consecutive year. Participants listed their three fastest-growing language pairs, as well as the three that face the most price pressure. Looking at the language pairs with a global perspective presents the overall trends within the

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Rock Stars of the Multilingual Web
Fact: The majority of the world’s most prominent websites are multilingual, featuring anywhere from two to over 100 languages. A full 63% of global brands recently reached more customers by increasing the number of languages on their websites. Why? CSA Research has proven that investing in languages helps companies grow and stay ahead of the competition

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Of Indic languages and their mysteriously low purchasing power
Consider these three facts: First, India’s offline purchasing power is ranked third in the world, next only to the US and China. Second, huge swathes of Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Telugu, Tamil and other Indian language populations are already online and the number is only set to skyrocket. Finally, the latest round of investment in Indian e-commerce

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Translators without Borders Receives Grant from Microsoft
You can’t perhaps be fully prepared for a crisis, but why should that stop you from trying? Translation forms a critical part of that crisis preparedness, for the precise reason that it would be the last thing on anyone’s mind when actually hit by a cyclone or a tsunami. The Technology for Good grant from Microsoft that Translators

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At Last, Some Multilingualism in Indian E-Commerce
Indian online retailer Snapdeal announced last week that it now offers Hindi and Tamil options to users on its website. Common Sense Advisory thinks that Snapdeal’s multilingual initiative could set off a flurry of long-pending localization in the Indian market.  Common Sense Advisory had predicted that notwithstanding the high level of

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In Conversation with Taghreedat about Arabic, Crowdsourcing, and Technology
Common Sense Advisory has written before about the urgent demand for Arabic online content. The recent partnership between Taghreedat, a community building initiative for Arabic digital content, and Smartling evidences one solution to this information gap.  The timing of our briefing with Mina Takla, co-founder of Taghreedat, couldn’t have

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Google Takes a Stand for Endangered Languages
Back in 2008, we wrote about Language Death and Why It Matters, lamenting the loss of “repositories of information and understanding that took thousands of years to gather.” In 2009, Google began a project to collect and preserve audio, video, and other digital artifacts of at-risk languages before they disappear altogether. Famously, the

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Why Economists Should Pay Attention to Translation in Africa
According to a recent UN economic report, 10 of the world’s 15 fastest-growing economies were based in Africa. Foreign direct investment in Africa reached US$62 billion in 2009, up almost 700% from a decade earlier. The report also found that the number of middle-class households will increase by half from 2010 to 2020. And, by 2030, the top 18

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India Contemplates a Billion Web Users
As the dream of universal access moved in the past two years from laptops to tablets, the Indian government awarded an ambitious contract to UK-based Datawind Ltd. in the hope of bringing web-enabled tablets to students for under US$50 per child. We wonder what languages these devices will support. With over 700 languages spoken among the target population

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Silicon Valley Conference Focuses on Yin and Yang of I18n and L10n
More than 150 engineers, product managers, and content creators gathered in Silicon Valley this week for the Internationalization and Localization Conference to hear lessons learned from companies like Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco, Intel, LinkedIn, Rearden Commerce, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zynga. Several companies relatively new to the internationalization (i18n)

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Using Crowdsourced Translation to Create a Multilingual Newsroom
As the online digital divide becomes smaller and smaller, language still remains one of the last true barriers to consuming content anywhere, anytime. The Global Voices Lingua Project has found a way to overcome this barrier, and at the same time, build a multilingual newsroom. We interviewed Paula Góes, Multilingual Editor at Global Voices,

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South-to-South Trade: Is the Translation Industry Ready to Support It?
International trade has been changing directions. While trade used to work primarily in a North-South direction, there has been an increase in trade happening within the Southern hemisphere for some time now. This has happened because of various reasons – for example, the Northern economies have shrunk, Southern economies have opened up and achieved

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What Adding an "S" to "BRIC" Means for Language Service Managers
The BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) officially added the "S" (South Africa) to their acronym in April this year during the third BRIC(S) Leaders Meeting in Sanya, Hainan (China). Not only were the 11 official languages of that nation added to the list of possible languages to be considered by translation managers, but so were the 2

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Search, and You Shall Find. In Your Own Tongue
The internet is becoming a more inclusive place as far as languages are concerned: Browsers with multilingual functionality are not a big deal at a time when domain names are being registered in many Indian languages. The minimum number of languages a website needs to have in order to be competitive is 16. So, why not search in your own language? Users

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How Translation Brought a Language Back to Life
Why should we be grateful for translation? We often write about translation in the context of its business value – as a global revenue enabler, as a way to reach untapped markets, and as a way to improve relationships with existing customers.  We also write about the market for language services – how big it is, how diverse it is, and

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Next on Twitter’s Flight Path: Greater China and Southeast Asia
When we visited Twitter in San Francisco earlier this year, the international team was hard at work on several languages, supported by crowdsourced translation communities. Their efforts will once again bear fruit over the next week or so as the company releases localized versions of Twitter in Chinese (Simplified and Chinese), Hindi, Filipino (Tagalog)

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What Revolutionary Movements Can Teach International Firms
As we approach the end of Ramadan this coming Monday, a third dictator in North Africa goes down for the count and approaches "game over" status in Libya. This event provides an opportunity to recognize once again the major role that translators and interpreters play in allowing all sides in conflicts like these to get their message out.   It's

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European Online Language Preferences Revealed in Flash Eurobarometer Report
The European Commission (E.C.) recently published a 125-page Flash Eurobarometer report (#313) based on a Gallup survey of language preferences among internet users in 23 European Union (E.U.) countries. The data stems from telephone interviews conducted at the request of any service of the E.C. at the end of January 2011.The report charts volumes of

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Predictions for 2010: Globalization Technology, Services, and Business Models
The winter solstice is drawing near in the northern hemisphere, so that means it's time for our annual predictions about the language industry. Here's what we think will happen in 2010, with sharing, centralization, consolidation, community, and diplomacy as the most important watchwords for the Linguistic New Year: Big buyers of language services

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Twitter Migrates into Multilingual Markets
Twitter announced last week that it would be making its site available in French, Italian, German, and Spanish (collectively known in the language services industry as "FIGS"). As countries in the northern hemisphere head into winter, is the blue bird migrating to other markets in search of a warm reception? From a multilingual marketing perspective

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Language Death and Why It Matters
21 February 2008 is International Mother Language Day. In the grand scheme of the universe, we may have another billion years or so to colonize outside our solar system before the sun dies out, but probably only a few generations to devise a stable context for social continuity and the survival of our species. Human population and planetary resource

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China: Big Internet Population, Low Online GDP
Last week the research group CNNIC reported that China's net population grew to 210 million by the end of last year. Many companies are already rushing out to find Mandarin specialists or machine translation software to localize their websites. However big those numbers are, don't hyper-ventilate. Instead, back slowly away from your Rosetta Stone CD

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Social Networking and Localization
Today MySpace launched its Brazilian Portuguese website with the goal of challenging Google's Orkut, which is favored by 14 million of the 20 million Brazilian active internet users. The English version of MySpace already has 1 million samba lovers. But they might be late to the dance. Other social networking tools have already taken hold over there

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