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E-Commerce in India: Beyond English and Hindi
The Indian e-commerce market continues to grow as the government there encourages its expansion and works to ensure that the country’s local languages are integrated into its Digital India and Make in India programs. Unlike its neighbor to the east – China – the Indian playing field is open to international companies, as the ongoing

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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 Name Game: The Importance of Up-to-Date Locale Knowledge
Countries don’t often change their names. The last major round was in early-to-mid 1990s when: 1) Members of the former Warsaw Pact removed “socialist” or “people’s” from their names; 2) the USSR split into 15 independent countries; 3) the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (“Czechoslovakia” or ČSSR for short)

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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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Facebook Buys WhatsApp: The Multilingual Challenge to Reach the Next Five Billion
Even as politicians around the world struggle to figure out new ways to contain the internet, the engineers and businesspeople in Silicon Valley uncover ways to extend coverage to more potential customers across the globe.  Facebook’s recent acquisition of mobile messaging startup WhatsApp is a case in point. Many pundits agonized over

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2013 WOW Benchmarks for 116 Economically Significant Digital Languages
Last week Common Sense Advisory published its annual update to the total online population (TOP) and world online wallet (WOW) numbers, including the details on 32 new languages. Today we released the top 30 languages on that list to non-members, along with an explanation of the data and benchmarks. Below, we suggest how they can be used for strategic

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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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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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Web Globalization: How Well Does Your Company Score?
Who’s the master of the web universe? We started our annual internet pilgrimage last fall in order to answer that question. Our team of multilingual testers on three continents logged their journey and took snapshots of the signposts, words, and images that today’s global web traveler encounters. As we went through the web, we asked questions

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Predictions for 2011: Increased Visibility for Language Services
Each year since 2005, Common Sense Advisory has issued predictions for the language services industry based on our extensive qualitative and quantitative research. In 2011, language will appear more prominently on the radar of global and domestic organizations than ever before: Marketers of everyday products feature built-in language support

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Can You Read that Web Address? Yes, ICANN -- or at Least Most of It
Finding that many of the visitors to Barnum's American Museum in New York City would stay longer than they were wanted and thus keep new customers from entering (and paying), P.T. Barnum famously posted signs "This way to the egress." His less sophisticated visitors would go in search of the exotic creature, only to find themselves back on the streets

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Twitters, Tweets, and Translating Buzz into Global Business
Last month, the Washington Post reported that Dell earned US$3 million in web sales from Twitter followers, making the company one of the first recognizable brands to turn its online cadre of followers into a tangible source of revenue. Dell occupies a coveted spot on the list of the 100 companies with the largest follower counts, along with just a

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Blimey! Facebook Speaks with a British Accent, Even in Ireland
Those individuals flying into Dublin to attend this week's Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) conference might have noticed something intriguing upon settling into their hotels, connecting to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot, and loading up their Facebook pages. Our interest was piqued too, when one of our contacts visiting Éire from

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Asia Online Aims to Meet Asian Content Demands with MT+
For the last dozen of so years we’ve heard ourselves incessantly reminding everyone that the "www" in most URLs means "worldwide web," while the "e" in "e-commerce" all too often stands for English. Our research on e-GDP (online GDP) and the Availability Quotient demonstrated that many companies still have a long journey before they can meet the

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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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United Localizes Website for China
When it began its direct service between DC and Beijing, United solidified its position among a small group of U.S. airlines with landing rights in China. When the airline localized its reservations site into Chinese, it joined an even smaller group of American carriers that provide comprehensive local language support for this booming market:

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