Wikipedia and the Internet language chasm


When talking about language diversity across the Internet, I like to include a visual that illustrates the language leaders of the Internet: This chart is based on data from the 2014 Web Globalization Report Card. English (US) is not counted. In it, you have Wikipedia at the top, supporting more than 280 languages.Wikipedia represents (for […]

Google launches its first Japanese IDN


I’ve long talked about the importance of non-Latin domain names, or IDNs (Internationalized Domain Names). Google has gone live with one if its many IDNs: みんな. I want to emphasize here that this is a top-level IDN — that is, the equivalent of a .com or .org. This TLD, according to Google, stands for “everyone.” So […]

WhatsApp: Another “translation worthy” success story


I wrote recently that if you can make your product “translation worthy” the world will follow. Reading about Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp I went back and did some language crunching. In December 2012, WhatsApp supported 15 languages. I also noted then that I really liked the company’s global gateway. Today, WhatsApp supports 35 languages — […]

Google Translate turns 80, as in languages


From Afrikaans to Zulu, the evolution of Google Translate is one of Google’s greatest success stories that few people fully appreciate. Perhaps because Google is reluctant to release usage data (which I imagine is significant). So Google now supports 80 languages, having added support for Somali, Zulu, three Nigerian languages (Igbo, Hausa,Yoruba), Mongolian, Nepali, and […]

Going beyond stock photos to succeed locally


My latest post for client Pitney Bowes includes tips for creating “world ready” visuals. An excerpt: Don’t Send the Wrong (Hand) Signal Gestures are culturally specific and, while some gestures have gone global, there are variations on these gestures and hand signals, in addition to locally unique signals, that you’ll need to know. The peace […]

How to succeed at exporting: A Q&A with Laurel Delaney


Laurel Delaney has been helping companies expand globally for many years and now she shares what she’s learned in the excellent new book Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably. I consider this book a “must read” for marketing and global business development teams — as well as any small business exec with global aspirations. […]