iGoogle: Now in 42 Languages

The customized Google home page known as iGoogle has been localized into a bunch of additional languages, bringing the grand total to 42. Here are the most recently added languages:

– Arabic
– Bulgarian
– Catalian
– Croatian
– Icelandic
– Indonesian
– Latvian
– Lithuanian
– Malay
– Serbian
– Slovak
– Slovenian
– Tagalog

Since languages span borders, the total number of country domains now supported by iGoogle number more than 70.

According to the Google Blog, “with this launch, more than 99% of Internet users can take advantage of these features in their native language.”

Based on my research, your Web site needs to support 10 languages to reach more than 80% of the world’s Internet users. To get to 99%, you definitely have to exceed 30 to 35 languages (depending on the mix), which very few companies have done. In the 2007 Web Globalization Report Card, out of the 200 Web sites reviewed, only 28 sites exceeded 30 languages and only 3 sites exceeded 40 languages.

The languages that Google has recently added reflects a larger Web globalization trend. Large multinationals that already support the core Western European and Asian languages are now turning their attention to Eastern and Northern Europe and the Middle East.

While a Slovakian Web site may be off the radar for most global marketing executives, it may not be off their radar for very long.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.

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