Global by Design Adventures in web globalization Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:50:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gmail leads the global (as in non-Latin) email race Wed, 06 Aug 2014 18:50:44 +0000 0 Adobe and Google release open source CJK font family Thu, 31 Jul 2014 18:30:39 +0000

This is the result of a massive investment of resources and expertise — and I’m excited they’ve made it open source. From Adobe: Source Han Sans, available in seven weights, is a typeface family which provides full support for Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese, all in one font. It also includes Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic […]]]> 0
Aussies love .AU Tue, 22 Jul 2014 22:33:00 +0000

Keeping in mind that this is a survey funded by Australia’s registry, the data points pretty clearly toward a preference for .au over .com. From the announcement: The report found .au remains Australia’s home on the Internet with more than double the level of trust over any other namespace. George Pongas, General Manager of Naming Services at […]]]> 0
Q&A with Kathleen Bostick of SDL Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:49:29 +0000 0 Gmail to be first major platform to support non-Latin email addresses Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:38:52 +0000

At the ICANN 50 conference Jordyn Buchanan of Google confirmed that Gmail would support EAI (email address internationalization) by the end of this month. This is significant news. But what does it mean exactly? I don’t have the details yet, but at a minimum I assume it means a Gmail user could create an email address using a […]]]> 0
Google reenters the domain name business Tue, 24 Jun 2014 02:27:52 +0000 0 No, it’s not blowing over Fri, 20 Jun 2014 18:17:52 +0000 0 The UK is moving away from the cumbersome Tue, 17 Jun 2014 18:04:57 +0000

One of the more common questions I hear when talking about country codes is why the inconsistency across countries. For instance, why do you have to register in the UK while you can get a simple .fr in France or .de in Germany? My answer is that country codes are managed by their respective countries […]]]> 0
Mozilla frees web browser from mobile language limitations: A Q&A Mon, 09 Jun 2014 09:04:04 +0000

I was intrigued to read recently that Mozilla is working on updating the Firefox Android mobile browser, codename Fennec, to allow the browser to offer more languages than the underlying Android system currently supports. Typically, apps leverage language support from the underlying operating system, which can sometimes be limiting. So it’s nice to see Mozilla moving beyond this limitation. […]]]> 0
Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report: A web globalization persepective Wed, 04 Jun 2014 08:52:59 +0000 0 Speaking at SDL Innovate in San Francisco Mon, 02 Jun 2014 10:21:01 +0000

I’m pleased to be speaking at the SDL Innovate conference in San Francisco on June 11th. I’ll be presenting on secrets of the best global websites. If you’re in the area, I hope to see you there!]]> 0
The United States has a privacy (branding) problem Fri, 30 May 2014 00:57:00 +0000 1 YouTube launches Thai site at Wed, 21 May 2014 15:56:36 +0000

I too am surprised it took Google this long to launch a dedicated Thai website. YouTube has local versions in 61 countries and 61 different languages. Today’s launch in Thailand makes that the 62nd. Currently, there are over one billion unique visits to YouTube each month. Six billion hours of videos are watched monthly. 80 […]]]> 0
Go global with .INTERNATIONAL? I don’t think so. Mon, 12 May 2014 19:28:07 +0000 0 dotConfusing — What you need to know about the next wave of top-level domains Wed, 07 May 2014 15:23:22 +0000

My latest post for client Pitney Bowes on making sense of the hype concerning the new generic TLDs. An excerpt: The first wave is rolling in More than 1,200 gTLDs have been applied for so far. You can check the status of each domain online ( and learn more about what each applicant plans to do […]]]> 0
The best global travel websites (and why) Thu, 01 May 2014 22:24:27 +0000

There are now more than one billion international travelers, making the travel industry a benchmark for web globalization innovation and excellence. So I’m pleased to be presenting a free webinar — sponsored by Lionbridge — to discuss my analysis of the leaders within this exciting industry, along with lessons for all companies. My presentation will […]]]> 0
Xiaomi launches as its global “front door” Tue, 29 Apr 2014 20:38:13 +0000

I’ve long been curious how Xiaomi would take its brand name global. The name itself can be challenging for us Western speakers to pronounce, let alone spell correctly. That’s not to say the name is destined to fail, as foreign brand names can be very successful in the long term. But what if there were a […]]]> 1
The United Languages of America Fri, 25 Apr 2014 14:57:53 +0000

Very cool map courtesy of the WashPost based on US Census data: “More than a quarter of counties in the United States have at least one in 10 households where English is not the language spoken at home.”  Link  ]]> 0
Before Amazon enters Sweden it needs a .se country code Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:21:52 +0000

Few companies appreciate the value of country codes as Amazon. As you can see here, Amazon goes a step further and integrates the cccTLD directly into the logo: According to a post on Good E-Reader, Amazon has been stymied in its quest to obtain a country code for Sweden. Amazon also doesn’t appear to have […]]]> 0
Macedonia gets an IDN: мкд Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:33:46 +0000 0 Xiaomi’s global expansion plans include Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand Mon, 14 Apr 2014 17:10:48 +0000

In January, I wrote about Xiaomi’s success in crowdsourced translation of its operating system — and how this bodes well for global expansion. Xiaomi, for those who’ve never heard of it, is a fast-growing mobile phone company in China — and a company with global aspirations. Xiaomi VP (and ex-Google Android boss) Hugo Barra recently […]]]> 0
Wikipedia and the Internet language chasm Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:13:34 +0000

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 […]]]> 2
5 Questions to Ask Any Potential Translation Vendor Tue, 01 Apr 2014 00:10:04 +0000

My latest post for client Pitney Bowes on selecting a translation agency. An excerpt: Can I speak with your references? Always, always check references. Ideally, you should speak with three to five references and at least one reference from within your industry. A reference can play an important role in not only helping you make […]]]> 1
GoDaddy’s new global gateway sets the stage for global growth Wed, 26 Mar 2014 02:19:36 +0000

It’s nice to see GoDaddy improving its global gateway. Note the use of the globe icon below to indicate the global gateway menu: Click on the globe or locale name and you’ll see the following menu: It’s text-only, easy to read. Simple. GoDaddy has a long ways to go in regards to web globalization, but […]]]> 0
The worst global websites of the 2014 Web Globalization Report Card Mon, 10 Mar 2014 23:32:04 +0000

You can be a wildly successful global company and still have a poorly localized website. A number of factors determine global success and the website is only one of these factors — unless of course you’re an Internet-based company (you’ll note below that none of these companies are “web only”). I also want to stress […]]]> 1
Google launches its first Japanese IDN Thu, 06 Mar 2014 23:06:48 +0000

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 […]]]> 4
Localizing your website for Canada: It’s more challenging than you might think Wed, 05 Mar 2014 16:31:28 +0000

My latest post for client Pitney Bowes on localizing for Canada. An excerpt: As they begin their global expansion, American companies often select Canada first under the assumption that the market will be easier to succeed in than more distant and culturally unfamiliar markets such as Germany or Japan. However, physical and cultural proximity should […]]]> 0
WhatsApp: Another “translation worthy” success story Thu, 20 Feb 2014 17:40:30 +0000

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 — […]]]> 1
Five reasons you should take your ecommerce global – and five reasons you shouldn’t Wed, 19 Feb 2014 16:05:38 +0000

My latest post for client Pitney Bowes on going global (or not). An excerpt — Two reasons NOT to go global: 1. You don’t have realistic expectations (and budgets). The most common mistake companies make when going global is expecting too much success too early. Doing so not only sets unrealistic expectations, but it also […]]]> 0
A look back at the language growth of eBay, Coke, Apple, AmEx and Amazon Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:52:53 +0000

Sometimes it’s difficult to see a revolution when you’re standing right in the middle of it. Which is how I still feel sometimes when it comes to web globalization. Web globalization feels at times like slow-moving revolution. Every year, companies add, on average, a language or two to their websites. And while one or two […]]]> 1