English Japanese Translation Service English Japanese Translation PROFESSIONAL

Translation Service by English Japanese Translation Company Japan (Tokyo) - The Leader in Integrated Japanese Linguistic Solutions

Japanese Translation, Localization and Your International E-Commerce Strategy


Most businesses realize that they are simply a click away from any corner of the globe. Well, actually two if you include the Yahoo! search a potential customer does to access your shopping cart. What most businesses, unfortunately, do not realize is that their shopping cart is struggling to make it to the checkout counter.

Machine translation bankrupts major publisher


Bill Dunlap, managing director of Global Reach, Inc. notes that

"for every $2 million a site is doing in domestic sales, they're leaving another $1 million on the table in international sales if they're not making themselves easily available."


To paraphrase the above, let me draw on a quote from Willy Brandt. The former West German chancellor is reported to have once said:

"If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. If I'm buying, dann muessen Sie Deutsch sprechen (then you must speak German)."


In economics this is referred to as opportunity cost -- The cost of something in terms of an opportunity foregone. The opportunity cost of not speaking "German" is a whopping 50%! This simple truth is supported by statistics.

Donald A. DePalma reported in a study conducted for Forrester Research that:

  • Visitors linger twice as long as they do at English-only URLs,
  • Buyers are three times more likely to buy if addressed in their own language, and
  • Customer service costs drop when instructions are displayed in the user’s language.

(Source: Donald A. DePalma, Strategies for Global Sites, 1998)


Another Forrester Research report, quoted in an article titled "Reasons for Success in International E-Commerce" (webpronews.com) provides statistics that indicate

"over 55% of the online world accesses the Internet from countries where English is NOT the native language."


The message is loud and clear: Do not assume that there is no reason to translate your marketing materials or that English is used in other countries! To be sure, English is the lingua franca of the world, and many people do have the ability to read English. But, faced with a choice, would you pull out your wallet for a company that caters to your needs in your non-native language, or your native language?

If translation and localization is not part of your international e-commerce strategy, then you may be leaving money on the table!

And, if you see the truth in this message, you have a couple of options available. You can:

  • Develop an in-house translation capability, or
  • Commission a professional translation service to translate your marketing materials.


Developing an in-house translation capability is prohibitively expensive, not to mention that it is a long term effort. An appropriate analogy to illustrate this point is that of an IT department. So, unless you have deep pockets, buying translation is definitely the way to go.

Buying professional translation, however, can be overwhelming with all the technical jargon, and frustrating with all the endless marketing hype and "mission statements" that are thrown at you. Fact is, the basics of purchasing translation are pretty easy. Read on!

Your starting point should be the clarification of your translation project requirements. Consider:

  • Is translation price & cost more important or is translation quality more important?
  • What is the turn-around for your translation project?
  • Is translation service satisfaction your overriding priority?


By clarifying project requirements, you are establishing the framework to answer the 2 most important questions that will determine the success of your translations project. For example, if you are targeting the Japan market:

  1. What is the Right Type of Japanese Translation?
  2. what is the Right Type of Japanese Translation Service?



About the Author
Ivan Vandermerwe is the CEO of SAECULII YK (Tokyo Japan), the owner of Japan Translation Service Tokyo Visit SAECULII for the latest professional case studies, articles and news on Japanese Translation Services

Copyright (C) SAECULII YK. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this article is permitted with inclusion of the "About the Author" reference as is (including text links, japan-translators.saeculii.com/english/services/japanese-translation-services.cfm), and this copyright information. Articles may not be altered without written permission from SAECULII YK.

Tags: English Japanese Translation · Japanese Localization Services · Japanese Translation Services · Professional · Translation Articles · Translation Services Japan · Translation Services Tokyo







0 &DISCUSS response(s) so far ↓

  • There is no &DISCUSS yet...Jump right in and fill out the form below!

Leave an &DISCUSS Comment (building links? try here »)



Leave this field empty:



(Can't seem to submit a comment? Send us an email & we'll submit it!)



COPYRIGHT POLICY | TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY POLICY | ANTI-SPAM POLICY