Despite the fact that Europe is known for being an area with a high proportion of multi-lingual speakers, there are huge areas of untapped opportunity that can be accessed through professional translation services. The full potential of the internet is still largely ignored by many businesses yet to make use of professional translation services for their website and social media.
According to last year’s comprehensive report from the European Commission on “Europeans and their Languages” 54% of Europeans are able to hold a conversation in at least one other language than their mother tongue, one in four speak two languages in addition to their mother tongue, and one in ten are conversant in three or more foreign languages. In his article for Multilingual search Immanuel Simonsen has compiled other findings from the report which may surprise you.
“when respondents were asked if they knew any foreign language well enough to communicate online, that number dropped to 39%. In other words, less than two-fifths of Europeans speak a foreign language to a level that enables them to communicate and engage online. For English specifically, the by far dominating foreign language in the EU, that number is 26%.
When you add to this that previous research has found that a whopping 9 in 10 Europeans prefer surfing the web in their native language, the amount of missed opportunity by having your website in, say, English only becomes very apparent.”
So website translation is still a vital tool to access more than half of the European market, despite preconceptions about multilingualism. But English is still the most popular language by far,
“In 19 out of 25 Member States (excluding the UK and Ireland), English is the most widely spoken foreign language. Not only is English the most spoken foreign language, it’s also perceived the by distance most useful foreign language, with 67% of Europeans naming English as one of the two most useful languages for themselves. This indeed puts it well ahead of German (17%), French (16%), Spanish (14%), and Chinese (6%).”
Though the report shows multilingualism is not increasing in Europe, it also finds that foreign languages are increasingly being used ‘regularly’ on the internet, up 10% since 2005 and thus marking one of the most notable changes recorded during the period.
If you want to make use of professional translation services for your website, then contact EmpowerLingua using the form on the right hand side of the page for a free quote.