Photo by mykreeve
From my point of view the internet has became a really crowded place. No more “build it and they will come” mentality. Today’s internet business have started to compete for every single user and the need to address all potential users is more important then ever.
This is where multilingual web-sites and web-applications come into place. Limiting your business to a single language or expanding it to target users from all over the world could mean the difference between failure and success.
The big players on the internet seem to get this. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many more offer they services in numerous languages. The introduction of tools like Google Language Tools, Yahoo! Babel Fish and similar ones have opened the multilingual doors for the masses. You can now view an entire web-page in your native language at the click of the mouse.
However things are not quite there! Even though the automated translation of a web-site is acceptable for getting a general idea of the content, mistakes are common and things can and are misinterpreted between languages.