Sunday, 28 February 2016

State of the Nordic Region 2016: “Regional Development in the Nordic countries”

Stockholm, Capital of Sweden.

The report* draws on the latest available statistics to present an analysis of demographic changes, labour market trends, education, economic performance, and developments in accessibility and infrastructure. For the first time, the report includes a Regional Potential Index, which highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the 74 Nordic Regions in relation to one another, and identifies the regions with the strongest growth potential.

What is the Nordic Region?
The precise definition of “the Nordic Region” has shifted over time. This report defines the Nordic Region as all municipalities and administrative regions of the five Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), as well as the Faroe Islands and Greenland (both part of the Kingdom of Denmark), and Åland (part of the Republic of Finland). This definition is consistent with that used by the Nordic Council of Ministers. It is important to recognise that there are a number of Nordic territories which are not part of the administrative systems of Nordic countries but still belong to or are administered by these countries. Languages: Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Economically strong but crisis still shows

The Nordic Regions have generally maintained their previously strong positions in relation to the EU average when it comes to economic development. Urban and capital city regions show high levels of GRP per capita, as is the pattern throughout Europe. Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and the western Norwegian regions are among the wealthiest in Europe. It is also the case that capital regions and larger cities remain strong economic centres in the Nordic Region. These regions show GRP per capita levels which correspond, or even exceed, most other metropolitan regions in Europe. While southern European city regions have suffered reductions in relative GRP (Gross Regional Product) per capita, Nordic city regions continue to place at the top of the scale. The picture is not however as clear cut as it once was. Helsinki has for instance lost its position among the highest performers in the last 3-years. And in Denmark and Sweden some regions now have a significantly lower GRP per capita compared to previous years; notably Kalmar, Värmland, Hovedstaden, Syddanmark and Östfold; the same is also true for Åland. At the same time other regions are improving and have risen up the rankings e.g. Hordaland in Norway.
In addition to the urban regions referenced above, there are now also a number of peripheral regions displaying high levels of GRP per capita (figure 8.1). The Swedish and Norwegian northern regions are all performing well in relation to the European average. Indeed, some of these regions can even be viewed as ‘top performers’. Greenland and the Faroe Islands are also above the European average (for Greenland though, Danish subsidies supply roughly 60% of government revenue and 40% of Greenland’s GRP). However promising these facts may appear, they should nevertheless be seen in the context of the existing economic structures in those territories. Indeed, whereas urban economies are often based on a diverse range of economic activities and benefit from trends in urban growth, the economies in the top-performing but more peripheral regions are usually thriving thanks to a large, single industry often highly specialised internationally: in Åland, the transport sector; in Norrbotten, mining; and in Northern Norway, oil exploitation and fisheries.

INNOVATION: Nordic lead the charts

Existing global challenges and continuing economic pressures place innovation at the forefront of Europe’s efforts to transform the economy and stimulate global competitive advantage. The Europe 2020 Flagship Initiative, Innovation Union aims ‘to improve conditions and access to finance for research and innovation, to ensure that innovative ideas can be turned into products and services that create growth and jobs’ (COM 2010). In the Nordic Region, innovation is also high on the agenda. Sweden, Denmark, and Finland are the top performers according to the European Commission’s Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015 and therefore offer interesting examples of how to create conditions that facilitate innovation and contribute to the EU’s smart growth strategy.

TOURISM: A new economic driver?

Tourism has become big business and a key services export for many economies around the world. Tourism contributes to job creation and regional economic development (OECD, 2014). The importance of the tourism industry for the Nordic economies has, moreover, mandated the development of national and regional tourism strategies across the region. Most of these strategies incorporate the principle of sustainable tourism development (see box). The role of tourism in regional development strategies is particularly evident in rural and peripheral areas, where, as a result of the socioeconomic changes taking place, tourism is in many places viewed as a replacement industry for traditional rural livelihoods (Hall et al., 2009), or as a complement to traditional, often male-dominated industries. However, as it is also evident in this chapter, tourism plays a role in both the rural and urban areas of the Nordic Region. The reasons why tourists travel to the Nordic Region are many and include for example – nature-based experiences, coastal tourism, culture experiences, urban tourism, and business meetings and conferences. These types of tourism experiences do however vary significantly between regions. Current trends in tourism, globally, point towards shorter trips, either domestic in nature or closer to home, and to a search for more ‘authentic’ experiences. Holidays remain by far the main reason for taking an international trip (71%) ahead of business travel and visiting friends and relatives. More people fly than use their cars or other means of transport (OECD, 2014:23). As will become evident in this chapter, the highest shares of visitor numbers in most Nordic Regions are comprised by domestic tourists and visitors from neighbouring countries. One of the most popular ways of measuring tourism is to count the number of overnight stays. This approach will be utilised in this chapter. In the Nordic context, Iceland has experienced significant growth in tourism numbers to destinations across the country during the period 2008-2014 while Swedish regions have also seen a remarkable growth in overnight stays during the same period. In 2014 the total numbers of overnight stays were highest in the region of Syddanmark, closely followed by those in the capital regions of Sweden and Denmark.



Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Video: Danish Language Explained. A Creative and Funny History Lesson.

Parody of how Norway became independent from Denmark - and how the Danish language came to be. Why did Norway make it's own constitution in 1814? This video gives you a creative and funny, yet wildly inaccurate, history lesson.



Explanation: Norwegian and Danish are very similar languages, and even if most Danes and Norwegians understand each other, there are some subtle differences that can cause misunderstanding. e.g. The Danish sentence "May I" becomes "Have to" in Norwegian. Also, Denmark have their own number system between 50 and 90, which is not easy for foreigners to understand. This have caused lot's of lighthearted jokes between the Scandinavians.
History: 2014 marks the 200 year anniversary of the constitutional convention which declared Norway independent: At the very start of 1814, Norway was still part of the absolute monarchy Denmark-Norway, and had been under Danish control for more than 400 years. The first major event during 1814 was the Kiel treaty (January 14th) which came into being during peace negotiations following the Napoleonic wars and Bonaparte’s defeat in 1813. Denmark-Norway was an ally of France, and thus on the losing side. As punishment, Denmark had to surrender Norway to Sweden. However, a majority of Norwegians wanted national independence and their own constitution. On hearing news of the treaty, which became known through proclamation at the end of January, and published in Norwegian newspapers soon after, Norwegians were in disarray, and many called for arms, having beaten the Swedes only five years prior, in the 1809 campaign. This triggered a short war with Sweden. However, Sweden's financial advantage proved too much to overcome. Nevertheless, when cease-fire talks began, Bernadotte made an important concession—he accepted the newly adopted Norwegian constitution, thus giving up any claim that Norway was to be treated as merely a Swedish province. In accordance with the Convention of Moss, Norway agreed to enter a personal union with Sweden. But the constitution was embraced as a national symbol of freedom. The Swedish king was denied the right of veto over Norwegian affairs, and never got the authority he wanted. Although nationalist aspirations were not to be fully realized until the events of 1905 - 1814 was the turning point that would lead to a fully independent Norway.

Source:
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Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The New Revolution Will Be Physical, Not Digital: Five Reasons Why Digital Will Disappear


Every company, brand, agency and individual wants to talk "digital" and be perceived as digital. Digital is the new normal. Yet, the most powerful digital technologies and interfaces will increasingly lead to the creation of experiences that are ultimately physical.
Today, our five senses are the operating system through which we decode the reality around us. Tomorrow, they will be enhanced by digital operating systems embedded and hidden inside our accessories and clothes, transportation vehicles, offices, homes and cities.
Digital will soon become the invisible fabric and engine of our lives, leading to the creation of physical experiences that involve our bodies, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions.

The "Physical Revolution" will be driven by five key trends:
1. Sensors will be the new devices. We will bring our devices with us, but feel like we are carrying no device at all. Sensors will merge with our senses and our gestures. We'll shoot pictures with our hands, activate commands through our voices and access the world through our eyes. Our bodies will become the remote control of the entire world around us. For example,Halstead Property is exploring haptic technology, which allows potential real estate buyers to virtually explore the properties they are interested in, and simulate touch-based tasks like opening door handles, closets and faucets.

2. Surfaces will be the new screens. Think walls, floors, ceilings, walkways -- every surface will carry the power to communicate with us. "Physical" disciplines like design and architecture will be digitally led and more important than ever before. There will be fewer screens because everything will have the ability to function as a screen.

3. Smart cities will make us smart citizens. Today we focus on the devices in front of us; tomorrow we'll focus on the larger reality in front of us. Digital will be increasingly environmental. We will have better interaction with our cities and design cities that will better interact with their citizens.

4. Only meaningful interactions will survive. We are constantly and increasingly bombarded by digital stimuli, to a point where they can often make us feel numb. In the future, we will create well-integrated interfaces and interactions that will only be active or activated when we really need them. User experience will go far beyond its original and limited meaning and human experience -- the design of all experiences -- will be the new and thriving discipline.

An early example is The Pen at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. It enables every visitor of the museum to digitally collect objects from around the galleries, download them on interactive tables and add their own notes, thoughts and designs, which will remain accessible online through a unique web address printed on every ticket.

5. The world will be printed. The invention of print helped the world to learn. Tomorrow, the world will be recreated through printing. 3D printing will be the flag of the new industrial revolution. In moving from physical molds to digital files, every object around us will have the power to be mass customized -- so we will all get what we want, when we want it, the way we want it.

The Metropolitan Museum of Artin New York will offer a peek into the future. In May, Manus X Machina is opening. It is an exhibition that explores the impact of new technology such as 3D printing, laser cutting and computer modeling on fashion, and the relationship between handmade and machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant garde ready-to-wear.
Everything around us will be shaped through the interaction of the above forces. Together, these trends will contribute to a more concrete, tangible and experiential world. Brands will have to increasingly appeal to the five senses, creating ideas and activations that will operate digitally, but will be experienced physically.

The advertising industry will evolve to the point where the smartest digital-savvy players won't simply create ads, apps or design websites. They will help design cities, and smart interactions between things, tools, messages and people.

Soon, we won't have to describe anything as digital, because everything will be digitally led. And, everything that will be operated digitally will be experienced physically.

The very idea of "digital marketing" won't exist anymore, nor will the idea of marketing and communication for the digital age (the new cliché). What the world will increasingly adopt are digital solutions for a physical age.

As marketers, professionals or simply human beings, we won't live in an increasingly digital world. We will all live in an increasingly physical world, empowered by digital.

Source: Advertising Age 
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Saturday, 20 February 2016

The 10 Oldest Languages Still Spoken In The World Today


Baltic, Basque, Farsi Hebrew, Finnish, Finno-Ugric, Georgian language, Icelandic, Irish Gaelic, Lithuanian, Macedonian, oldest  languages in the world, Tamil,
Language evolution is like biological evolution – it happens minutely, generation by generation, so there’s no distinct breaking point between one language and the next language that develops from it. Therefore, it’s impossible to say that one language is really older than any other one; they’re all as old as humanity itself. That said, each of the languages below has a little something special—something ancient—to differentiate it from the masses.

The language family that most European languages belong to is Indo-European, but they started splitting apart from each other probably around 3500 BCE. They developed into dozens of other languages like German, Italian, and English, gradually losing the features that they had all shared. One language, however, up in the Baltic language branch of the Indo-European family, retained more of the feature of what linguists call Proto-Indo-European (PIE), which is the language that they postulate was spoken around 3500 BCE. For whatever reason, Lithuanian has kept more of the sounds and grammar rules from PIE than any of its linguistic cousins, and can therefore be called one of the oldest languages in the world.

Icelandic is another Indo-European language, this time from the North Germanic Branch (just for comparison, English is also a Germanic language, but from the West Germanic branch). Many Germanic languages have streamlined themselves and lost some of the features that other Indo-European languages have (you’ve probably never heard of a case, for example, unless you’ve studied Latin or a Slavic language), but Icelandic has developed much more conservatively and retained many of these features. Danish governance of the country from the 14th to the 20th century also had very little effect on the language, so it has mostly gone unchanged since Norse settlers brought it there when they came to the country, and Icelandic speakers can easily read the sagas written centuries ago.
Although Irish Gaelic is only spoken as a native language by a small majority of Irish people nowadays, it has a long history behind it. It is a member of the Celtic branch of Indo-European languages, and it existed on the islands that are now Great Britain and Ireland well before the Germanic influences arrived. Irish Gaelic was the language from which Scottish Gaelic and Manx (which used to be spoken on the Isle of Man) arose, but the fact that really lands it on this list is that it has the oldest vernacular literature of any language in Western Europe. While the rest of Europe was speaking their own languages and writing in Latin, the Irish decided that they wanted to write in their own language instead.

In case you haven’t heard of Farsi, it’s a language spoken in modern day Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan, among other places. You’ve probably heard of Persian, and it probably conjures up pictures of genies coming out of bottles. They’re actually the same language, under a different name. Farsi is the direct descendant of Old Persian, which was the language of the Persian Empire. Modern Persian took form around 800 CE, and one of the things that differentiates it from many modern languages is that it has changed relatively little since then. Speakers of Persian today could pick up a piece of writing from 900 CE and read it with considerably less difficulty than an English speaker could read, say, Shakespeare.

Hebrew
Hebrew is a funny case, since it essentially fell out of common usage around 400 CE and then remained preserved as a liturgical language for Jews across the world. However, along with the rise of Zionism in the 19th and 20th century, Hebrew went through a revival process to become the official language of Israel. While the modern version differs from the Biblical version, native speakers of Hebrew can fully comprehend what is written in the Old Testament and its connected texts. As the earliest speakers of Modern Hebrew often had Yiddish as their native language, Modern Hebrew has in many ways been influenced by this other Jewish language.

Tamil
Tamil, a language spoken by about 78 million people and recognized as an official language of India, Sri Lanka, and Singapore, is the only classical language that has survived all the way through to the modern world. It is a member of the Dravidian language family, which includes a number of languages native mostly to southern and eastern India. Researchers have found inscriptions in Tamil dating back to the third century BCE, and it has been in continuous use ever since. Unlike Sanskrit, another ancient Indian language that fell out of common usage around 600 BCE and became mostly a liturgical language, Tamil has continued to develop and is now the 20th most commonly-spoken language in the world.

Macedonian
The Slavic language family, which includes Russian, Polish, Czech, and Croatian, among others, is relatively young as far as languages go. They only started splitting off from their common ancestor, Common Slavic (or Proto-Slavic), when Cyril and Methodius standardized the language, creating what is now called Old Church Slavonic, and created an alphabet for it. They then took the language north with them in the 9th century as they went to convert the Slavs to Christianity. They came from somewhere just north of Greece, probably in what is now Macedonia, and Macedonian (together with its very close relative Bulgarian) is the language that is most closely related to Old Church Slavonic today.
Following the comments concerning the intricate historical relationship between Macedonia and Bulgaria, we at The Culture Trip would like indicate that, despite the complexities, the prevailing academic consensus outside of the region is that is that Bulgarian and the language known as Macedonian are autonomous and have separate dialectical bases.

Basque
The Basque language is the ultimate linguistic mystery. It is spoken natively by some of the Basque people who live in Spain and France, but it is completely unrelated to any Romance language (which French and Spanish are) or indeed any other language in the world. Linguists have postulated over the decades about what it could be related to, but none of the theories have been able to hold water. The only thing that’s clear is that it existed in that area before the arrival of the Romance languages – that is, before the Romans got there with the Latin that would eventually develop into French and Spanish.

Finnish
Finnish may not have been written down until the 16th century, but as with any language, it has a history that stretches back far earlier than that. It is a member of the Finno-Ugric language family, which also includes Estonian, Hungarian, and several smaller languages spoken by minority groups across Siberia. Despite that, Finnish includes many loan words, which were adopted into Finnish from other language families over the centuries. In many cases, Finnish has retained these loan words closer to their original form than the language that they came from. The word for mother, aiti, for example, comes from Gothic – which, of course, is no longer spoken. The word for king, kuningas, comes from the old Germanic word *kuningaz – which no longer exists in any Germanic language.

Georgian
The Caucasus region is a real hotbed for linguists. The main languages of the three south Caucasian countries, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, come from three entirely different language families – respectively Indo-European, Turkic, and Kartvelian. Georgian is the biggest Kartvelian language, and it is the only Caucasian language with an ancient literary tradition. Its beautiful and unique alphabet is also quite old – it is thought to have been adapted from Aramaic as far back as the third century AD. While not a language island in the same sense as Basque, there are only four Kartvelian languages, all spoken by minorities within Georgia, and they are all unrelated to any other languages in the world.

Friday, 19 February 2016

Sanctions Against Iran End, Increasing the Value of Persian



On January 16th, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) negotiated between Iran and six world powers took effect. This ended years of economic and financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic. It also undid the pariah status of Iran which began with its 1979 revolution. Besides decreasing political and nuclear tensions, the JCPOA has significant economic implications:

It unfreezes tens of billions of dollars worth of Iranian assets.
Nearly 82 million consumers rejoin the world community. The country has an 86.8% literacy rate, 68.9 million mobile subscribers, and 22.9 million internet users.
Years of deferred infrastructure and other investment end. Previously blocked from doing business, foreign companies can now legally sell to consumers, businesses, and government agencies in Iran. 

China and France were immediate beneficiaries. China's President Xi Jinping visited Tehran to discuss a 25-year plan to expand trade and relations, with the goal of US$600 billion in trade within a decade. Right after Jinping left the country, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani traveled to France to negotiate the purchase of 118 Airbus planes to restock Air Iran's fleet. Automaker Peugeot Citroen pledged €400 million over the next five years to a joint venture with Khodro, its pre-sanction partner. And French oil company Total said it would buy crude oil from Iran and study potential development in that country.

Looking ahead, Rouhani tweeted that, "Iran has so much to offer the world as a top tourist destination; hence investment in aviation, hotels & railways is more important than ever" and "Our strategy is no longer one of the past – to sell oil & import end products – but rather to attract foreign investment in order to form JVs [joint ventures]." This outward-looking strategy creates new opportunities for foreign companies ranging frommanufacturers to the hospitality industry to financial services – and for the language service providers that can translate into Persian (aka Farsi).

Rouhani's vision could bump up the standing of Persian in CSA Research's annual study of language support on websites. It ranked #22 on our 2015 pre-JCPOA study of language support at the 2,407 most heavily trafficked websites. Persian appears in the third tier of preferred tongues as the slowest-growing of the top 25 languages in terms of economic potential because, as we wrote at the time, "some [companies] avoid Persian if they have no product or service distribution in Iran." With that caveat no longer in effect, the online gross domestic product associated with Persian (US$185.40 billion in 2015) could overtake that of Indonesian ($192.86 billion) by 2017. Localization managers at global companies should ask their LSPs about plans for Persian.

LSPs that want to grow their Middle Eastern revenue should add Persian to complement their investment in Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and other regional languages. That means recruiting linguists, project managers, salespeople, and other staff to market, sell, and support the region. Those that don't add Persian to their language portfolios will miss out as their manufacturing and service industry prospects target the Iranian opportunity.  


More about this topic:  Iran WillSee Economic Rebound 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Europe’s 10 fastest growing economies in 2016





This is a major week for the EU, and Europe as a whole, with economic, social and political issues all high on the agenda as the UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron tries to secure his reform deal in Brussels.
With the eurozone crisis still fresh in the minds of Europeans, economic growth and competitiveness remain fundamental to the negotiations. However, data from the European Commission suggests a positive picture for economic growth in the EU in 2016.
This map, based on the European Commission’s Winter 2016 Economic Forecast, shows estimated GDP growth in the EU in the coming year.

Europe’s fastest growing economies
Ireland backs up last year’s record growth of 6.9% with the strongest growth forecast this year too. The Commission’s report predicts GDP growth of 4.5% in 2016.
Romania also returns strong figures, with growth expected to be 4.2% this year – up from 3.6% last year.
A number of countries see predicted growth of between 3 and 4%, including Malta, Luxembourg and Poland.
The overall picture that emerges is an encouraging one, with positive growth predicted in the majority of the EU. Only Greece is forecast to see its economy shrink, although the outlook in Finland is for growth of just half a percent.
This is the top 10 in full:
1. Ireland - 4.5%
2. Romania - 4.2%
3. Malta - 3.9%
4. Luxembourg - 3.8%
5. Poland - 3.5%
6= Sweden - 3.2%
6= Slovakia - 3.2%
8. Latvia - 3.1%
9. Lithuania - 2.9%
10. Spain - 2.8%

The role of competitiveness
Ahead of the negotiations, David Cameron called for competitiveness to be “hardwired” into the European Union.
He told the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2016 that “first of all, it is about competitiveness”. Increased competitiveness would benefit not only the UK, but all of Europe, he argued.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016 named Switzerland as Europe’s – and the world’s – most competitive economy for the seventh consecutive year. Germany and the Netherlands complete the top three European economies.

As the very future of the EU is debated, a positive picture does emerge. But as Europe's leaders stressed in Davos, there are challenges ahead to bolster the eurozone's long-term economic future.


Source: WEF

Where did English come from?

When we talk about ‘English’, we often think of it as a single language. But what do the dialects spoken in dozens of countries around the world have in common with each other, or with the writings of Chaucer? Claire Bowern traces the language from the present day back to its ancient roots, showing how English has evolved through generations of speakers.

Lesson by Claire Bowern, animation by Patrick Smith.




Source: TED.COM 

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Language Diversity, Or Lack Thereof, Is a Major Problem On the Web

Languages Most Used on the Web Translation Services
English is strangling other languages on the Internet

When it comes to Internet accessibility, having a strong Wi-Fi connection is just the beginning. What's the use of even the fastest internet speeds if you can't read the words on the page?
Even if global access to Internet becomes a reality, language barriers make complete accessibility an impossibility.

Language diversity, or lack thereof, is a major problem on the web. Only 5% of the world's 7,100 languages are accessible on the Internet. Though about 80% of those languages are spoken by 100,000 people or less, this is no doubt a sizable problem when it comes to the goal of global connectivity.
In a survey of the top 10 million websites on the web, almost 55% of sites used the English language to deliver their content.
Yet, only 360 million of the 7 billion people worldwide speak English as a first language. In comparison, 1.2 billion people speak Chinese as a first language — yet, Chinese is only the main content language of 2.2% of websites. That’s all not to mention Hindi, the fourth most commonly spoken language globally, which is used by less than 0.1% of websites.
The lack of language diversity on the web, according to some activists, is aiding in making lesser known languages obsolete.
These languages, markers of culture and identity, are a way to construct a collective sense of belonging, providing a direct connection to history. When languages die, a part of culture dies — and preservation of culture is an important global goal.
The following chart, created by statistics portal Statista, visualizes these disparities in language access, showing how languages are represented in real life versus across the web’s top 10 million most popular sites.


Source: Mashable  

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Language Translation for Ecommerce: Good and Bad Examples

E-commerce translation website translation services

Ecommerce sites sometimes translate prices into a local currency, but nothing else — product names, action buttons, and descriptions remain in English. This is frustrating for local consumers, especially if they read and speak only their native language.
Retailers do this to have a presence in another market without spending much money. If a small percentage of consumers end up buying, the retailers consider it a win, even though building a fully translated site could increase conversion rates significantly.Overstock.com appears to do this, at least in certain markets. For example, the screenshot below is from Overstock.com’s Romanian site. Note that the prices are listed in leus, the local Romanian currency, but category names, product descriptions, and navigation elements remain in English.Romania has many non-English speakers, and this practice is likely hurting Overstock’s sales in that region. Even the credit card promotion, shown on the top, is for U.S. consumers, as it asks for the social security number before applying for the card.

Almost No Translation

Some retailers launch in a market without catering to localized consumer needs. The retailers presumably believe that the brand and the products will drive traffic; but that is not always the case. Even if they generate decent revenue, they could produce a lot more with a fully translated site.Gilt Groupe is one such retailer. Its Japanese site has almost no translation. The menu is in English. The banner image uses a Caucasian model that bears little resemblance to most of the target customers. And the site design is very sparse, unlike competing Japanese retail websites.

Limited Translation
Sites with incomplete and inconsistent translations are common. An example is the White House Spanish site, which only includes a translated press release instead of a full translation of all elements on the site. This has an adverse impact on Spanish-only speakers.

Completely Translated Site

A site supporting another language should have everything in that language.Unfortunately, very few retailers do this, as it’s expensive and difficult to justify the return on investment.Ebay does an excellent job with complete translation, as shown in the screenshot of its Italian site, below. Every part of the site has been translated, including the menu, the banner image, the promotions, and even the action buttons. There is no English on the site.
Amazon does an outstanding job with its Japanese site, which has complete translation and localization. Products cater to the Japanese market. Even the site search uses Japanese. Source:


Practical Ecommerce
Practicalecommerce



Which are the world's most influential languages? Languages With Historical and Colonial Influence.



Book, translations, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese and Chinese, English, Twitter, Wikipedia, influential languages

What makes a language influential? Is it one with the most speakers? Or perhaps it's the language with the most economic influence? English has certainly been seen as the “international language” for some time now, and many have stressed the importance of learning Mandarin as China’s economy continues to grow.
But according to one group of scholars, including cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker, whether or not a language is influential is less about that language itself, and more about how it connects to others.

Publications, old and new
To establish how languages are connected, the scholars looked at three forms of writing. If someone, a journalist for example, wants their story to go global, they will most likely print the story in their native language, as well as in those languages they think will have the biggest reach.
First, they looked at over 2.2 million book translations between 1979 and 2011, which were made in over 150 countries and more than a thousand languages. They then looked at which edits to Wikipedia were being done in more than one language, scanning 382 million edits in 238 languages by 2.5 million editors. Finally, they turned to Twitter, looking at 550 million tweets in 73 languages written by 17 million users – more than 10% of Twitter’s active user base.

English is still king
If researching a global language network shows one thing, it's that English remains the number one most connected language in the world. After English, however, there was no single global network, but rather three sets of smaller networks around the world, linked together by languages that have had historical and colonial influence, such as French, Spanish, German, Russian, Portuguese and Chinese.

Linguistic isolation?
If Chinese is the most spoken language in the world, why doesn’t it find itself closer to English in a global language network? The answer is that while there are more Chinese people online than any other nationality on Earth, they are primarily using websites made by the Chinese for the Chinese, making for a sort of linguistic isolation. Mandarin’s influence is not spreading because, in large part, it's limited to networks such as Sina Weibo (Chinese Twitter) and Baidu Baike (Chinese Wikipedia). A similar phenomenon can be seen in Russia, where VK (Russian Facebook) is used more than many global social networks.
Arabic, despite its undeniable importance, did not score as highly as other languages when it comes to the flow of translated information.

Twitter has allowed for less widely spoken languages to grow in influence
The researchers also found that Twitter has allowed for less widely spoken languages to grow in influence. In the study’s Twitter dataset, languages such as Malay, Filipino and Swahili had larger than expected shares, indicating that “informal” channels were more widely used among speakers.


Source: World Economic Forum