40% of FTSE 100 companies only have their website available in English

Mar 11, 2014 · 3 min
  • Over a third of the UK’s largest listed companies are failing to maximise opportunities by not communicating with non-English reading audiences 
  • 36% of FTSE 100 companies translate their website into a least one language or more
  • Chinese and French are the most popular languages

Research by One Hour Translation, the world’s fastest human translation agency, has found that 40% of FTSE 100 companies only have their website available in English. By limiting their audience to only those who read English, these companies are neglecting potential customers, suppliers, partners and other international business opportunities.

The results are even more startling considering that the vast majority of internet users are not native English speakers and that 72% of online consumers would be more likely to buy a product with information in their own language, according to research by Common Sense Advisory. However, the largest UK-listed companies aren’t as short-sighted as some of their US counterparts when it comes to languages – research by One Hour Translation conducted in the US revealed that only 20% of the top 100 US retailers have their websites translated to other languages.

A significant proportion – 36% – of FTSE 100 companies are extremely international in their outlook, translating their website into seven or more languages. Companies operating multilingual websites include oil giants Shell and BP, as well as globally orientated Burberry and HSBC.

The most popular languages for FTSE 100 company websites to be translated into are Chinese and French, with 46% of companies having websites available in these languages. These are closely followed by German and Spanish, with 45% and 44% of websites being translated into these languages respectively.

Surprisingly given how international the FTSE 100 is, there are still a large number of globally orientated companies that only have English language websites. Furthermore, more domestically orientated companies also need to consider the language their websites are in – the last Census for England and Wales revealed that there are 49 different tongues being used as the main form of communication by groups of more than 15,000 people.

Commenting on the results of the research, Ofer Shoshan, CEO of One Hour Translation said: “Given today’s global marketplace and how easy it is to translate a website, it is encouraging to see that 40% of the FTSE 100 see the business potential in localising their website language for potential international customers and business partners. Many more major companies can easily increase their business by simply translating their website to additional languages.”

One Hour Translation recently launched in the UK where it is targeting blue-chip multinationals in a translation market estimated to be worth £1.2bn per year.

One Hour Translation provides quality professional human translation of over 75 languages and over 2,500 language pairs, thanks to a community of over 15,000 Professional Translators from over 100 different countries. 

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