The value of a bilingual website
Most businesses develop their websites as a way to promote their business, to advertise their latest information, to showcase products and to be a point of contact to their clients and customers. However, if your website is unilingual, you could be missing out on a larger Canadian audience that could in turn lead to more sales and profitability.
Statistics Canada's Canada Year Book 2010 shows that Canada's eastern provinces (Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec) have a population of nearly 10 million people, and the first language of over 60% of those provinces is French. Last year's The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures report tabled by the International Telecommunication Union suggests that "…in 2010, the number of (worldwide) Internet users will surpass the two billion mark, of which 1.2 billion will be in developing countries." It is becoming essential for entrepreneurs to acknowledge the variety of languages that exists in the marketplace and to research the various language profiles of their target customers.
The reality is that depending on the industry your business is operating in and your customer base, having a website in only one language could be detrimental to your longevity. Are you interested in translating your website into one of the official languages of Canada? In P.E.I. the Translation Assistance Program may be able to help. Eligible applicants could receive up to 75% of incurred costs up to a maximum of $5,000 to translate promotional material into one of Canada's two languages. If you are thinking about broadening your business' reach, consider using both English and French to promote your business.
For more information on the Translation Assistance Program, visit our office on the 3rd floor of 100 Sydney Street in Charlottetown or call us in P.E.I. at 902-368-0771 or toll free at 1-888-576-4444 (TTY 1-800-457-8466).