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Where to do Business Online — from now to 2025

The revamped T-Index platform offers a tool that reveals the languages and countries with the greatest potential across 200 different product categories.

Is English losing its status as a lingua franca? Its importance in the world of eCommerce will diminish over the next few years as new languages establish themselves. In terms of countries, Germany, Mexico and Korea will come to the fore.

Rome, Dec. 3, 2021 — Translated, a market-leading translation agency has revamped and improved its T-Index study with a new algorithm. T-Index classifies 195 countries and their respective languages based on their potential for online sales, combining the number of internet users with an estimate of their annual spending per capita. The platform also allows users to combine the market value of 200 product categories with the language into which they need to localize, offering a unique and comprehensive overview of global eCommerce investment opportunities. 

Speaking of eCommerce, in 2021, T-Index indicates that a website needs to be translated into 20 different languages to access 90% of the market: a surprising figure, especially given that only 9 languages were required in 2018. eCommerce is therefore moving towards a hyper-personalized user experience, which includes the need for users to enjoy all content in their own language. 

As revealed by research from Common Sense Advisory, a language industry think tank, 65% of consumers say that they are much more likely to make a purchase if a website offers products or services in their language. Salvo Giammarresi, Head of Localization at Airbnb, confirms: “It is no longer acceptable to offer information in a language other than the one your customer speaks.”

In this regard, Translated and Airbnb have just announced that the Airbnb platform will make all its content, including user-generated content, available in some 62 languages. This record-breaking initiative (Renato Beninatto, CEO of Nimdzi Insights, has defined it as the biggest private-sector localization contract of all time) involves translating around 120 billion words thanks to a combination of professional human translation and adaptive automatic translation technology, which senses the context and learns based on the contributions of human translators.

Returning to the T-Index, the new platform will be presented on December 13 in Rome at the T-Index Webinar, which is open to all, with 50 places available. The venue is the prestigious Istituto Enrico Fermi, but the conference can also be viewed online. The link to register is here. Presenting the conference will be Marjolein Groot Nibbelink, a communication expert who is also the CEO and Publisher for MultiLingual, the most important magazine of the translation industry. 

Luca De Biase, Director of Imminent — the Research Center who published the T-Index — confirms that according to the results of the study linguistic diversity will increase and the significance of English will diminish from now to 2025, as formerly minority languages become more prominent. In 2018, only 2 languages were needed to target 50% of the world’s online purchasing power (English and Japanese). In 2021, 4 languages are required (English, Spanish, German, French). Additionally, Turkish, Indonesian and Vietnamese are among the emerging languages that companies should consider in order to conquer market segments that are yet to be fully explored.

The importance of communication centered on the recipient – starting with their language – is a cultural mindset, says Luca De Biase: “Linguistic awareness is an integral part of any respectful and open approach to intercultural relations. When you are looking for real contact with other countries, any international project can be improved by expressing yourself in their languages.”

“The T-Index was created with the aim of guiding our customers in the context of an internationalization project: which countries to focus on and which languages to translate their content into to expand their online business and get the best ROI,” adds Marco Trombetti, CEO of Translated.

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Marjolein Groot Nibbelink
Marjolein realized early on that the Netherlands was too small for her. After traveling to 30+ countries over the span of 10 years she moved to the United States in 2014. She holds a degree in Communication from the University of Rotterdam and has long had an affinity for creative writing.

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