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Global by Design

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Channel Title: Global by Design
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Channel Description: Adventures in web globalization, transcreation, marketing and design

Think you can succeed in India supporting English only? Think again.
#serveinmylanguage It’s more than a hashtag; it’s a social movement. And it’s growing. A movement among Indian consumers to force the vendors who depend on their business to actually support their native languages. As this Times of India article notes: From ATMs to deposit slips, withdrawal challans and call centres, most public and private banks feel that … more

Internationalization resources complements of the W3C
Successful website globalization is all about asking questions. A key point I stress in Think Outside the Country is that nobody knows everything. Nobody can know everything. And you should not trust anyone who says or implies they do. And, honestly, that’s part of the fun of this field — from language to culture to … more

Country codes of the world. XL.
For quite some time people have asked me about creating a larger version of our Country Codes of the World map, something they could pin up in their conference rooms or on office walls. And a map without the legend, so that people could figure out on their own which ccTLDs stood for which country … more

Welcome to the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland
When I read about Swaziland’s recent name change, by decree, my first thought was: What about the country code? As in .sz? As far as I can tell, it’s way too soon to know if the president has thought this far ahead. My guess is that things will stay the same for quite some time. … more

A unique look at the emerging multilingual Internet
I’m happy to announce that I’ve updated my map of the world’s internationalized domain names for 2018: The map includes all ICANN-approved country code IDNs for the world — more than 50 across more than 30 countries and regions. I’ve also included a sidebar that details the many scripts and languages now supported within India. … more

BMW: The best global automotive website of 2018
For the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card, we studied the following 16 automotive websites: Audi BMW Chevrolet Ford Honda Hyundai Land Rover Lexus Mercedes Mini Nissan Subaru Tesla Toyota Volkswagen Volvo Cars This year, BMW unseated Nissan, reclaiming the top spot. Both BMW and Nissan made the 25 list of best global websites. BMW deserves … more

Amazon Translate joins the machine translation crowd
Amazon announced earlier this week that it had made its home-grown Amazon Translate service generally available. Like other Amazon Web Services (AWS), you can leverage the service across websites, apps, as well as text to speech. I should stress that this is a “neural” machine translation service — which has proven surprisingly effective at getting … more

The globe icon has gone mainstream in global gateways
As readers of this blog know well, I’ve been advocating for the generic globe icon for use in the global gateway for some time.  I first called for the globe icon way back in 2004. So I suppose it helps to be patient and persistent! I noted last year that Amazon is now onboard with … more

A (free) font to celebrate Lithuanian independence
As a font geek, I loved this promotion courtesy of the Republic of Lithuania to develop a font that draws on the signatures from the Act of Independence of Lithuania. You can even add your signature to mark the centenary of independence: The font was created by FOLK and Eimantas Paškonis. The font is free … more

The Chinese Typewriter
I recently read The Chinese Typewriter by Thomas S. Mullaney. I love typewriters and languages, so this book was a sure thing as my interests go. And I learned a great deal. Perhaps the greatest takeaway was the degree to which the Chinese language was viewed as inferior (not just outside of China but also within) … more

Apple adds geolocation to improve its global gateway strategy
Apple has redesigned its website many times over the past decade but one thing has remained largely unchanged — its global gateway strategy. Here’s a screen shot of the global gateway menu from back in 2010: And here it is today: But over the past few days Apple did something I’ve been waiting for them … more

Think Outside the Country (now available in Japanese)
I received my copies of the Japanese edition of Think Outside the Country and am very impressed. The book, like the English edition, is in full color and uses high quality paper. The book is published by Born Digital (in collaboration with Mitsue-Links) You can order via Amazon Japan. more

Is your vendor putting your international business in jeopardy?
You hire a vendor to conduct a global survey. And let’s suppose this vendor refers to Taiwan as a country and the email goes out to people in China who believe differently, and they happen to be in a position to punish you by blocking your website within China. This is roughly what happened with … more

The top 25 websites from the 2018 Web Globalization Report Card
I’m excited to announce the publication of The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card. This is the most ambitious report I’ve written so far and it sheds light on a number of new and established best practices in website globalization. First, here are the top-scoring websites from the report: For regular readers of this blog, you’ll notice that … more

It’s coming…
The 2018 Web Globalization Report Card is well underway and I expect it to publish in February. You can preorder now. Lots more to come. For starters, it is looking like there might be a new overall winner this year. Stay tuned… more

Marriott in China: Website still down two weeks later (and three takeaways)
The Marriott website was taken down in China and Taiwan on or around January 11th. You can read why here. And here we are two weeks later and the websites are still blank — or nearly so. Here’s what I’m seeing at the .cn domain — appears to be a “maintenance” page: Delta, Zara and … more

Can displaying the Taiwan flag get your website shut down in China?
The short answer: It depends. The context of how you display this flag can make all the difference; for example, do you display the flag on a global gateway with text that reads Select Country or Select Country/Region? This may seem like a trivial distinction, but Select Country could cost your company millions in lost revenues … more

Marriott’s China websites get shut down — and your website could as well if you’re not careful
If you visit Marriott’s China website today you’re likely to see this: I dumped the text into Google Translate and here is what it loosely says: So what exactly happened here? According to Skift, Marriott sent a survey in Mandarin to its Chinese loyalty members that referred to Tibet, Macau and Taiwan as “countries.” As … more

Succeeding in the Translation Economy
Here is an article I wrote that was recently published in tcworld magazine. In it, I define the “translation economy” and the opportunities (and challenges) it presents to all organizations. From the information economy to the translation economy The internet connected the world’s computers, and the digitization of content enabled the rapid flow of information … more

Think Outside the Country is coming to Japan
I’m pleased to announce that Born Digital (in collaboration with Mitsue-Links) is publishing the Japanese edition of Think Outside the Country. The book will be available December 23rd and I look forward to promoting it next year! If you’re a member of the media and would like a review copy, please let me know. more

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