By 2003, 68 percent of all web users will be non-English speakers, and 66 percent of e-commerce spending will originate outside the United States. Want your share? Get serious about localizing your site. This can’t be automated. It needs serious planning, significant resources, careful attention to detail, and plenty of expert guidance. You’ll find that guidance in Beyond Borders.
John Yunker covers internationalization and localization at every level, from culturally sensitive site navigation through nuts-and-bolts content management. This stuff is really easy to foul up, and Yunker calls your attention to dozens of major errors that are easy to avoid if you’re aware of them. (Burying your home page’s international link. Choosing color palettes that don’t travel well. Designing pages that can’t accommodate text blocks which change size when translated.)
Beyond Borders walks through the entire project of localization, from start to finish: preparation and planning; establishing workflows; budgeting; creating and translating text; managing design and site development; local domain management; and much more.
Best of all, Yunker clearly understands that globalization requires more than just a localized web site. Are your product names ready for their new markets (Recall Chevy trying to sell the Nova in Latin America, where “no va” means “won’t go.”) If you’re emailed in German, who’ll answer? Do your distributors have local exclusives that keep you from marketing directly in certain markets? Can you manage customer information in compliance with local laws? You’d have to have an incredible amount of in-house expertise not to need this book. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.