Multi-language websites and social media - question

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If I make a website and want to target both US and local customers, would Americans be put off by seeing the other language option and immidiately figuring out that it isn't an American business?
Think no reputation country, not something like Nigeria, India or Russia that have negative connotations (scams, IT scams and hackers, respectively), but an obscure European country, like North Macedonia or whatever. Not a super affluent/known country.
If I build a local social media following, I thought it would give me an advantage, but a multi-language social media could be a problem, yes?
 

Ryuzaki

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@kinsella7, I feel like this is teetering on the line of an imagined problem, in the sense that you're attempting to be a mind reader. I'm not saying that's bad. We SHOULD be doing that in marketing and business planning.

I don't think Americans in general have a negative or neutral opinion of any Western European or Eastern European countries. I don't think they're unaccustomed to seeing language options. Hell, most places here have radio stations in entirely different languages on the regular old FM dial. America is a multi-cultural melting pot that enjoys everything foreign to the point it's being used as a fake weapon, because we're supposed to be racist yet we embrace foreign culture so much that even that is now a racist thing to do. The point being, we see foreign languages every day offline and especially online and every one of us has had to at least study a foreign language, many of us are from foreign lands, etc.

I always remember something @Potatoe said to me like 10 years ago when we were watching someone write an e-book for a demographic that was inevitably going to share it around and not buy it. Like that was baked into the process. Potatoe said something like "So? If it's baked in then run the calculation with it baked in. If you're going to make enough money to warrant doing it, who cares if people that weren't going to buy it don't buy it?" It's zero loss on a digital product that is infinitely replicable. Just let them steal it.

Same goes for you. If you manage to get a user that gets offended that there's other language options or that you can speak more than one language, they likely have such huge problems in life that they can't afford what you're selling anyways. This might be 0.001% of your users.

Realistically, it's a non-issue. But even if it was an issue, I think the same question applies: "So?" Just make your money.
 
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Sorry if it came off as disrespecting the US. Not to get into politics, but Anti-Americansim is mostly the pot calling the kettle black. I don't think Americans would be offended, I did not mean to imply Americans are close-minded or anything negative. I was thinking along the lines that even if you're just one person, you still want to convey to the customer that you're something bigger and better, right. Unless you're going for small quaint family business/one master craftsman/relatable blogger. I was just worried that it might make the brand look less like an authority. Or something? Like, I've found websites that have possibly hundreds of different languages, all resources Google translated. I immidiately decided that they wouldn't solve my problem because it's wasn't specifically written for me. You want the brand to feel familiar. I was only thinking on the subconscious level, not that Americans have a concious aversion to anything non-foreign.
One of the biggest market for my niche is actually in a third language. Even using the best translators and proof-readers, I would still worry about if it sounded native/had the correct, familiar humour/emotion, current lingo. For example, humour is different in Japanese than in English.
I realise over-thinking might lead to paralysis, I'll figure it out through practice, trying things out.
 

Ryuzaki

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@kinsella7, I understand and wasn't offended. I was just trying to explain what America is like, assuming you aren't living here. I know none of us really hear the clear or full truth about other countries, no matter where we live, mainly due to agendas and generalizations, etc.

I think it depends on how you present your language-stuff. To me, I think that an international company has more prowess than one that works only within its own borders and language. It makes me think of growth and demand, which is akin to expertise, authority, and trust. Sometimes, depending on how it's presented, I just think "oh, they're translating to try to get more search traffic and nothing more" but I don't see that as a negative.

I hear what you mean about colloquialisms and all that. I make a point for my writers and myself when writing to never use jokes, pop culture references, and all that. Just stick to the topic and don't be cutesy. Cuts out a lot of problems with people AND bots misunderstanding things.

I really don't think you'll encounter a single issue. I'm just one person though, so maybe others will pipe in with their experiences. If you have a solid game plan, this is but one insignificant pebble in your grand mountainous game plan.
 

ToffeeLa

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Obviously, it depends. On how 'international' your niche is, on how important 'local' is.

Let's say you were talking about windsurfing in Bulgaria. That would be fine to have a Bulgarian and an English section. Equally if you were talking about windsurfing in California. (Although I would probably go wider with the Bulgarian section in that case.)

Now let's take online marketing. If you are offering online marketing to Bulgarian businesses and to foreign companies looking to break into the Bulgarian market, again, it would not be a problem.

But if you are trying to sell online marketing services to businesses in places like Little Rock and Big Bear, as well as to Bulgarians? Then I would definitely split the sites.
 
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Ok, so an equivalent would be an online lifestyle magazine. I currently see no negative effects to having my website be multilingual. But it would seem easier to create a separate website for the different languages. Different audience, sligthly different approach, right. But then it wouldn't be one brand and that's three times the work to build. And with social media, having languages mixed would be bad. The solution I can think of is having the English one be Brand Name and the others Brand Name FR, Brand Name DE etc., but is that done? Is that a thing people do? Honestly I think the best thing would be to make the brand look like it's originally English-language, but decided to launch in several different languages because there's a market there. Although that might be my small-nation inferiority complex talking.