Re: GDP by language

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Fri Oct 24 2003 - 08:40:38 CST

From: "Marco Cimarosti" <>
> I thought the chart was intended as a rationale for prioritizing the
> of languages in consideration of the profitability of the corresponding
> markets:
> 1. support for Western languages is priority one, as it corresponds to the
> largest slice of market;
> 2. CJK support comes immediately after, as it corresponds the second
> market;
> 3. then comes Bidi support, which corresponds to a smaller but still
> interesting market.
> 4. Indic support can wait, as the corresponding market is less profitable.
> This is, IMHO, how people paying our salaries would read the chart. I am
> even blaming them, as that is probably the "correct" reading, by the point
> of view of business.

This could be true if you're in a coutrny speaking a Western European
The reality is that most companies must FIRST comply with the deman in their
LOCAL market where they have a significant expertise, before going foreign.

Of course on the Internet, it seems that distance is no more a problem, but
in fact you have also other barriers like custom laws, taxes, shipping
rates, etc... So a single global and static analysis of the worldwide market
is not necessarily appropriate: what is the point to create a product
localized in CJK languages, if your company cannot even provide any support
in these languages?

But if your company has excellent knowledge of the Indian or Arabic markets,
it will be a much higher priority to localize your products for these areas.
In this case it may be much more profitable to localize them to Arabic than
to Japanese, w<here your product may not even be suited for the market, as
there already exists in Japan other similar products with features matching
the Japanese market needs, or simply because your company is restricted to
sell in Japan due to other exclusive selling contracts owned by concurrent

As a general rule, a company has to provide an excellent service in the area
where they have expertize and competence. Just localizing the language
spoken in a product is not enough if you cannot work everyday with that
language (in this case your service in that language will be poor), and it
would be worse to focus your developments in many foreign languages and
scripts when at the same time forgetting the first priority in you own area
of expertize; forgetting this objective means that you'll start loosing
market shares in your own area.

For example, if you're a French fashion company, it will be interesting to
adapt your working tools to Arabic or Turkish if you have production
partners in North Africa or Turkey, or if you want to adapt your products
for the large Arabic and turkish speaking community in France.

What is important here is the kind of international relationships you have
patiently built over a long time. It becomes interesting to adapt your
product to other markets, if you really want to expand it, and have the
money and local contacts to go to other areas, and you expect a good ROI for
your foreign investments, after considering also the local competition for
similar products, and all the financial aspects including taxes and exchange
rate risks.

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