The Internet has made (almost) everything possible.

It was once the case that if you wanted to build a multinational business, you’d have to employ people, find offices, and “set up shop” in every country you thought would make a good target market. At the very least, you would create a channel of partner organizations in various territories, sometimes acquiring the most successful in order to create your local offices.

Now, smaller companies can compete on a global scale with nothing more than a great team and a website. But this has just one problem: If you promote your product or service on a worldwide stage, you’ll need to ensure that the world understands you.

Having your website, sales materials, and products available in only one language is a mistake many companies make when going global. Smartling can help you with this, and we’re hosting a free webinar with the company to show you how it works. The presentation is 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 28.

I’ve had to manage language-translation projects more than a few times in my career. There are some very good reasons why you would want to go through the pain of having your app, software, sales materials, website, giveaways, packaging and manuals translated into, at the very least, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.

Did you know that while the English language has an estimated reach of 473 million consumers, translating your offering into just the five European languages mentioned above will help you reach a further 493 million people who have purchasing power of around $13.1 trillion?

And were you aware that, in the European Commission study based on a Gallup survey from 23 countries revealed that nine out of 10 Internet users always visit websites in their languages when given a choice?

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You’ll learn how cloud technology makes professional translation faster, higher quality and lower cost

I’ve seen this first hand. I once visited a customer in Germany who had three trays for his incoming mail. The top tray was for his German correspondence, and he dealt with that first. The second tray included letters written to him in French since that was his second language. The large round “tray” that sat under his desk was reserved for anything that arrived in English.

My personal experience of language translations has been limited to the software world, where we had to ensure the product was available in different languages. We also had to translate various sales brochures for events and tradeshows and, at the very least, create a short implementation manual.

Back then, one of the things we learned quickly was that there are a lot more steps, companies, people, and processes involved in translating technical products than we ever thought possible. For us, it was a steep learning curve. After many translation projects, we finally got the procedures optimized and working well.

Thankfully, as well as helping smaller firms play on a global stage, the Internet has also changed how we run our businesses.

In the old days, you’d buy a software package and install it on your own servers and desktop computers. Now you just point everyone in the company to their web browser where they can use software as a service (SaaS) products, collaborate on documents, and hold team meetings.

love-languagesThe same is now true of language translation, and I’ve been particularly impressed with the work being done by Smartling.

Smartling don’t perform the translation work for you. You are still free to work with the best partner for your needs (technical, legal, corporate and consumer-focused translators all have different skillsets), but where they excel is in taking away all that pain I went through by providing a cloud-based translation management solution.

In other words, they’ve fine-tuned the translation process so that you are free to focus on getting your work into other languages quickly, effectively and with lower-than-average costs.

Join our forthcoming webinar with Eric Negron, the product manager at Smartling. This webinar features insights from Gabe Anderson, the web product manager at Its website is now available in French and German, with localized versions also offered in the U.K., Australia, and Switzerland, and you’ll learn how they managed the process.

In the webinar, you’ll learn more about the opportunities available when you translate your products, services, marketing materials and more into other languages.

Sign up for the webinar now and continue the conversation online using the hashtag #speakSmartling. The opportunity is too big to miss.