Not Everyone Speaks English

If you were to interview every person on the planet you’ll be struck by how many of them can actually speak English. It’s reckoned that roughly 14% of people around the world can speak English, either as a first or second language. This is at least a billion people, however it’s certainly not everyone.

Only about 3% of people around the world have English as their first language, and we can make the assumption that not everyone who has English as a second language is perfectly fluent. For your business these are very important figures, and when you step into foreign markets, where English isn’t the first language, your message can very easily be lost.

How does marketing work? Marketing often contains words, but is much more than this and works best when it addresses people’s emotions. Advertising is frequently visual, and works because humans are fundamentally visual animals.

However, the emotional appeal of an advertisement is often tethered by language, such as a strap-line or slogan. If these words can’t be deciphered by your audience then your advertisement fails to work, and so we can say that the success of a marketing strategy is more-often-than-not dependent on language.

The conclusion, then, is that only a relatively small amount of people around the world will understand your business message when it’s spoken in English. But why not speak it in a diversity of languages, translated by a translations service? Whether it’s English to Italian or French to English translation there are plenty of great translators out there.