Firms must close language gaps to keep up with Web

Companies need to recruit more staff with language skills in order to set up foreign language versions of their web sites, a multilingual project management company has warned.

Image Partnership says research shows there are 192 million non-English-speaking web users in the world. It says the proportion of foreign language speakers is set to grow rapidly with English becoming a minority language. British and US companies cannot afford to ignore the importance of key languages, including Spanish, French and Portuguese.

“By 2005, English-speaking web users will represent only 30 per cent of the total global audience. Therefore, any company wanting to maintain and reinforce their corporate image and reach a worldwide audience, will need a multilingual web site,” said managing director Paul Hutchings.

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