Sydney Olympics must jump the language hurdles to gain gold

Everyday the World Wide Web provides a medium for a global community; it is only every four years where this virtual world is replicated in a physical form.

Oxford Street, Pitt Street and Liverpool Street will be echoing with a plethora of diverse languages.

The question is - are Sydney's restaurants, hotels and tourist venues prepared for the influx of foreign language speakers?

An Australian company, WorldLingo, provides a multilingual solution to off and online language translation needs.

Worldlingo Chairman Phil Scanlan said the first language issue that needs to be addressed is to have localized menus, brochures and other promotional material.

"Customers are four more times more likely to purchase if they are communicated to in their own language," Scanlan said.

Mr. Scanlan said the successful tourist venues will be the ones that have multilingual staff and documents.

"A foreign language tourist will be less likely to spend money on the top meal, if they cannot read what ingredients are contained in the meal."

However, it is a big mistake for businesses to believe that they can simply translate material into a foreign language and tourists will understand what the business is offering."

"They must also take into account cultural nuances, or a simple word translation may cause more harm than good."

Mr. Scanlan said this is particularly the case with Internet communication, where localization of web content is vital.

Localization differs from translation in that all cultural nuances (i.e colors) are taken into account.

Why Localize Website Content?

The Internet is being increasingly used by countries where English is not the native language.

According to Global Reach statistics only 51.3 percent of the Internet's users count English as their first language.

Around 7.2 percent spoke Japanese; 6.7 percent spoke German; 6.5 percent spoke Spanish; 5.2 percent spoke Chinese; and 4.4 percent spoke French as their native languages.

The spotlight placed on Sydney during the Olympics will result in an influx of tourists in during the Games and in coming years.

"Businesses that have prepared multilingual off and online content will reap profitable rewards," Mr. Scanlan said.

He said if Australian businesses have not localized their websites in time for the Olympics, they should not think they have missed their opportunity.

"The Worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people will ensure that there is a great deal more tourists who flock to Australia after the Olympics."

"The companies that gain the tourist dollars in coming years will be the ones who localize their websites now," Mr. Scanlan. "This will leave a favorable customer service impression on their visitors."

Other translation solutions

WorldLingo has other translation solutions that will help communication between tourists and businesses.

These include free web and email translations that allow visitors to gain information on the city of Sydney.

For example, visitors can use WorldLingo's IE5 Browser tool to translate Australian sites into their native language.

This will allow visitors to examine tourist destinations that have a web presence.

For example, tourists can find out what animals are at Taronga Park Zoo by using the Browser Tool.

A German tourists could then make plans to go the Zoo at Mosman to see the Der neue Känguruh-, Wallaby- und Emu-Durchgang (the new kangaroo, wallaby and emu walk-through).

Another free translation tool that will help the tourists communicate during their stay is WorldLingo's email translation solution.

The email allows users to translate foreign language email into their own language, and it also is capable of sending a reply in the original sender's language.

Tourists will be able to make email inquiries to hotels, restaurants and other tourist locations. The email can later be sent back in the tourist's language.

"A Spanish tourist could enquire about opening times of a restaurant via email, and receive a response in their native tongue," Scanlan said.

"This has benefits for the tourist, but it will also help Sydney businesses increase the amount of tourist money they receive."

WorldLingo's translation solutions can be accessed at All provide instant solutions to help businesses make their communication multilingual. But Mr. Scanlan said in the long term, businesses that wish to gain maximum profits from translations must localize their sites.

"WorldLingo's Web and Email solutions provide quick solutions to the surge in tourists," Scanlan said. "But in order to continue to gain maximum benefit from multilingual online communication, it is imperative Sydney's businesses consider localizing their messages."


About WorldLingo

WorldLingo is a leading provider of integrated, online translation solutions. The company's services range from cost effective machine translation solutions, to professional human translation and culturally sensitive localization. A global network of over 5,000 professional translators produces human translations. WorldLingo also offers unique, real-time translation solutions for two-way email and instant messaging. These solutions make it easy for businesses and professionals to interact with internal and external multilingual audiences anywhere in the world. By combining accurate and cost effective translation, WorldLingo is taking great strides towards breaking down language barriers in the world of commerce.

WorldLingo produces thousands of translations every day. Clients include AT&T, Sony, Eli Lilly, Belkin, Cadbury Schweppes, Qualcomm, Priceline, and Tribal DDB. WorldLingo is also an official supplier of translation services to the European Union. In addition, Microsoft has integrated WorldLingo's technology into Office XP and Word 2002. WorldLingo is a global organisation with offices in the US, Australasia and Europe.

For more information: contact WorldLingo