Sunday, 22 May 2011

Weakness of many languages in EU

Another interesting Eurobarometer study was published last week that shows that 82% of European consumers are less likely to buy goods online if they are not sold in their own language. This, of course, is understandable since why would you buy a product the description of which (nor the rules on paying the price or delivery) you cannot understand online. Only those of us who are speak more than one language are prone to buying something online from a provider from another country (the language of which they do speak). While understandable this finding shines light on another uneven situation in the internal market - businesses set up in languages of certain Member States are more likely to attract online customers due to the sheer popularity of the language (think: English vs Polish website). Time to invest in language courses for EU citizens or online translation tools? Well, the European Commission is already involved in 30 different research projects working at the interface of language and digital content, supported by 67 million Euro of EU funding (additionally, new projects submitted this year will get an additional 50 million Euro).

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