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How Many Languages Your Startup Needs To Know

TechCrunch

[tc_contributor_byline slug=”Jeni-Mayorskaya”]

Siri can handle questions and make jokes in 17 languages. Is that a lot or little? How many languages must your startup know to reach its entire target audience? We studied some of the most successful companies and found some interesting results.

Functionality and price explain only part of the success of many startups. The popularity of many “go-to” services also owes to beautiful, easy-to-use mobile and web interfaces combined with an edgy brand voice. And doing so requires good writing and excellent translation.

Check out the Hotel Tonight app and the quirky-yet-fresh copy that draws you in. Or catch a ride with Uber in France, whose interface stylishly adjusts to let you order by tapping “Commander ici.” Conversely, poorly translated or bland interfaces can discourage users from purchasing.

Over the last decade, the tech industry has gotten very good at scaling technology. A startup can go from…

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