The African continent witnesses a huge growth of populations nowadays due to the booming of the middle class in many African countries such as Kenya and South Africa. Therefore, the African markets have become great opportunities for multinational companies to invest in.
Since the African population speak between 2,000 to 3,000 languages and about 75 African languages are spoken by a million people, translating and localizing Western languages only such as English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese will not guarantee you a successful expansion in the African markets.
Research has shown that only 5% of Africans speak English as their first language. Moreover, only 470 million of the 1 billion African population speak English as a second language. Thus, when you decide to penetrate the African markets, you have to take into consideration the African indigenous languages such as Swahili, Ewe, and Mandinka.
Translating and localizing your product information or marketing materials into English only will not be appealing to many Africans who do not speak English or any of the Western languages. Here comes the importance of localization of African languages.
In this blog, we will shed some light on the role of localization in African languages. Let’s dive into!
Achieving Great Customer Experience
According to CSA Research, 76% of online shoppers prefer to buy products with information translated in their native languages. In addition, 40% will never buy from websites in other languages. Hence, when you localize your products to resonate with the African language including all the cultural nuances and preferences, you will certainly gain new customers so fast and establish a solid presence in the African markets which are growing year after year.
Helping in Bridging the Digital Gap
The population of African countries have the right to have access to the latest innovations and information technologies. Indeed, localizing such technologies into their native languages is never easy since many African languages are oral without having any written vocabulary. However, the latest innovations in communication technologies such as smartphones have paved the way for Africans to have content in their mother tongues.
Companies such as Facebook, Instagram, and Microsoft have started to localize their services into many African languages promoting this way African cultures and bringing them to life again.
Afrolingo hires in-country native speakers who are able to address every cultural nuance of your project to sound natural for target audiences.
Bolstering Language Standardization
Many efforts have been made for decades to preserve the cultural and linguistic heritage of many indigenous African languages. Unesco is a great example of such efforts. It signed an agreement with the International Centre for Research and Documentation on African Traditions and Languages to promote African languages and African heritage. In addition, the Ulwazi Programme is one of the effective localization initiatives to preserve the African languages that has emerged in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa to promote the isiZulu language.
Opening Many Business Opportunities
Front-runners such as Vodacom, MTN, Checkers, and Nandos have managed to cement their presence in the African markets by understanding the importance of localization that tailors the products to suit not just the languages and cultures of Africans, but also their way of thinking.
Localizing your business to resonate with the local languages of Africa which lack standardization, and many of them do not have written vocabulary needs a professional translation agency to achieve your business goals. At Afrolingo, we have a well-versed and trained team of translators who are able to deal with translation technology to produce the best-in-class localization services.