Bilingual web design

C’est le quinze août! Le jour de l’Assomption

Today is 15th August, a day which is forever in my memory, but not for the reason you may think.

I still haven’t explained the relevance of Assumption day have, I ?

What does all this have to do with bilingual web design?

Usually, at this time of year, we are to be found somewhere in Europe, often France, camping. We always try to match the dates of our family camping holiday to fall so that we are away for our wedding anniversary which was two days ago. This year, work pressures have meant that we have had to postpone plans. We are all missing our time together.

This day is remembered for us as the one day we decided to leave all our purchases of delicious French cheese, chocolate and wine to the penultimate day of our holiday. We believed we could combine it with our one-night stopover near Calais, Unfortunately, we were overlooking the fact, ( and I should have no excuse) that France takes it’s holy days and holidays more seriously and everywhere was closed. ” Bonnet de douche!”, as Del Boy might say. We returned home in a camper van without the familiar jangle of wine bottles or smell of cheese. A sad day indeed!

 

 

How did I become bilingual?

My love of languages is forever linked to camping. As children in the early 1980s, our parents took us away on a shoestring to exciting destinations in France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Austria. GCSE’s followed by a modern languages degree led to me being a secondary languages teacher for 20 years.

Despite making the career change to leave mainstream teaching 4 years ago, I have not lost my love for language. This love of travel extended into my adulthood and now as a family, we venture off on our little adventures. There are always the more “unusual days” such as this one, cooling the radiator on the motorhome halfway up the Col du Télégraphe, but we have many many happy memories. Both my fascination for language and travel are set for life.

Campervan cooling off on the Col du Galibier., France
Campervan cooling off half way up the Col du Télegraphe

The love of words may even have begun before that. Growing up in Somerset, I soon discovered that my family used colloquial words for many things. “Emmets”, “jibbles”, “dimpsey” and “‘ow be on?” being just some of them. Living up north for half my life has meant that my accent is seriously diluted and my vowels are beyond confused.

I am still intrigued by accents and colloquialisms and have an unfortunate, tendency to mimic people, without meaning to. Now living in Manchester, I can be found using the word “maiden” instead of “clothes horse”, I know what a “ginnel” is but heaven only knows what you should call a bread roll! There is a YouGov poll devoted to this!

Language fascinates me.

Why might you want a bilingual website?

Despite the looming Brexit hanging over all our heads, there is no denying the fact that Europe remains our largest neighbouring market. Having spent my childhood holidays camping in Europe and studied French and European Politics and then taught languages for 20 years, I think my remainer colours will be pretty well stapled to the mast.

However, if we ever see the other side of this unpleasant gridlocked situation, the fact will remain that European markets are our neighbours and the ability to offer a bilingual website shows consideration of your customers, increases your market, improves the trust between you and your customer and demonstrates a cultural sensitivity. A blog which shares 10 good reasons for a multilingual site by Kwintessential discusses this in more detail.

Having taken the decision to start my own business and branch off into web design, I am hoping to still have the opportunity to keep my languages alive. Do you own and run and gîte in France? Does your business trade to Europe? I am able to offer language services too. As Dennis Hung points out on Tech.Co, having a multi-lingual site broadens your sales market, shows that you’re sensitive to linguistic and cultural differences and that you intend to work internationally.

I have a modern languages degree, followed by over 20 years of modern language teaching, specialising mainly in French with some German and Spanish. I am accurate, diligent and provide a tailored service to meet your specific needs. Appelez-moi!

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