India is a country of 1.38 billion people, the second most populated country in the world, and the seventh-largest country by area. With 29 different states, 7 union territories, and 22 official languages, India prides itself on being one of the most populous democracies in the world and standing united regardless of their cultural differences, ethnicity, and religious beliefs.
Back in 1961, the Indian Census recognized about 1,652 different languages which also included the languages not native to the subcontinent. However, the constitution confirmed only 22 languages to be the official languages of India. Now, only these 22 languages are known to Indian citizens, however, knowing at least 2 or 3 of these languages is very common. While India is the second most English-speaking country in the world, English is not included in the 22 official languages.
India has “official languages” at the state and central levels but there is no “national language”. To make it easier for the people and because Hindi is widely spoken across many states, the Constitution of India decided to make Hindi the official language of India. It is still not the national language of India, because the Indian law states that they will not consider it as a national language until the constituency of each state of India accepts it.
Interesting facts about the Hindi language
The Hindi language (हिंदी), is written in Devanagari script and influenced by one of the oldest and most studied languages in history, Sanskrit. The word Hindi means “land of the Indus River” which was originated from a Persian word known as “Hind”.
1. Many words in English have been derived from the Hindi language.
For example: jungle, yoga, bungalow, pajamas, and cheetah
2. Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world after English, Spanish and Chinese.
3. Other than India, 20 countries speak Hindi including South Africa, Yemen, Singapore, Nepal, New Zealand, and the USA.
Importance of Hindi language translation
Within the last couple of years, the world has gone from in-person meetings to online meetings, mega contracts are signed digitally, multinational companies have opted for remote working, while AI and metaverse are now being given further significance. With this change, companies take digitalization very seriously to help them attract new customers and clients to their brands. Websites are one of the most important tools to drive traffic to their brands, while other tools like social media posts, advertisements, and marketing collaterals also play a very important role to help companies attract more customers.
While these tools can be marketed in English – what makes successful companies differ from the others is their holistic approach toward customer satisfaction, where their products or services are provided using their customers’ native languages. According to a recent survey, 76% of the buyers prefer to buy their products from a website that offers products in their language and about 60% of the buyers do not buy from an English-only website.
While there are many processes, tools, and steps involved in a successful website translation project, we always recommend following the best practices listed in the 15 steps below:
1. Review & Analysis of Source Website Assets
2. Best Practice Multilingual Workflow Based on CMS
3. Project Kick-Off
4. Subject Matter Training and Research
5. Cultural Correctness Assessment
6. Glossary & Style Guide Development
7. SEO/Keyword Research & Localization
8. Translation, Editing, and Proofreading (Transcreation-Copywriting)
9. Localization of all Graphics
10. Localization of Documents
11. Localization of Multimedia
12. Basic Online QA & Testing
13. Launch Language Versions
14. Final Delivery
15. Final Edits and Archiving of Files
It is always recommended for a company to choose the localization process over translations for their multilingual websites. Localization (L10N) involves translating and localizing the front end of your website into different languages ensuring all content (text and graphics) is translated in an accurate and culturally correct manner.
Benefits of Website Translations in Hindi
Out of 1.8 billion people in India, 52.8 crore people (1 crore = ten million), or 43.6% of the population speak the Hindi language. Translating your website and any other content into the Hindi language can help you reach a wider audience.
- You can have an added advantage over your competitors by improving your SEO ranking on both English and Hindi websites.
- Did you know leading companies like Apple have their websites translated into 130 languages? Communication with your customers/clients is not only about sharing your content but also about understanding them and connecting with them emotionally. 80% of purchases are done emotionally, while only 20% are logical. Hence, brands need to connect emotionally with their clients by communicating with them in their native languages.
With the massive population in India, every day is an opportunity for any multinational companies to enter this market. Indeed, with its different states and dialects, belief systems, and cultural differences it will not be easy for any brands to take over the entire market at once. However, the first step a company should take is to connect with the target audience (or states) by providing products or services in their native languages. Because Hindi is widely spoken across the Indian nations, it is recommended to start with this language, then slowly emerge into other markets and languages for a successful and profitable business.
At Globalization Partners International, we have language professionals who are knowledgeable not only the Hindi language translation, but also its culture. For additional information on entering the Indian market, please see our report: Website Globalization and E-Business: India or contact us.