Which (human) languages are worth translating your software into

In a recent conversation, someone wrote

The fact your app is in Spanish language is a plus in my book. English market is extremely saturated wherever you look.

My software is in seven languages; the French translation and the Russian translation seem to have been most worthwhile, followed by Portuguese, and German. Italian is okay. The Spanish translation has definitely not paid for itself.

A friend of mine offers his website (that reviews things in a specific industry) in German, English, Spanish, French, and Italian. He also finds that the Spanish translation has not been worth the effort.

Have you had similar experiences where translating into some languages paid off well, and others you wish you hadn’t done?

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4 years ago I developed a small desktop application for Windows. The application itself didn’t sell very well (only ~40 licenses, if I remember well), and it was bilingual: Spanish and English.

The first 2 releases where only in Spanish, and then I translated the app, the site and the documentation to English. It was a sales booster.

I’ve looked at my license database: 8 licenses sold to Spain (I assume that all are in Spanish), and 35 to the rest of the world, mainly USA (27 licenses) ans some at UK (3 licenses).

So, except if you have identified an interesting niche in Spain (as I did in my SaaS application), don’t waste your time or money translating to Spanish… Meanwhile, I’ll translate my SaaS to English :wink:

My plugins have a variety of translations but I wouldn’t ever assign languages as “must translate” until you know what needs you’re serving in your markets. WordPress serves a very broad market but if I had done blanket translations for both my plugins, it would have been a waste of time and money.

My classifieds plugin is extremely popular in Poland so there’s high demand for a Polish translation, but the same translation would be a flop with my directory plugin. Interestingly, French has been huge with both of them, same with Spanish. The directory also is popular in Brazil and Portugal so those translations see a lot of use as well but not so much with the classifieds. I waited to do ALL of the translations until I was getting begged by customers left and right for them, just to make sure the demand existed. And even then, the community contributed a fair number of them and I just included them into the software.

In short, I’ve seen that is “just depends” on who wants your stuff.

In my experience (B2B soft target to small business) Spanish has not made any difference in my revenue (And it’s my born language). Spain is a small market and in Latin America people is not use to pay for software. I’m in the process of shutting down the Spanish site altogether.

What I’vent tried yet and may work well is German and French. I just wonder if translating part of the site to German/French people will assume the support will be also provided in German/French

Any experience with this? Translating the software/site also implies support in that languages?

Translating the software/site also implies support in that languages?

For my software, yes, customers mostly assume that they can get support in those languages.

We definitely have French customers who assume support is in French. Luckily my support assistant speaks French.

Our Russian customers assume support is in Russian, and for that we need to use Google Translate to understand the support request. We answer in English. This is not ideal, but no-one seems to complain.

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We do this as well for WP support, but mostly everyone asks in English. No complaints on the English replies to date.

Can anyone recommend someone / a company who can do translation from English to French, Spanish and German? We have used freelancers in the past but quality has been poor especially when it comes to context

@natural Sure, writing to you privately

I’ve used Alconost.com for my website translation. And I am satisfied