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Posted By P & L Blog

Source: Search Engine Land


Not so long ago, there were only a few companies out there that bothered to customize their websites for foreign markets. Those who chose to do so made minimal effort—they simply translated their English copy into the local language and started doing business. Their incentives to create more sophisticated, tailored offerings was minimal; with so few companies doing it, there was no competition for e-business or Google rankings. This, however, is no longer the case.

In the past, only the big players could afford to invest the time and strategic resources needed to localize their websites, and even they didn’t always invest enough to do it well. But today, more and more retail companies are harnessing the power of the internet to globalize their businesses and tap revenue streams from across the world. From Blue Nile to Yves Saint Laurent, retailers are taking steps to reach consumers in a wide array of languages. The stakes have changed since the early days of e-business. In this age of global business, engaging only one nation’s consumer base is a sure way to plateau your company’s revenue and growth.

As companies look outside the U.S. for more business, many struggle to manage the challenges and harness the opportunities of multilingual search engine optimization (MSEO). They understand that customizing their websites to suit the linguistic needs of each national market can result in significantly increased web traffic, as well as increased revenue per order and improved international brand recognition. They just don’t know how or where to begin.


Posted By P & L Blog

Google can be a great tool if you have customers overseas.  We've compiled a list of ways Google can help you - what would you add to the list?

Time - This is critical when dealing with suppliers or customers overseas or across the country. To see the time in many cities world wide, type in "time" and the name of the city.

How to search: "time Buenos Aires"

Currency Conversion - To use Google's built-in currency converter, simply enter the conversion you'd like done into the Google search box and they'll provide your answer directly on the results page.

How to search: "150 GBP in USD"

Unit Conversion - Countries use different metrics for measuring. Use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others. Just enter your desired conversion into the search box and Google will do the math for you.

How to search: "10.5 cm in inches"

Weather - Planning a trip? To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type "weather" followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country.

How to search: "weather London, England"

Posted By P & L Blog

What books would you recomment to an adult friend learning English as a second (or third) language?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Young-adult novels are a good choice for adult students because they tend to be clear and compact, but a steady diet of adolescent main characters might start to grate. There's an extensive annotated list of novels for intermediate language students at (the library of the City College of San Francisco). Almost all of them are young-adult novels like "The Giver," the story of a boy in a dystopian society where everyone is happy.

You might also piggyback some American culture and history on the curriculum by introducing young-adult books from earlier decades: "The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings; "Old Yeller" by Fred Gipson; "Johnny Tremain" by Esther Forbes; "Shane" by Jack Schaefer; or one of my personal favorites, "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean Craighead George. I'd add the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery (set in Canada), because over the nine-book series, Anne Shirley becomes an adult.

Remembering "Shane" reminded me of westerns—might some of Louis L'Amour's books be manageable for intermediate or advanced students? Another genre to explore is the memoir—simple inspiring stories of Helen Keller ("The Story of My Life"); Russell Baker ("Growing Up"); or James McBride ("The Color of Water").

Short stories have the virtue of shortness, appreciated by bone-tired students. Daphne du Maurier wrote thrilling short stories (two of which were made into the movies "The Birds" and "Don't Look Now"—read the story, see the movie). Alice Munro writes clear, spare prose to great effect, as do Jean Thompson and Amy Bloom. James Thurber, a master of the short story, wrote "The Wonderful O," in which a wrathful pirate banishes the letter "o" from the English language. Wnderful wrd play.


Posted By P & L Blog

Source: NPR


Since its earliest days, the Internet filled us with the hope of uniting all of humanity. With information traveling at the speed of light, we thought, geographic location wouldn’t matter and anyone who shared our interests would be within reach.

But there’s an age-old problem working against our utopian dreams of the web uniting the world: the language barrier. After all, it doesn’t matter what you have access to if you can’t read it.

In the first couple decades of the Internet, we had a simple, if unsustainable, solution. Most people used English — even if it wasn’t their native language.

Click here to read more.

Posted By P & L Blog

Source: Memeburn

"The overwhelming power of the English-speaking media would have you believe that social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace are the only web spaces where people are connecting. But when you consider that the vast majority of people using the internet are non-English speakers, then you start to realise that there are huge, successful social networks in the world that are under-reported by major global news organisations."

A list of 11 world-wide social networking sites that are popular outside the United States and among non-English speakers can be found here.



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