Guest Post: How to Use Translation to go from Online Student to Online Entrepreneur


As we get pressed into the new normal, more people are working online, living online, playing online and even shopping online. What people do not tell you, is that if you can learn online, if you can shop online and if you can even work online, it means you have what it takes to move from being an online student to being an online entrepreneur. No, this is not a get rich quick scheme and the truth is, working to build any business is challenging. 

However, after reading this you will at least have the capacity to completely circumvent the majority (up to 98%) of your competition and select a profitable market. The technological revolution is no longer some distant dream, but a harsh reality of the “new normal” whether you are ready for it or not. Learn how you can use translation and localization strategies to begin building your online entrepreneurial empire today.

According to various statistics, including a diverse selection of stats regarding internet access published by UNICEF, 98% of all internet content is written in only 12 languages, with more than 50% of online content being restricted to English. It is also noted that 2020 will be the first year that more than 50% of online content is written in languages other than English. 

While there may be viable arguments about both the benefits and disadvantages of this reality, it can also be viewed with equal clarity as a viable business opportunity for the enterprising and entrepreneurial types who are looking to build a new future in the new normal. However, given the declination of English as the proverbial lingua franca of the internet, the time to act would seem to be now. 

The Fall of English and the Rise of Translation on the Internet

Nobody is trying to argue that English is endangered in any way, or that it is going away any time soon. What these facts show is that moving beyond English offers the clever entrepreneur the means to circumvent the vast majority of their competition. 

Translation services are used as an example here, because they can be used to take even the most mundane business and turn it into an international success story, or used to build an international enterprise based on the skills and ability of the sole founder. 

Translation services and localization can be sold to YouTube influencers, (with millions of viewers and millions in income) to website owners, internet marketers and to virtually anyone else online working to expand into an increasingly global marketplace online. 

The initial outbreak of the coronavirus did not appear that threatening, but as soon as it became the Covid-19 global pandemic, individuals and businesses were forced to adapt as increasing numbers of businesses were going online to weather the storm. This also served to increase what is commonly referred to as internationalization, to ensure business continuity in the digital age. Business process outsourcing and the desire to reach international markets brought both localization and translation services to the forefront in the new global, digital economic realm. 

Why Translation and Localization are Important for Online Success

The increasing prevalence of languages other than English online, and the fact that so many people are beginning to look increasingly beyond English content, means that the successful entrepreneur needs to begin seriously contemplating the opportunities for translation and localization services today. 

Currently Facebook supports 111 languages, but has users communicating in 142 languages. Twitter supports 35 languages and Google supports around 100 languages. There are a great many interesting facts, figures and statistics from Pew Research, all of which indicate that videos in YouTube in languages other than English receive about 72% of all views during their first week. 

English videos receive an average of 28% of all views during their first week. Why is this relevant? YouTube is the second most popular website on the internet and receives literally billions of views per day. Since video is by far the most popular means of communicating information and “closing the deal” online, this makes it a very relevant platform for anyone with a more entrepreneurial spirit who wishes to be successful. 

Using Translation and Localization as an Entrepreneurial Foundation

“If I could, would you?” This little sentence is key to sales and translation and localization services are the key to successful marketing. If I could put your website in front of tens of millions of new people while reducing your competition by half, would you be interested in learning more? This is neither a high pressure sales introduction or an unreasonable goal to attain. 

Granted, not everybody is going to have the necessary language skills to translate a website into ten different languages, and fewer still will possess the intimate knowledge necessary for website localization strategies. Not to worry. 

There is a business strategy known as business process outsourcing that has been made increasingly easy to accomplish via the internet. Even if you do not possess the necessary language skills to get a job as a translator or interpreter, you can still find people from virtually anywhere in the world who can do the work for you. 

Even more beneficial, you can find people who are local to the area of focus, thus ensuring that they can provide a more precise and focused experience for the targeted audience. This process is known as localization and while translation services ensure that the services you sell will be in a language the audience understands, localization is used to speak to their hearts. 

These localization services are an important part of the marketing process, and add both value and tangible benefits to the website owners and others you will be selling your services to in the online markets. How many YouTube influencers are looking to expand their audience? 

How many website owners would like to have less competition and more visibility? If you are already spending your time online, whether through online learning programs or just for social media, why not turn it into a viable, well-paying career choice? 

The internet, the digital economy and the global "netizen" are all integral pieces of "the new normal" and should be capitalized upon. Never before in our history has it been easier for anyone to build a successful business online or off. 

There is no doubt that there are ample industries online that can be built into successful industries online ripe for a new entrepreneurial empire. While online marketing with translation and localization services was our personal option, and the sampling for this article, the online business opportunities are virtually limitless. You can go out and get a job or build your virtual empire. The choice is yours to make.


Ofer Tirosh is both an Entrepreneur and the CEO of Tomedes, a translation company that has helped internationalize and globalized businesses around the world.

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