You probably noticed when reading this series, I am not a native English language speaker, I am from Holland (The Netherlands). I guess you understand what I write, but there is a very good chance, native English speakers sometimes giggle or need to “read again” to understand what I am saying.
For this blog I don’t care so much, it is volunteer work I do for my friends at Sisulizer. If they have issues about my grammar or sentence structure, they can hire someone to clean it up 😉
For our own software, I sell on the web… The US/UK/English market is something like 50% of total sales. These people find my website on Google, what if they get annoyed or confused by the very first sentence of the web page they land on? What if they install my software and the opening window has a ridiculous spelling error? Yor Spaking Ma Langauge?
Uninstall, no customer.
Just for Laughs, some really bad translations (Chinese <-> English). Were they using Google Translate? What if they are selling software “on-the-web”, will they sell much?
Once on Dutch television, a Dutch horse breeder said he f*cks horses (in Dutch, breeding is called fok or fokking – it sounds the same in Dutch, so it must mean the same in English).
Do you make such Mistakes??!?!?!?? Even if you *think* your English is fine, just maybe you need someone to check your software and helpfiles….
Non English Software Shops
Most software in the world is produced by companies outside the US and UK. We all want to sell to America, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand… (I probably forgot a few).
The English language is quite common as a 2nd language: a lot of people, like me, can order a hamburger while on holiday in America without major problems (perhaps a bit of indigestion).
Is that the impression you want to make to the largest customer population in the world? I am a tourist who wrote some software? Are you sure your “English” software is understandable for your potential customers?
Have a look at your current sales, please. Unless your software is targeted at a really local niche (software for cheese sellers in Amsterdam), anything less than 50% of sales to America/Great Britain (etcetera) should be ringing Alarm Bells.
Are your sales to “English” lower? The most probable reasons are:
- Your Website
Wreally Badt Grrrrrrammar
- Your Software
actually, also Wreally Badt Grrrrrrammar
Next, in part 2 of English for Dummies
My experience with The Doctor, how Martin helped me with our new File Viking Program. Why we made a Sisu English Translation for an English program… English translated to English, yes, that makes sense! And Sisulizer supports it!
Also worth mentioning is Al Harberg’s Web Site Sales Makeover, besides your sales message (which he will improve), he will also complain about your bad English.