Why Ukrainian Language is Important for Localization
© Oles Dmytrenko, 2020
Multi-language product localization plays a major role in today's global market, therefore understanding the modern trends of languages is crucial.
One of the languages which, in my opinion, is often underestimated in globalization is Ukrainian.
The problem is that some representatives of the West still stick to what I call "the old paradigm" — the Soviet Union tradition where Russian used to be dominating and diminishing the native languages of 14 other countries (now they are all independent states, since the 1990s).
In many cases, the new generation in Central Asia doesn't know and doesn't
want to know Russian, preferring a native language or English instead.
However, the "old paradigm" still sings its same "song", for no reason.
As to the songs, here's a surprising fact: the
people of Moldova, Belarus, Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Estonia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and other countries — all enjoy
listening to the Ukrainian modern music!
Among the most popular music bands and singers are Okean Elzy, KAZKA, Jamala, ONUKA, and others — check it yourself. However, be careful when you do so: Ukrainian music can become your new obsession!
So, let me share why I insist that the role of the Ukrainian language in product localization is important, especially for those who aim at European, Eurasian, or global markets.
Firstly, Ukrainian is a widely spoken language. This may surprise you, but people speak Ukrainian more than the Greek, Portuguese, or Swedish.
Secondly, Ukraine is a powerful manufacturing country. It produces the largest aircraft in the world (Mriya), contributes to the global aerospace industry, serves as a global IT outsourcer, not to mention its major role in exporting agricultural commodities worldwide.
Consider also the following facts:
- Ukraine is the second-largest country in Europe (603,628 km² - larger than France and almost the same size as the state of Texas).
- The population of Ukraine is 46 million people (similar to Spain) exceeding Poland, Netherlands, Belgium, and other European countries.
- Ukraine is located strategically between Europe and Asia. This strategic location facilitates national and international trade, which makes it attractive for businesses.
- Ukrainian language is the official language of the country. It means the
foreign companies who want to get access to the Ukrainian market have to comply
with its legal requirements — all official documents, technical
specifications, product manuals, etc. have to be translated into Ukrainian.
This is exactly what global companies already do, including such players as Samsung, Siemens, Toyota, McDonald's, Nestle, and many others.
- Ukrainian language is used in technical and legal documents by its world-known national companies, such as Antonov (Aerospace), Azovstal (Iron and Steel), Bogdan (Bus-Manufacturer), ZAZ (Automobile Manufacturer), Roshen Confectionary Corporation, and many others.
- Ukrainian language is also spoken globally by the Ukrainian Diaspora in USA (nearly one million people), Canada (more than one million), Brazil (nearly a million), Russia (more than five million) - nearly 10 million people worldwide, besides the country's 46M national citizens.
- Besides, Ukrainian is a recognized minority language in at least 10 countries (Poland, Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and others).
To finalize, all the developers that aim at the European, Eurasian, or global markets should pay more close attention to the role of the Ukrainian language, especially in view of a customer satisfaction factor in business success and growth.
I think it will be wise for those who want to succeed in global competition to win the hearts of Ukrainian customers worldwide by localizing products in their native language.
Localizer.Pro, Kyiv, Ukraine