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View Poll Results: How do you feel about buying from a website that uses International English?

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  • I'm from the US, and I would buy from the website regardless, if I believed it met my needs

    3 30.00%
  • I'm from the US, and seeing the word 'colour' would make me hesitate a little before buying from the website

    2 20.00%
  • I'm from the US, and I am put off completely by the thought of purchasing from a non-US website

    0 0%
  • I'm not from the US, and am totally comfortable with either version of English on a website

    2 20.00%
  • I'm not from the US, and have a slight preference for International English on websites

    3 30.00%
  • I'm not from the US, but I'm in favor/favour of websites using US English

    0 0%
  • I speak Swahili/Hebrew/Portuguese/Other so I don't really care

    0 0%
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Kiwi Fr00t jylyn's Avatar
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    Using International English

    I'm writing my web app in International English because I expect the majority of my users to be New Zealanders, and I'll be pushing the 'homegrown' angle because I know it will have a lot of appeal here.

    However I'm also going to have a .com address for the site, and the application itself is pretty much universal, so there's no reason why anyone else could not use it.

    I'm just wondering - how does the average US internet user react to seeing International English (should I be cheeky and say 'Proper English'?) on a website? Does the sight of the word 'colour' or 'jewellery' or 'maximise' cause people to think twice (however subconsciously) about using the website? Should I bother spending the time to write a US English version?

    I know that here in NZ, although US English is creeping in a little, most people are a bit hesitant to deal with what they perceive to be a US-based website. Perhaps it's because we naturally associate US websites with ridiculously overpriced shipping, I'm not sure...

  2. #2
    SQL Consultant gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn
    Should I bother spending the time to write a US English version?
    emphatically no!
    rudy.ca | @rudydotca
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  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say 'put off' by a site that uses it but we are very wary of buying anything from an overseas site. The ability of retrieving our money in the event of non-deliverable goods is too worrisome.

  4. #4
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Go on jylyn... use proper English

  5. #5
    Kiwi Fr00t jylyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HAWK
    Go on jylyn... use proper English
    Hehe, if you're lucky I might even get all my apostrophes in the right places

  6. #6
    Twitter - @CarlBeckel busy's Avatar
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    You should keep in mind that some people aren't going to think, "Oh, they're not from here." They'll be thinking, "These people don't know how to spell." I would imagine with more educated users this will be less of a problem, but it could affect your image to US visitors.

    I would look at it like any marketing effort. The closer your marketing is to your customers, then the more they will trust you and the more they will buy. If you are marketing to teenagers who use slang, then you will have the most success if you use slang (correctly). If you're marketing to Americans you will have the most success using US-English. If it's going to be time consuming and expensive to do it (shouldn't be, it's not THAT different) then it may not be worth it, but perhaps you can do some testing on just a few pages and see if you get a positive response. That's really the only way to know. Test and see what happens.

    I would do it if you're setting up for multiple languages (other than English). If you're doing English only then my guess would be don't do it. Can't see how it would be worth it unless you're getting LOTS of US traffic on your site.

  7. #7
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    As a US English speaker, I wouldn't have a problem with it, with the one caveat that you put forward: if I'm buying something from a site, I want to be very, very sure about shipping charges, returns, taxes, etc. Otherwise, no biggie.

  8. #8
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    If I don't buy from an international site it's because I think it's a scam or I think I'm going to be nailed on international shipping charges/customs stuff, not because of superfluous 'u's and 's'es

  9. #9
    Kiwi Fr00t jylyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vgarcia
    If I don't buy from an international site it's because I think it's a scam or I think I'm going to be nailed on international shipping charges/customs stuff, not because of superfluous 'u's and 's'es
    Fair point - I kind of left it out of the poll to keep things simple, but in this case it's more of a subscription-based web app than an actual product to be shipped. If I was shipping something I'd be pretty clear that it was coming from NZ and thus people would not be surprised that the English is a bit different.

    I guess my thinking is that if there's no actual shipping involved, and I use a .com address and US English, people would assume that the site was based in the US and therefore not be worried about using it? Of course I'd list contact details so that those who actually bothered to look would realise it wasn't, but I figure the majority wouldn't actually look.

    Does that make any sense at all?

    By the way, the 'u's and 's'es are not superfluous, nor even extraneous - in their defence, it must be emphasised that they form the centre of a vast catalogue of favourable spellings, the good humour of which can be realised by eating flavoured liquorice, practising maths, and wearing aluminium jewellery with your pyjamas during autumn. Just ask your mum!

  10. #10
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    Just make sure your visitors know where your based. There more likely to trust a site with a home country feel. I'm and aussie, I'd rather buy from NZ just because exchange rate. Our dollar is very close to your yours. American exchange rate can be confusing.

  11. #11
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn
    Fair point - I kind of left it out of the poll to keep things simple, but in this case it's more of a subscription-based web app than an actual product to be shipped. If I was shipping something I'd be pretty clear that it was coming from NZ and thus people would not be surprised that the English is a bit different.

    I guess my thinking is that if there's no actual shipping involved, and I use a .com address and US English, people would assume that the site was based in the US and therefore not be worried about using it? Of course I'd list contact details so that those who actually bothered to look would realise it wasn't, but I figure the majority wouldn't actually look.

    Does that make any sense at all?
    It makes sense, and for something like that I wouldn't care where the site's based as long as it's trustworthy enough for me to hand financial information over
    Quote Originally Posted by jylyn
    By the way, the 'u's and 's'es are not superfluous, nor even extraneous - in their defence, it must be emphasised that they form the centre of a vast catalogue of favourable spellings, the good humour of which can be realised by eating flavoured liquorice, practising maths, and wearing aluminium jewellery with your pyjamas during autumn. Just ask your mum!

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard drhowarddrfine's Avatar
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    vgarcia is making my earlier point. Trustworthiness and security is more important than where you are. But how you can prove that, I don't know.

  13. #13
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drhowarddrfine
    vgarcia is making my earlier point. Trustworthiness and security is more important than where you are. But how you can prove that, I don't know.
    By building a good, solid reputation, of course.

  14. #14
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    UK English. I might be biased as i am a European


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