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More foreign-language publishers are launching English online versions in a bid to lure lucrative international advertisers. We reported last week how some UK papers get more traffic from overseas than from at home. Now, the WSJ reports, the necessity to chase ad money is forcing some publications elsewhere in Europe to not only go online but to go English. It highlights Pearson’s complaint that its French paper Les Echos, currently for sale, is merely a “national brand” that doesn’t travel well. Instead, publications should use English to fly their flag to advertisers, it suggests.
Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine has attracted custom through translating a fifth of its stories to English, offered for free on an international section that accounts for 27 percent of spiegel.de‘s traffic, and by syndicating those stories via The New York Times. LeMonde online marketing head Elodie Buronfosse, tells WSJ such an effort “would be a lot of work, and the potential gain is not worth it” (France is notoriously nervous about losing its linguistic uniqueness), but Les EchosEIC Jacques Barraux conceded some of its content may have to be translated online.