Multilingual Health Care

HIP Health Plan of New York today announced that it has added a fourth language, Korean, to its Web site: www.hipusa.com.

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Now the press release isn’t entirely honest. It says that Korean is the “fourth” language is in addition to English, Spanish and Chinese. Counting English as an “additional” language is a bit disingenuous.

Nevertheless, we applaud HIP for pushing forward with Web localization. At Byte Level, we’ve noticed a clear trend toward US-based companies localizing their Web sites to better serve Americans. Web globalization, as we have said all along, doesn’t have to be about entering new markets; sometimes it’s about protecting the market you already have.

The press release also claims that HIP was the first US health plan to add a language other than English to its Web site; it added Spanish two years ago (to our knowledge this claim is correct).

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