Translation and Localization for Africa: Liberia

July 16, 2016 Farah Fathy

Liberia is strategically located along the coast of West Africa. The country's name, meaning "liberty", refers to the nation's origin as a colony of free people repatriated to Africa from the United States in the early nineteenth century. In Latin, Liberia means "land of the free".

Liberia has had a stable democratic government since 2003. Liberia's business sector is largely controlled by foreigners of Lebanese and Indian descent. There also are limited numbers of Chinese engaged in agriculture.

Liberian Demographics                                                                                                                                                                                                            gpi-liberia-location

  • Liberia's population is over 4 million (World Bank 2013).
  • Almost half of their population (49.5%) are urban.
  • Liberia ranked number 126 in the list of countries in the world by population (2016).
  • Africa's oldest republic is Liberia.
  • Liberia became popular in the 1990's by a long-running, ruinous civil war and its role in a rebellion in bordering Sierra Leone.
  • The country's most populous city and capital is Monrovia.
  • Unemployment is currently about 3.80%.

Liberian Languages

  • The official language of Liberia is English.
  • Liberia is a multilingual country where more than thirty indigenous languages are spoken.
  • The major Liberia linguistic categories: Mande, Kwa and Mel, all of these groups belong to the Niger-Congo family of African languages.
  • Mande speakers are primarily in the northwest and central areas of the country, Kwa speakers are in the south and along the northern border and the Mel speakers are in the northwest coast.

Liberian Culture                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

.gpi-Liberia-culture

Image from: freepik.com

  • The primary food staple is rice
  • The official religion is Christianity, Islam is practiced in the north and Animist beliefs still exist.
  • Liberian has large families due the Islamic religion's acceptance for men to marry four women, usually wealthy men adopted this described.
  • Dress should be casual and practical.
  • It is inappropriate to send flowers or chocolates as a thank you, a thank you letter is acceptable and required.
  • The Liberian flag has one white star and eleven stripes of white and red, the red and white stripes represent the Liberian Declaration of Independence and the white star symbolizes the African unity.

Liberian Consumers

  • The official currency is the Liberian dollar (LRD).
  • The current exchange rate between (LRD) and (USD) is 0.012 of one US dollar.
  • Only 4.6% of Liberia's population use the internet.
  • Liberia is progressing by installing information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure which can give support for ecommerce platforms.
  • The cost of living is high.

Liberia's Future

  • Liberia's GDP has risen rapidly in recent years.
  • Post-Ebola and Post-UN, Liberia is finding their "new normal".
  • Contested presidential and legislative elections scheduled for October 2017, could result in the country's first ever peaceful regime change.
  • According to the World Bank, Liberia is classified as one of the world's top reformers, taking into consideration oil and natural gas within their territorial waters.
  • Offshore oil discovery plays an important role in development in the country's energy and economic future.
  • There are quite a few international companies currently either operating in the country or exploring the extensive natural resources, from gold, diamonds and iron ore, to timber, rubber and oil palm, to coastal marine life.

Summary

Liberia is a stable Republic with a history of international trade and business that dates back to the 1600s. However, with the United Nation's exit in June 2016 and heavily contested presidential and legislative elections slated for October 2017, the future of Liberia's peace, national security and goverment remain uncertain.

Translation and Localization Resources

You may gain further insight into global e-business, global SEO and website translation and country specific cultural facts and related topics by reviewing some previous blogs written by GPI:

Please feel free to contact GPI at info@globalizationpartners.com with any questions about our translation services.  Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in future blogs. You may also request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects as well.

Sources:

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/liberia/328671/pdfs/investors_guide_to_liberia_2011.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Liberia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/liberia/328671/pdfs/investors_guide_to_liberia_2011.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Liberia

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13729504

http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Liberia.aspx

https://www.opendemocracy.net/robtel-neajai-pailey-thomas-jaye/un-had-to-go-but-is-liberia-really-prepared-for-peace

 

 

 

About the Author

Farah Fathy

Global SEO Specialist. Farah is a native Arabic speaker born and residing in Cairo, Egypt. She received her degree in Commerce and English from Ain-Shams University studying marketing, management, economics and accounting. Her experience includes working in various specialties in global digital marketing with specific training in Link Building, Website Traffic Analysis, On-page Optimization and Off-page Optimization as well as standard Social Media Marketing. She is skilled in a variety of tools including Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Light Room and SEO tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SeoMoz, Opensite Explorer, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. She enjoys playing sports such as swimming and basketball and loves to read in her spare time.

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