fatpeter - 7:01 pm on Oct 7, 2011 (gmt 0)
I too disagree with some of that. Not sure if some of your information is out of date but last year i picked up a few dropped fr domains with lws and there was none of the requirements you mention.
I'm not french , don't have a french business etc and i had no problem buying fr domains and infact i just renewed them last week...
I do target france with my website. It's an .org hosted in the US and it does perfectly well. In fact it does so well it's now getting far more french visitors than english which is probably because the site is about france. (main keyword targeted shows 6,250,000 results and brings in between 1000-2000 visitors a day from google so not an incompetitive niche)
You are correct in that the french are very particular about their language :) Being scottish my written french is laughably bad but it has never held me back. I've over 12,000 french advertisers who have given up complaining about it and just accept i'm not perfect and are happy for the business i send them but for sure i'd make more money if i could find the time / inclination to perfect my french :)
This is an interesting thread for me as I'm just adding 7 other languages. I've decided that different domains and servers is a no no for me due to the complexity / expense etc so i'll just use a language folder /german/ etc and specify it in GWT
I think the most important thing is to link the languages well so that people can switch between languages easily. I personally hate it when i click to switch language on a site and end up at the homepage .....