If your company offers its products and services globally, you don’t want a language barrier getting in the way of accessibility.
Translating your information into other key languages may significantly expand your reach and allow you to welcome new audiences.
In this article, we explore just a few of the approaches you may choose when translating your website content, print media or any other information relating to your products and services.
Opt for Online Text-Based Translation Tools
Google Translate – or applications powered by this free interpretation service – is often the go-to resource for the quick translation of anything from single phrases to whole documents.
The upsides to these solutions are that they are often free and highly accessible, and have the capacity to translate from and to more than one hundred languages.
You can also transcribe conversations in real time, and with some languages it’s even possible to hear the transcription spoken aloud. This means that you may be able to have a full conversation thanks to this technology.
The downside is that tools of this kind can’t always grasp the grammatical or idiomatic nuances of a particular language, resulting in strangely formal, overly literal or sometimes entirely inaccurate interpretations.
In some cases, there are words or phrases that do not translate directly between cultures – an issue that AI and machine learning does not yet have the capacity to resolve.
If you are planning to translate information relating to a business, online text translation may help in certain specific situations, but it may be best not to adopt too heavy a reliance on this kind of tool in order to avoid mistakes and misunderstandings.
Utilize Specialist Software
Professional standard translation software can be similar to online text-based tools in some ways, but usually offers a far more “tailored” solution.
Advanced tools of this kind are exclusively developed and maintained by experts – and many focus on just one or two languages.
This allows for a more precise focus, improving a tool’s accuracy and making it easier to manage issues such as idiom, syntax, slang and indirect translation without mistakes.
In addition, many specialist translation programmes are available in a range of tailored packages, focusing on precise subject areas.
There are language resources available for:
- Medical experts
- Legal specialists
- IT workers
- Business and finance professionals
…and much more – aiding users in the application and understanding of technical jargon across borders.
Hire a Translator
Perhaps the most versatile language resource available to businesses is that of an in-person translation service.
A professional linguist can be hired to provide as accurate a translation as possible, providing a human touch and an insight into the deeper nuances of a certain language.
This is perhaps the most “social” means of communicating with partners or clients with whom you do not share a common language, as it is really the only means by which emphasis, emotion or subtlety can be accurately conveyed.
“While it may not be necessary when translating online content or product descriptions, in-person translation can be exceptionally useful when building relationships,” comments property auctioneer co-founder, Ruban Selvanayagam.
A translator may offer a well-thought-through interpretation of a phrase, maxim or colloquialism to make it resound properly in both languages, and might even give insights into forms etiquette or particular behaviors where no machine can.
Some translators may even be able to work in the sign language of different cultures.
The nature of a translator’s abilities depends on the level to which they are bilingual. It is certainly still possible for information to be delivered in a very formal manner – but this may matter to a greater or lesser extent depending on the nature of the translations you require.
The downsides to hiring a “human” translator are often based on cost. Depending on how regularly you need their services, your company may be required to pay a substantial fee, or even a part time or full time wage.
What’s more, the majority of translators specialize in interpretation between either two or three languages, so you may find yourself having to utilize multiple specialists if you’re likely to be providing services across many countries.
Ultimately, the translation resources you use should be chosen based on:
- The number of languages you’ll be working with
- The detail and accuracy with which you wish to work
- Whether your requirements are chiefly text or speech based
- The industry in which you will be operating
- Your budget
By carefully taking all of the above into account, the process of determining the type of translation services you require should be straightforward.
There is also the option to apply a combination of all three solutions to achieve the best possible results.