Many new businesses and entrepreneurs hoping to expand their operations, whether in the United Kingdom or abroad, need to consider how they communicate with those whose first language is not English. Even though we expect people in the UK to speak English, for many it’s not their first language. Abroad, it obviously isn’t, so if you want to reach these people you’ll clearly need to involve translators. Clearly, new businesses will want to do this as economically as possible, but where do you start, when trying to find a translating service for the first time? What do you have to take into account?
Business 2 Community has offered eleven tips for people wanting to use translation services for the first time. In the article they state very clearly the reasons for never using online translation software; specifically that it lacks the nuance of human translations. If an inaccurate translation is provided then the impression you’re giving to your customers is that you don’t care enough to provide them with an optimum service, which reflects badly on your business in general.
So, if you want to be taken seriously, you have to use a professional translation service. And you have to consider that your budget will affect the service you receive. To make sure your final message works it is vital to consider your initial message, where you are sending it (taking note of religious and cultural differences), and to remember that the initial text may expand in terms of length once it’s been translated.
It’s also worth considering that translations take time. Leave plenty of it so you aren’t waiting on tenterhooks by the phone as the deadline looms. Ensure that you have a clear aim of what you can achieve in terms of layout, text, and format. Translators have their skillset, and to establish a good working relationship with them it’s worth learning how to make their job easier.
Rosetta Stone, Global Connects
It’s been established that Google Translate and the like are risky tools to use when it comes to mass communication. To avoid the pitfalls of machine translation (of which there are almost countless examples), you need an expert, human translator who is going to be able to notice when you accidentally copy ‘This bit needs to be in Welsh’ into the text window. It’s good business sense to be able to communicate with more people.
Translation is also creative, in the context of translating fiction and poetry. Fantasy literature, such as the Lord of the Rings, contain multiple languages – concocted by the author J.R.R. Tolkien – that lend verisimilitude to the mythical world of Middle Earth where different races speak different languages. In the movies, this approach translates into making props that represent the different races’ abilities. It’s all part of the storytelling, and the better this is achieved the better the film does, and the different languages are a key part of this.
Similarly, in the computer game Far Cry Primal – where you play as a hunter who rises through the ranks of a Stone Age tribe – linguists have done this, using creative translation skills to lend realism to a fiction. The point of which is, of course, to sell more copies of the game. Like Tolkien, languages have been created based on real, existing ones – proto Indo-European languages in Far Cry Primal’s case, Welsh in the case of Lord of the Rings – but due to the computer game medium there was a need for a wider vocabulary as part of a lived-in world. The cast were, by the end of it, fluent in the different languages for different tribes!
Here, the evident skill of linguists – Brenna and Andrew Byrd – has enhanced a business prospect. This creative element is a key part of translation, one which you simply do not get from translation programs, and one which gives human translators the edge in business.
Rosetta Stone, Global Connects