Taking Your Content Beyond Translation to Localization

A global product or service needs to present itself well to a variety of audiences around the world, and the way it achieves that presentation is through its content. If the content on your company’s website is available in only one language, it’s safe to say your messaging will miss its mark with audiences who do speak other languages. And languages are not uniform. A single translation may not be suitable for variants existing within a language.

Translation is only the first step in reaching global audiences where they live. Our expert linguists take your content further than that, by going beyond translation to localization.

Translation vs. Localization

The difference between translations and localization is important to note. Translation is strictly a linguistic process. For example, a translator takes a marketing piece, such as a corporate brochure, and transfers the content from a source language into a target language, respecting grammar rules and syntax.

Localization takes that concept to the next level by adapting the content to its local audience, using phrases and verbiage that resonate with their local tastes and conventions. It is an important step to take with all of your marketing assets such as websites, mobile apps, software, video games, multimedia content and voiceovers

Localization Applied

For instance, the need for localization becomes apparent when your company opts to translate a marketing piece into Spanish. That’s a good idea… but Spanish for where, exactly? Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, most markets in South and Central America, and many potential clients in the United States and the Caribbean all speak Spanish, but they certainly don’t all speak it the same way. Think of the differences between the ways English is spoken in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States; each country has its own phrasing, flavor, and vocabulary – natural to them, and distinct from the others. And if you try to apply a single variant to all markets, you can bet they’ll notice.

What to Look for in a Language Service Company

Selling your product or service in a foreign country means more than overcoming language barriers. A highly effective language service company will work with a team of professional linguists with direct connections and experience in your targeted regions. This team will ensure your content is respectful of local culture, local expectations and local laws for each market.

Audiences listen when you speak their native language. Localization of your content gains the trust and respect of your target audience while helping your company maintain its unique voice across many cultural differences.

When you bring in experts to localize your content, the local public—wherever they are in the world—feels as if you built the content especially for them. This can mean all the difference when they are choosing your product or service over your competitors.

What is In-Country Review and Why Does it Matter?

When it comes to doing business overseas, you need to make sure what you are writing, saying, and promoting is culturally adapted and localized. There was a time when companies thought they could skip the all-important step of localizing for the target culture. If global success is your goal, it’s important to know that this is no longer the case.

Accuracy checks are as important as the content itself in corporate translation. The business face of our world has changed. We are a global community and there are considerations that we do today that we never took into account as recently as 10 years ago. One of the ways you can keep your content strategically positioned for your target audience is through the process of in-country review.

In-country review is a step in the translation process where a native speaker and subject matter expert, living in the region or country where the translations will be used, reviews the content to make sure the language and terminology used are appropriate for that region and that industry.

Certain terms may be more common, current, or accurate than others, and the in-country reviewer can verify the translation, while suggesting terms that they think will better describe your product or service to the desired audience.

Why is this step good practice?

In-country review is the client’s opportunity to incorporate preferences in terminology or style, to reflect the industry, products, services, and company culture with the greatest fidelity. By involving a stakeholder in your target county, you are assuring that your content is more likely to be understood and embraced by that country.

Who should perform the review?

It is always best to engage an in-country company employee, representative, affiliate, subsidiary or distributor to carry out this review. Anyone who is native to the target language and familiar with the product or service could be a good candidate perform the review – the reviewer does not need to be a trained linguist, but an expert in the company’s field with excellent language skills.

If you don’t have someone who can do this, then you have two options: You bypass this review—which is not advised—or you can work with a global translation service. Professional translation providers can’t match the subject matter expertise of a resource from your internal talent pool; however, they can help you find and train a team member to perform your review.

Most companies are not large enough to support an internal translation and localization department. Whether it be for technical documents or in-house memos, your best bet is to partner with a language services company (LSC) like TrueLanguage that has extensive experience in business translation services.

They will put this experience to work to appropriately translate your documents for any local language you need. A good LSC will provide you the option to conduct an in-country review in the final stages of the translation process. Always take it! You’ll rest better knowing that your content is clearly understood and accepted.

TrueLanguage is a global leader in business and technical translation services with multiple resources to help you choose guidelines for your in-country reviewers. We can even help you decide on what you need to communicate to get your expectations to the reviewer, thereby improving your product’s time to market. Request a FREE quote today or call us now at 1-888-926-9245

Mind Your Capitals

If you were to do a bit of research on habits and methods of communication in 2019 as opposed to 1999, or even 2009, it’s safe to bet you would learn that people today are communicating with each other in writing more than at any point in history. This is true across the global language spectrum, and technology is a significant reason why. Within the space of five minutes, and on a device like the one everyone reading this has in their purse or in a pocket (or, very possibly, in their hands right now, reading this on it), any person can write a text message, make a tweet, post to social media, craft an email, take notes, dictate to Siri or Cortana, create a task list… and maybe make a phone call, if they’re the type of person who still uses a phone for its original purpose.

That’s a huge amount of written text being generated. Anyone today whose job involves a computer likely spends more time reading, typing, corresponding, and reviewing documents than the generation before them did. And that’s just the communication required to keep the average business moving.

At TrueLanguage, communication is our business. So, you can imagine the sheer volume of words that crosses our eyeballs every day.

All this is to say: we’re always thinking about language, how to help our clients use language to their advantage, what might be useful for them to know as they craft communications for us to take to the global stage. We often have big ideas for topics. Language is a massive subject, after all.

And sometimes we’ll turn up something pretty small that turns out to merit further discussion. Let’s address one of those.

Which of these movie titles looks wrong?

  1. The Godfather
  2. The Birds
  3. The silence of the lambs
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Now, which of these lines from those movies looks wrong?

  1. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
  2. “There’s Nothing Wrong With Those Chickens, Mitch.”
  3. “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
  4. “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”

If you didn’t already know, this illustrates the difference between title case and sentence case.

The reason silence of the lambs looks weird is because title case is what we expect to see in, among other places, movie titles. Likewise, movie line number 2 doesn’t look like spoken dialogue due to all those capital letters – it ought to be in sentence case. Capital letters make all the difference here.

In the English language, a phrase in sentence case will capitalize only:

  • the first letter of the phrase
  • the first letter of any proper name (person, place, product, etc.)

Meanwhile, in title case, all words begin with a capital letter except for conjunctions, the most basic prepositions like “to” and “in,” and short indefinite articles. So, North by Northwest is correct, but An Affair To Remember is not.

What else is it that makes a sentence written in title case look wrong? Capital letters are more tiring to read, more stressful. No one’s likely to break a sweat reading an email, but an excess of capital letters breaks concentration and makes it difficult to maintain the flow of reading. Capital letters in English suggest that something is special, or worthy of urgent attention, and you can’t pay urgent attention to every word without getting fed up after a couple of lines. Conversely, the capitalization of title case gives a movie title/book title/job title or position the gravitas it needs. As seen above, title case makes the difference between a) a bunch of baby sheep being quiet and b) the time Agent Starling met Hannibal Lecter.

Now, why does this even matter for translation? Because languages other than English have their own rules for capitalization, and the distinction between sentence case and title case may be different, or even non-existent (it seems nobody loves title case as much as Americans do). To English-only eyes, German seems filled with extra capital letters, and it’s for good reason – since German word order is more complicated than that of other Western European languages, every single noun (proper or not) gets a capital letter, which makes it much easier to navigate a sentence. The French language doesn’t like capital letters nearly as much as English; French titles are written in what looks like sentence case to English readers. And those are two languages that are otherwise pretty closely related to English. The further one gets into various global regions, languages, and writing systems, the greater the differences will be.

And that’s why it’s so important for your localization projects to be handled by native-language resources at the stages of translation, proofreading, and (especially) in-country review. It’s possible for an American to gain native-level fluency in a foreign language through study, yet this doesn’t allow for the kind of cultural knowledge that comes from extended and complete cultural immersion.

If you’ve written a short letter to introduce yourself to new stakeholders in Paris, for instance, you might think a little thing like capitalization pales in importance next to the content of your message in translation. And you’ve got a friend who did a French minor for her bachelor’s degree, so she’s fine to translate it, right? Does it even matter if she capitalizes something she shouldn’t, or uses the wrong quotation marks?

Consider it this way – your foreign audience only knows you through your communications. Until you’ve built up and deepened the relationship, what and how you write to them is your sole connection, and will be fundamental to how they perceive you. As a guest in their culture, respect for that culture includes respect for their language… and respect given leads to respect earned.

So, mind your capitals, check your spelling, strike the right tone – and don’t worry, TrueLanguage can help.

Is Learning Another Language Good for You?

The short answer is yes! The study of foreign languages is extremely beneficial for everyone. Sure, there are the obvious benefits of connectivity and preservation of language, but there’s more. Learning another language is linked to cognitive acceleration and creativity and a slew of other benefits including:

  • Enhanced problem-solving skills
  • Better memory
  • Improved multi-tasking skills
  • Enhanced decision making

Language learning exercises your brain and expands your understanding. It increases your awareness and appreciation for how others live, work, and play. Plus, learning a second language makes you more employable.

Linguists say that you will only master a language if you truly enjoy it! Here are 10 languages you can have fun learning, and which you can also put to good use:

English

English is omnipresent. It is the primary language of the internet and computer technology. More than 375 million people are native English speakers, and as many as 1.5 billion use it each day. The United Kingdom and Canada have English as an official language, and it’s the de facto primary language for the United States—all are listed on the world’s 10 biggest economies.

Mandarin Chinese

With 982 million native speakers, Chinese has the greatest number of users. Altogether 1.1 billion people use the Mandarin Chinese dialect. On the global economic stage, China is positioned to be the world’s leading economy by 2050, which means this language will become even more influential.

Spanish

Spanish is the primary language of more than 20 countries, the majority in Latin America. There are around 330 million native speakers, and more than 420 million use it as a second language. In the U.S., around 35 million people speak Spanish at home.

Japanese

Around 127 million people speak Japanese natively and one million more use it to some extent.

Japanese is a beautiful and rewarding language to know, though it is a challenge to learn — reading and writing Japanese requires knowledge of two phonetic writing systems and thousands of kanji characters.

German

Germany has remained Europe’s most dominant economy for decades, and its language is the most spoken on the European continent. There are 105 million native speakers, and 80 million around the globe speaking German as a second language.

Russian

As the native language of some of the world’s greatest writers and intellectuals, Russian is an excellent language for students of history, literature, and the humanities to know . More than 150 million people speak Russian as their primary language and an additional 110 million speak it on a non-native level.

French

France has the sixth largest economy in the world. French was once the primary language of diplomatic discourse, and retains its status as an official language in France, Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, and throughout much of Africa and the Caribbean. Today, 79 million native people speak this language in France. Globally this number increases to 370 million.

Arabic

Arabic is the liturgical language of the entire Muslim civilization. It’s also the dominant language of the Middle East and an increasingly important language for global business, thanks to economic centers like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. This makes Arabic one of the most important languages on the planet. More than 205 million people speak this language, and there are 100 million non-native speakers worldwide.

Hindi

India has the seventh largest economy in the world; but by 2050, it is expected to be second. Hindi is the primary language of this country (out of more than 100 languages in all) and several surrounding countries. Its 450 million primary users and additional 200 million non-native speakers make Hindi the 4th most spoken language on Earth.

Portuguese

More than 215 million persons speak native Portuguese, while there are 235 million speakers in total. It’s the primary language in Portugal, Brazil, and seven other countries, and is often considered the major language of the Southern Hemisphere. This makes it one of the most important languages to know and understand.

TrueLanguage: In Good Business Company

What inspires business growth in a city like Atlanta, Georgia? Three things: vision, passion, and energy. These are exactly what Uli Dendy, CEO/President of TrueLanguage has.

She has served on the Atlanta Business Growth Team for several years. This dedicated group of business leaders has a set focus on the growth opportunities for the city and within their own business communities. Today, Uli Dendy focuses much of her attention on acquiring new members for the team—members that will carry on the legacy of this committed organization.

At TrueLanguage, Uli Dendy leads a committed team of experts, who provide a broad range of services that include translation to proofreading to eLearning, desktop typesetting and much more. She oversees a broad, multi-industry client portfolio and a network of more than 1,500 professional language resources around the world.

For more than 20 years, she has kept her finger on the pulse of the language translation and localization industry. Today, business leaders around the world trust TrueLanguage to provide exactly what they need to excel in a global marketplace.

TrueLanguage provides a comprehensive solution that enables communication platforms to function effectively in a cross-cultural and multilingual environment. One long-time customer, who is a company president and CEO writes, “TrueLanguage’s knowledge of cultural nuances, their attention to detail, and their ability to respond in a timely manner are among the many reasons TrueLanguage is our exclusive resource for all of our translation needs.”

TrueLanguage is an ISO-Certified business translation agency specializing in business translation, technical, document, legal, localization translation services and more. The company provides accurate localized translations by the highest skilled translators and linguists in the world.

ABGT Leave Behind List – 2019 rev (1)

As Language Shifts: Will English Remain on Top?

The English language owes its centuries of global dominance to the fact that it is the principal spoken language, if not always the official one, of some of the world’s most powerful nations—namely the US and the UK. English is a major lingua franca for the world, a language people who don’t share a first language can reliable fall back on. But this is changing. 

China’s status as an economic superpower presents a challenge to this dominance. To do business internationally, play the latest video games, or keep up with trends in popular music, English knowledge is still the surest bet. But language as we know it is on the move. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say there are more people in China with English as a second language than there are Americans who speak it as their first. 

And while you are likely reading this blog in English, with a couple of mouse clicks you can easily “translate it” into German, Japanese and a number of other languages. Computer translation and voice-recognition technology allow a person to speak their own language and hear what their interlocutor is saying in real time.

Computer translation is in part why the days of English as the world’s leading global language are numbered. But translation technology is not completely reliable yet. 

In California, scientists for Gridspace are developing translation and voice-recognition technology that’s so good that you can’t recognize whether you’re talking to a human or a computer. But there will always be a need for translators to keep an eye on what the computers are doing. 

Computers can’t capture feeling, emphasis and clear meaning. To be certain your words are translated correctly, you still need a human translation team to ensure these important elements of communication are captured. 

And the concept of “standard” English language is being challenged with vernacular languages. 

In India alone, you can find “Hinglish” (Hindi-English), “Benglish” (Bengali-English) and “Tanglish” (Tamil-English).

The same thing is happening among Hispanic-American communities in the United States; English combines with variants of Spanish as spoken across Central and South America to create vernacular “Spanglish.” Language is more than a means of communication. It is also an expression of identity, telling us something about a person’s sense of who they are. “Spanglish” may not be a target language for a translation project, but for a translator or interpreter — human or computer — working in Spanish or English, it’s essential to understand it. And for the moment, in that realm, a human being still beats a computer every time.

TrueLanguage, an ISO-Certified business translation agency specializing in business translation, technical, document, legal, localization translation services and more are experts at ensuring accurate localized translations that accomplish their intended goal.

The Benefits of Global Translation

While English is a strong influence across areas like politics, finance, trade and commerce, and entertainment, it’s no longer the world’s most widely spoken language. Chinese, Arabic, French and Spanish share the stage with English as languages that the majority of the planet understands and uses.

As such, it’s a prerequisite to the globally-minded commerce and trade culture of today to ensure your translation services are up to the task of connecting different people groups across varied languages and cultures. 

Though English is a global language of business communication, many countries still prefer to communicate in their native language. This means the right translation company can bridge the linguistic and cultural divide—so you communicate effectively. 

You may ask:

Why Use Professional Translation? 

• Trained professional translation experts not only speak the language of the country, they understand the culture as well. This guarantees that communication is clear and as unambiguous as possible.

• A trusted translation service allows you to communicate in a more efficient and abbreviated manner. A “human” translation service frees you to communicate professionally and with a fluid style. 

  Reputable professional translation reduces your chances of misunderstandings, faux pas, breaches in local etiquette and cultural gaffes. When these issues do arise, your translation provider can assist in resolving cross-cultural disparities.

• Your translation provider can also consult with you to formulate the best responses or answers, especially when undergoing business negotiations and creating proposals

Beyond specific document and project translation, translating your website is more important than ever. It’s your main e-commerce tool and the usefulness of your international presence goes far beyond providing information about your products and services. It’s an essential part of your company’s business strategy.

Today, it must perform well within the global community and adhere to local linguistic standards so clients and consumers within your global market reach understand its content. 

When it comes to building your website, your translation partner needs to be involved from the start, especially if your site provides blogs, articles, and other useful information. These components function as sales tools and an extension of physical store, team or office. 

TrueLanguage is your trusted source for language translation. We are an ISO-Certified business translation agency specializing in business translation, technical, document, legal, localization translation services and more. 

As a TrueLanguage client, you receive accurate localized translations by the highest skilled professional translators and linguists in the business. 

To Expand, or Not to Expand – Can You Risk “Staying Home”?

Running your own business is stressful. Planning and budgeting for a business is stressful, too. Marketing and developing your business? Stressful. No matter how small or large your business is, keeping it running profitably seems like more than enough for anyone to handle – and the mere thought of enlarging the scope of your business beyond your home market is bound to raise a whole new set of stress-making questions, like:

  • Where should we go first?
  • Where will the funds for this expansion come from?
  • How will we manage global distribution?
  • How will we recruit, hire, and train new employees on the ground?
  • How can we localize our products and messaging for our new clients?

These questions and the concerns behind them are real, and they’ve got to be addressed. But the challenges of growing your business onto the global stage shouldn’t prevent you from taking the steps to make it happen. Broaden your scope to include international clients, and you can achieve greater stability and profitability than you’ll ever know if you never “leave home.” When those questions above rear their anxiety-making heads, take a moment to ask yourself another set of questions about taking your business to the international market: what will you be missing out on if you don’t take that leap? 

1. Can you leave all that money on the table?

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the population of the United States only accounts for 4% of the world’s consumers. Flip the calculation and the numbers are even more jarring – an American business that only operates domestically is missing out on 96% of the world’s consumers. 

Consider how much money there is in that 96%, how many people there are in that near-entirety of the global consumer population who could benefit from what your business offers them. Yes, it takes a lot of work, research and effort to reach them, understand them, and market to them effectively. But expanding into just one well-chosen foreign market can bring you a new base of reliable, satisfied customers, and infuse new energy and capital into your business. Can you afford to pass that up?

2. Can your team flourish without the global talent waiting to join them?

You take care to seek out and engage the best people available to make up your team, and that’s no small feat. Recruitment, interviews, due diligence, and the rest of the hiring process are complex enough at the domestic level, and staffing in a different culture and language can make that process seem flat-out opaque. But it’s not only necessary for expanded global operations. It’s essential to the growth of your business in other ways, too.

International team members are more than human capital. They bring knowledge, experience, expertise, and cultural and educational diversity to the team you already have. Top talent recruited in all of your markets, learning from each other and working together for the advancement of the company – that’s how innovation happens. That’s what fosters a fulfilling, enriching environment where team members are excited to come to work. That’s what builds the kind of corporate culture that will continue to draw the best from every talent pool it touches, which in turn attracts the clients you want. Shouldn’t you get out there ASAP and engage your global team before someone else snaps them up? This leads to the next question…

3. Can you afford not to challenge your competitors?

You may not be working to make an impression in the global market right now, but you can bet your competitors are. The earlier you enter a foreign market, the sooner you can get to work building awareness of your brand and cementing customer loyalty. The longer you wait, the greater the likelihood that a competitor or two will get there first. 

Of course, it’s not the end of the game if a competitor already has a footprint in a market you’re interested in. Healthy competition is a good thing for the businesses on either side, and clients in every market appreciate having a range of choices. But no one plays to draw. You play to win. And how can you play to win if you don’t even get on the field?

4. Can you afford not to diversify your holdings?

It’s true that global expansion is a risk, and one that comes with a good deal of potential pain up front. All that growth and outreach can put a lot of strain on your bottom line… and with rising costs and the fluctuations of economic uncertainty, that bottom line is probably strained enough as it is. But think about the additional security that comes with successful expansion. A company that only operates domestically just has that one market for support; a recession or a bad sales cycle can cripple that support, or knock it out entirely. Each new foreign market adds a new leg to the table, so to speak. Markets that perform well can counteract the bad periods of others, and keep your company standing where others might fall.

And don’t forget: different markets also give you the opportunity to pilot new products or services, to see how they’re received abroad before you introduce them at home. Increased security, an expanded catalog, and a global testing lab for innovation? Isn’t all that worth the risk?

5. Can you pass up chances for foreign investment?

Lastly, remember that foreign markets don’t just hold new customers and new opportunities for developing your business. Once you’re on the global stage, you’re open to foreign investment opportunities. And those opportunities go in two directions, right? Foreign investors can take notice of you as a promising new enterprise on the scene, and approach you with offers to invest. And when your company has the financial footing to do so, you can make your own investments abroad, often with attractive incentives from the target regions. These financial infusions and new partnerships can accelerate your growth well beyond what your business could achieve on its own.

Think of Uber, the ride-sharing service we all know – after a start in 2009, Uber has expanded so broadly and fruitfully that their name is on the point of becoming a verb. In fact, their growth has been so rapid, consistent, and successful that in 2018 they received an investment from Japanese firm SoftBank to the tune of more than $7B.

Now, it should be clear that the benefits of expanding into global markets far outweigh the risks. The next questions that present themselves: where to start? and who can help? Only you can answer the first question, based on your own market research and business goals. The second question, though? Who can help? That’s where we come in.

At TrueLanguage, we can help you navigate the barriers to communication with your new foreign audience by localizing your website, your product packaging, your marketing materials, and anything else you need translated and localized for your global markets. Our team of expert translators and our experienced project management team can assist in reaching your target market no matter what language, and regardless of your industry. 

Contact TrueLanguage today for a free consultation, or for a free, no-obligation quote for localization services. We’re ready to help you grow. 

Machine Translation: Is It Useful?

It’s time to acknowledge the elephant in the room. 

As a translation and localization provider, I am often asked if TrueLanguage uses machine translation (MT) or human translators. MT tools have been around for a long time, and have undergone some significant changes to how the process of MT is approached. For certain applications, modern MT tools are useful saving time and money. Even in cases where MT is useful, it would be unwise to completely remove the human component from the process. 

There are currently a variety of machine translation tools available, each with a slightly different intended application. I will cover two major categories of MT tools; those designed for consumers, and those that are designed for businesses and specific industries. 

Consumer MT Tools

All machine translation tools are required to have a large database of language. The tools use this database to make comparisons which allows them to translate new words and sentences. Perhaps the most common MT tool for general consumers is Google Translate. This application is extremely useful for certain types of individual consumers, such as travelers or students. Google uses a set of general language in order to create a database for each of its many language combinations. This means that someone who is studying Spanish could find Google Translate very useful to learn vocabulary and even phrases and sentences for general, everyday interactions. Even many languages that are not widely used have a robust enough data set to produce accurate translations for these language contexts. 

The main issue that arises with consumer-focused MT tools is that they are designed to be general in nature, which means that they are not very useful for specific applications, like those required by businesses that operate in a particular industry. Unfortunately, some businesses that lack this awareness use Google for their translations, which creates detrimental results for a company’s image in their foreign markets. 

For this reason, many companies have spent years developing effective MT tools that are designed to work in these more specified contexts. The results are a variety of industry-specific machine translation tools that are useful for industries such as law, ecommerce, eLearning, technology, healthcare and many others. 

MT Tools Designed for Business Application

Looking at the history of machine translation tools helps to understand how useful current tools can be. The first MT tools designed specifically for business application were developed as long ago as the 1970s, and were rule-based machine translation (RBMT). Basically, developers approached MT by creating a set of grammatical rules between a source and target language. These rule sets were used to convert text from the source to the target language. In theory, the concept works well as long as the content is not too technical or specific. However, the database of the rules is difficult and expensive to maintain in order to continue to produce accurate content. 

In the late 1980s, RBMT tools were replaced with statistical machine translation (SMT) models. With SMT, rules are replaced with a statistical model that analyzes a training set (essentially a database) of language and extrapolates a translation of new text using the statistical model developed. Some of the advantages of SMT over RBMT include a built-in learning process, and models could be adapted easily by adding to or changing the training set. 

Though SMT was a major improvement, it has its own set of unique challenges and limitations. SMT requires an extensive training set of source and target language pairs. This is both time consuming and expensive to develop. In addition, SMT approaches translation largely at a phrase level and does not have a set of rules like the earlier model. The result – SMT engines are very good at translating individual phrases and words accurately, but overall fluency and grammar suffers. This grammatical inaccuracy is not a problem if you are using an SMT for personal use, but results in extensive post-editing investment for outward-facing content.  

In recent years, a new approach has emerged based on neural machine translation (NMT) tools. Unlike SMT, NMT tools look at an entire sentence, and analyze associations between phrases that do not appear next to one another. This results in greater fluency and grammatical correctness over earlier SMT models. 

Challenges of NMT

One of the challenges of NMT tools is that errors in terminology are common. While looking at the broader context results in higher fluency, this broad view leads to a decrease in terminology accuracy. 

An additional challenge is that, in order to work well, an NMT needs a massive data set of source and target language pairs. Most experts agree that about half a million words should be the standard. That means that about one million words (half a million for both the source and target language) must be available for use in creating the NMT data set. For a language pair like English and Spanish, this is relatively easy and an NMT tool is very useful. However, for a pair like English and Russian it is much more challenging. This is why it is important to consider what language pairs are feasible to use with an NMT. 

In addition to the sheer volume, good results from NMT depends on the quality of the database and the relevance of the application. Simply adding content to increase the volume of the data set won’t do much, and will result in inferior translations. The relevance of the application is also important; using an NMT engine designed for industrial engineering will not perform well on translating legal documents. 

Another challenge with NMT, as well as any machine translation tool, is that they are effective for certain applications but not for others. For example, NMT engines are very effective for technical language applications where the language is controlled, as long as the data set is sufficient. On the other hand, even with its advances, an NMT is ineffective for application in, say, marketing materials, since these materials are less controlled and often require transcreation. 

Advantages of NMT

The good news about NMT is that, despite all of these challenges, it is a great improvement over older SMT models, and is promising technology as it continues to develop. NMT tools perform well to maintain overall context within a sentence or even beyond the sentence level. Rather than analyzing language simply as a set of rules or word-by-word, NMT tools look at language as a whole. This results in greater accuracy in the language produced.

Today, sophisticated NMT tools are available to translation service providers, and are useful for a variety of applications and industries. These are great tools for increasing productivity and managing costs for both service providers and customers. As companies continue to develop NMT engines, the issues will reduce and benefits will increase, especially its usefulness for a wider range of industries. 

However, the truth is that, even with the advantages of NMT, human translators are required to review the translations produced by NMT tools to ensure their accuracy and appropriateness. All the research into machine translation tools shows that human translators are the best option, because they provide the best quality in translation. 

How Can TrueLanguage Help 

TrueLanguage always uses human translators and proofreaders because they produce the best translations in any industry. However, our own translation tools include a variety of commercially available NMT engines. We assist you in completing a full evaluation to decide whether or not these tools would be useful and advantageous for your organization. If your organization meets the criteria necessary for an NMT to reduce your costs, we assist you to implement these tools as part of our translation process. Contact us today to talk more about our services and how TrueLanguage can help you to improve your translation process. 

Why is Language Translation Important?

In a world where English is everywhere, is translation still important? Is it necessary? 

Yes! People still want to hear, do business and read in their native language. 

Language Translation requires sensitivity to culture and localization, which is the process of adapting a product or service to a particular language so that it has the desired local “look and feel.” 

Successful localization requires expert linguists who not only speak the native language but also understand the cultural nuances and colloquialisms. 

If you don’t want to offend or confuse your global audience, make sure you are using a translation company that understands your business needs and also the culture that you are communicating with on a regular basis.

Stay in Step with the World Around You

Daily interaction with people from other cultures teaches us to convey our thoughts, desires and interests to them in a way that is understandable. Language provides the platform for us to express ourselves while better understanding the world around us. 

We communicate on many different levels: words, gestures, tone of voice, and other ways—even eye contact. But we need to remember that written communication is indispensable. 

With rapid growth and advancements in technology, the daily interface between machines and individuals has increased dramatically. And the need for human translators has grown along with it. 

In fact, this advancement in technology has led to an increasing demand for linguists in tech fields. These are people who work on development of speech recognition and synthesis and interpretation of natural language.

Translation aids in the expansion of strategy within a company, and it’s considered a crucial core component contributing to success and business growth, especially when conducting cross-border business transactions and dealing with multi-lingual customers.

What You Gain

Business translation services give you the opportunity to reach a wider audience and tap into new consumer markets. A flexible, broad approach that welcomes international clients in their own languages leads to growth in revenue and profit, and takes your company to new heights.

Organizations the world over rely on different markets to achieve their target audience. A strong local presence of a company in various markets is often seen as a key factor in sustaining profitability and growth.

This means a company’s credibility increases in the mind of the consumer. This effect is central to the translation component. It’s impossible to reach out effectively to markets around the world without a translation service to ensure you clear any language barrier.

TrueLanguage provides an comprehensive solution to perfect your communication platform to function effectively in a cross-cultural and multilingual environment. 

We have an extensive network of highly-skilled linguists and subject matter experts around the world. Everything from translation, interpretation and editing to proofing and testing for cultural sensitivity is performed by native speakers, who live and work in the target country – important to ensuring your message isn’t lost in translation.