In an age when translation is so important, you’ll find instant translation apps and programs that can help you no matter what ends of the earth you travel to. While these travel apps can be great in a pinch for asking innocuous questions, there’s no way that they’re going to help you close a deal, work out a solution in a heated discussion or help you truly understand the meaning behind someone else’s words.
Globalization Has Changed the Game
Language has taken humankind to distant places where people of opposite cultures and character can come together for common purposes. We are no longer content with local products from Mom & Pop establishments; besides, Mom & Pop have most likely expanded their business to new areas anyway. Brands that are here to stay have gone global and more continue to follow suit. Common brands that are known worldwide include:
These businesses can be found in countries where English is not the first language—or even commonly spoken! Yet, they continue to thrive thanks to positive and clear corporate translations that foster good communication and business growth. Technology can only take translation so far before it becomes rather useless. It can help with the basics, but going deeper into business relations requires a human touch that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has not quite been able to master.
Artificial Intelligence Plays by the Rules
AI can be useful for statistics, accounting or even playing chess because these are things that have “fixed rules and a clear-cut measure of success or failure”.
You might be under the assumption that since words have meaning, they can be swapped out in different languages with ease; point conveyed, everyone on the same page. This is not always so. There is more to a thought, or a conversation, than the words spoken. AI can be useful for statistics, accounting or even playing chess because these are things that have “fixed rules and a clear-cut measure of success or failure,” says data science officer Michael Housman. He goes on to explain that with language, there are few “clearly-cut and defined rules. The conversation can go in an infinite number of different directions.” It’s this opportunity for different directions, as well as the way that feelings, tone and meaning contribute to the message, that makes translation apps and programs limited in terms of their degree of accuracy.
It Starts with Listening and Understanding
Leaving your business relationships to a computerized program is risky. Ilona K sums it up by suggesting that “A quality human translator understands the client’s objectives from listening to and understanding the details, nuances and cultures involved. This results in a seamlessly polished, cohesive, high-quality translation.” And isn’t that what all businesses need? Regardless of the language or the messages, listening and understanding are keys to effective communication that can take your business around the world and back again.