Automatic Translation in the Context of Global Commerce
Translation is a process that has been pivotal to interactions between human beings since the development of written language in ancient times. As people all over the world speak different languages, having a third party who can translate the communications between two groups of people from separate countries and cultures has proven to be invaluable. While technological advances such as the development of automated translation software programs have greatly reduced the need for human translators, the role of translation is nevertheless more important than ever before, particularly as it pertains to global business and in turn, communication.
A large reason for this is the rise of globalization that has occurred in the last 50 years. While traveling to other areas of the world was once a long and arduous process that required sea voyages or land trekking excursions that could last weeks if not months at a time, the development of airplanes and trains has allowed people to travel in a fraction of this time. What’s more, the rise of internet communication in the last 20 years has allowed people from different countries to communicate with one another in a manner that had previously not been possible.
Subsequently, businesses can now reach clients and customers from all around the world via the power of the internet. The rise of social media in the last decade is perhaps the greatest example of this global reach. As both large corporations and companies, as well as small businesses, have some sort of social media footprint, they can use their social media accounts to offer their products and services to people all over the world. However, this rise in global communication and commerce is still dependent on translation, as business dealings cannot run smoothly without both parties being able to communicate effectively.
What is the importance of translation to global businesses?
Translation plays an essential role in successfully engaging in global commerce. The most obvious role is that translation allows businesses to enhance the way in which they communicate with their customers. In many businesses, the way in which a product or service is communicated to a prospective customer determines whether said the transaction is successful or not. As communication is something that can inherently be left up to varying interpretations, ensuring that businesses accurately translate and communicate their messages to customers is key to long-term success. This is particularly true as it pertains to online communication, as most social media sites such as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. are still dependent on written communication, despite the fact that these platforms also boast video capabilities.
Another way that translation can play a huge role in the success or failure of a global business is the enhancement of said businesses’ brand or image. As internet communication has allowed for products and services to be marketed and advertised at the click of a button, businesses can now reach millions of consumers around the globe in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, the direct nature of this communication allows businesses to shape and improve their brand images in new and innovative ways. Irrespective of the specific nature or goal of a particular advertisement or marketing strategy, translation will be needed at some point during the process.
A third way that translation can be used to improve the functionality of an international business is through providing enchanted customer service and support. While customer support has historically been limited to in-person or over-the-phone communication, internet communication has become the new standard for such services in the modern era. Whether it be through an online ticketing system, live chat support, or dedicated social media, many businesses and corporations now depend on the internet to provide solutions to the various problems that customers face when looking to buy or return products. In spite of this enhanced ability to provide customer service, translation still plays an important role in a business’s ability to provide such services on a global scale.
What is the best way for businesses to go about utilizing translation services?
While hiring a human translator is still an option in the modern area, the time and costs associated with such professional assistance may not be feasible for many businesses and companies. To illustrate this point further, the average cost for professional translation services in the U.S. can range from $0.10 a word to $25 for a standard page, considering an average of 250 words per said page, or 1500 characters. When putting these prices in the context of a social media account that is looking to provide customer support to clients in 10 different countries around the world, enlisting the help of a professional translator may not prove to be feasible. Alternatively, there are now many automatic translation software programs available on the market that will perform translation services for a fraction of the time and cost as it would take to do so manually.
These software programs allow for text to be translated into dozens of languages, ranging from Spanish to Farsi. As it pertains to cost, automatic translation software programs can cost around $0.05 for a whole page, or around $5 to $10 an hour of video or audio files, representing a more cost-effective alternative to manual translation. Additionally, these software programs also allow users to make edits to their translations, enabling them to produce the highest quality of written communication possible. Regardless of whether a company or organization opts for manual translation or automatic translation, the role that translation can play in the prosperity and fortune of a business venture is more apparent than ever before.