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healthcare localization multilingual Translation

Harmonizing Healthcare: Transforming Patient and Visitor Experiences Through Localization

In our increasingly interconnected world, effective communication transcends borders and cultures. This rings true especially in healthcare environments, where clear, timely, and culturally sensitive interactions can greatly enhance experiences and outcomes for both patients and their loved ones. Localization – the process of adapting communications to meet diverse linguistic and cultural needs – unlocks new realms of inclusivity and understanding within healthcare settings. As an advocate for effective communication, offering professional audio recordings in any language, we at Holdcom understand the vital role that localization plays in fostering connection within the world of healthcare. In this blog, we’ll explore how localization transforms experiences for patients and their visitors in today’s hospital settings.

The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity  

Every individual carries a unique set of beliefs, values, and practices influenced by their cultural background. By demonstrating respect for these differences, medical centers foster trusting relationships and provide tailored experiences that resonate with patients and their visitors. This cultural competence extends beyond just acknowledgment – it is woven into personalized care plans and welcoming environments where all feel valued. 

Transcending Language Barriers  

Language barriers can significantly hinder effective communication and impede positive experiences in hospital settings. Whether it’s ensuring patients understand their diagnosis and treatment or helping visitors navigate the hospital environment, seamless communication is essential. Yet, linguistic diversity often outpaces accessibility. Localization bridges this divide by providing multilingual resources. Examples include providing medical instructions tailored to patients’ native languages, multilingual wayfinding signage to assist in navigating a hospital’s complex layout, and professionally recorded overhead announcements in multiple languages to ensure seamless communication among staff, patients, and visitors. 

The Legal and Ethical Imperative  

In the pursuit of localization, adherence to legal mandates and ethical principles is non-negotiable. Patients and visitors alike possess the fundamental right to receive information they can comprehend – a tenet of patient-centered and visitor-centric care. By upholding these standards, hospitals and medical clinics create environments where all feel respected, empowered, and able to actively participate in their care or loved one’s treatment. 

The Power of Multilingual Audio in Healthcare Communication 

Technological advancements have ushered in a new frontier of localization within healthcare. Automated translation systems and multilingual digital signage represent powerful tools for fostering inclusivity for patients and visitors visually. Yet, while leveraging localization in visuals is undeniably impactful, true inclusivity necessitates addressing the auditory element as well.  

By providing professional voice recordings in a comprehensive range of languages, Holdcom has helped empower healthcare facilities to optimize audio communication and cultivate enriching experiences for patients, visitors, and staff. 

A prime example is the case study of our client, a prominent healthcare system in New York City, who faced the challenge of effectively communicating with its diverse patient population. With English, Spanish, and Mandarin being the prevalent languages spoken within its community, the hospital recognized the need for multilingual communication solutions to improve patient experience and visitor compliance. The hospital partnered with Holdcom to implement professional “quiet time” announcements in their community’s prominent languages. By leveraging Holdcom’s expertise in audio communication, the hospital aimed to create a more inclusive environment where every patient and visitor could understand and adhere to quiet time policies effectively. 

The impact of the localization initiative was profound. By providing quiet time announcements in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, the hospital witnessed a significant improvement in compliance with quiet time policies. Patients, their families, and friends expressed appreciation for the effort to accommodate their linguistic needs, enhancing their overall experience during hospital visits. 

The success of this initiative highlights the transformative power of localization in healthcare communication. Through collaboration with Holdcom, the hospital successfully optimized audio communication to better serve its diverse patient population. And by embracing multilingual solutions, the hospital not only improved compliance but also fostered a more inclusive and patient-centered environment, reinforcing the importance of tailored communication in healthcare settings. 

The Future of Patient and Visitor Experiences  

As we look towards the future, the potential for healthcare localization is more promising than ever before. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to power real-time translation services, revolutionizing how we facilitate patient-provider communication and visitor interactions. By embracing innovation, healthcare organizations can overcome linguistic barriers and usher in a new era of unparalleled accessibility and personalization. 

Localization represents the harmonization of healthcare – a powerful strategy for delivering inclusive, compassionate care tailored to the distinct linguistic and cultural needs of every patient and visitor in hospital settings. By implementing professionally recorded multilingual audio solutions, healthcare facilities can significantly enhance their localization efforts, ensuring effective communication across cultures and communities. 

Discover how Holdcom’s professional recording solutions can elevate your localization efforts and enrich patient and visitor experiences. Contact us to learn more. 

Key Takeaways: 

  1. Localization Enhances Patient and Visitor Experiences: Effective communication is essential in healthcare settings to ensure positive experiences for both patients and their loved ones. Localization, through the provision of multilingual resources and professionally recorded audio solutions, fosters inclusivity and connection, ultimately enhancing the overall experience for everyone involved. 
  1. Cultural Sensitivity Drives Patient-Centered Care: Acknowledging and respecting cultural differences is paramount in healthcare delivery. Cultural competence goes beyond mere acknowledgment, influencing personalized care plans and creating welcoming environments where patients and visitors feel valued and understood. 
  1. Addressing Language Barriers is Imperative: Language barriers can significantly impede effective communication in hospitals. Localization plays a crucial role in overcoming these barriers by providing multilingual resources, including medical instructions, wayfinding guidance, and professionally recorded announcements, ensuring that communication is seamless and accessible to all. 
  1. Legal and Ethical Considerations are Non-Negotiable: Upholding legal mandates and ethical principles is essential in healthcare localization efforts. Patients and visitors have the fundamental right to receive information in a language they understand, underscoring the importance of patient-centered and visitor-centric care. 
  1. The Future of Healthcare Localization is Promising: With advancements in technology, the potential for healthcare localization is more promising than ever before. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning offer innovative solutions for real-time translation services, paving the way for unparalleled accessibility and personalization in patient and visitor interactions. 

By embracing localization and leveraging professional audio recording solutions, healthcare facilities can optimize communication, enhance patient experiences, and cultivate environments of inclusivity and compassion. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

Q: What is localization, and why is it important in healthcare?  

A: Localization refers to the process of adapting communications to meet diverse linguistic and cultural needs. In healthcare, localization is crucial for ensuring effective communication with patients and visitors who may speak different languages or come from varied cultural backgrounds. By providing information in multiple languages and tailoring communication to cultural preferences, localization enhances patient experience and improves outcomes. 

Q: What types of healthcare facilities can benefit from localization services?  

A: Localization services are valuable for all types of healthcare facilities, including hospitals, clinics, urgent care centers, and medical offices. Any healthcare setting that serves a diverse patient population can benefit from providing multilingual resources and professionally recorded audio solutions to enhance communication and patient experiences. 

Q: How can healthcare facilities effectively implement localization in their audio communications?  

A: Healthcare facilities can implement localization effectively by partnering with an experienced provider like Holdcom. The process involves identifying the linguistic and cultural needs of the facility’s patient population, creating multilingual resources such as digital signage and announcements, and ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards related to language access. 

Q: What are some examples of successful localization initiatives in healthcare?  

A: Successful localization initiatives in healthcare include providing multilingual patient education materials, offering interpreter services for non-English speaking patients, and implementing multilingual wayfinding signage and overhead announcements. Case studies, like the one highlighted in this blog, showcase the positive impact of localization on patient and visitor experience and satisfaction. 

Q: How does Holdcom contribute to healthcare localization?  

A: Holdcom offers professional audio recording solutions in any language, helping healthcare facilities communicate effectively with patients, visitors, and staff. To learn how these solutions can enhance your healthcare localization efforts, please contact us or visit our website for more information. 

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localization multilingual Translation video voice over

Exploring Language Replacement for Videos: Traditional Dubbing Vs. AI Solutions 

In today’s interconnected world, the need for language replacement services in videos goes beyond mere practicality – it is a vital component in breaking down linguistic barriers and cultivating meaningful cultural connections. Businesses that leverage these services to communicate with a diverse audience in their native languages not only enhance engagement with users but also demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and diversity.  

In this blog, we’ll delve into the transformative power of language replacement for videos and how it streamlines communication, fostering authentic connections in our multicultural digital landscape. We’ll also objectively evaluate both the traditional dubbing method and AI-powered solution to help you make an informed choice for your specific language replacement video projects. 

What is Language Replacement for Video?  

Language replacement is a solution that adapts video content originally produced in one language into multiple languages, so users don’t have to rely on third-party translators to understand the information being conveyed. By seamlessly replacing the original language audio with new language recordings, businesses can speak to a diverse, multilingual audience directly in their videos. 

Imagine a healthcare organization has created an informative video about a new medical treatment. The original video is in English, but the organization also wants to reach non-English-speaking patients in the communities they serve. By enlisting their audio marketing provider to apply language replacement services to their video, the organization can make the content accessible to a much wider audience than originally intended, ultimately contributing to more informed and empowered patients. 

What is the Process for Applying Language Replacement to Video?  

Until recently, the process of translating and adapting video content into different languages was limited to two prevailing methods: Subtitling, which maintains the audio of the original language and requires the audience to read on-screen subtitles, and Dubbing, which replaces the original language audio with a new language recording. 

For businesses who don’t want to risk losing audience engagement by requiring viewers to read subtitles, dubbing is certainly the preferred method. Yet, to achieve such engagement, the traditional dubbing process of language replacement can require additional time and resources. 

A Third Option: AI-Powered Language Replacement 

Thanks to ongoing advancements in artificial intelligence, a third option is now available: AI-Powered Language Replacement. This innovative approach simplifies the steps involved in the traditional dubbing process, significantly reducing time and cost. While the traditional dubbing method remains the obvious choice for some organizations, those seeking a more streamlined option to circumvent the intricacies of synchronizing multilingual voiceovers with their videos can now explore the advantages of AI-powered language localization services. 

Let’s take a closer look at both the traditional dubbing and AI-powered language replacement methods, highlighting their respective advantages and drawbacks to help you decide which approach is right for your video project. 

The Traditional Dubbing Method  

For those who have a significant budget and a flexible deadline, the traditional dubbing method is a tried-and-true process to achieve accurate, engaging language replacement in your videos. First, we’ll take a look at the steps involved and then, the pros and cons of this method: 

  1. Pre-Production Planning: Since synchronization comes into play during video-narration recordings, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before your video’s spoken content is translated and recorded in a new language. Does your video have an on-screen narrator(s)? Will you require Off-Screen Narration, UN-/News-Style Dubbing, or Lip-Synch Dubbing? How closely should the new language recording match the pacing of the original language? Whether your dubbing project seems relatively simply or highly complex, speak with your audio marketing provider to discuss how you envision the final product of your language replacement video, so they can help you realize that vision.  
  2. Translation: An experienced, professional human translator is enlisted to accurately translate the video’s original language transcript into a new language(s). 
  3. Recording: After the translation has been finalized, a professional voice talent will record the translated script. The talent must of course be fluent in the language (s)he’s recording but also experienced in recording video narrations. Since synchronization is involved, the talent must follow specific instructions to avoid potential problems later when the recording is mixed into the video. In general, the new language should be recorded with accurate timing and rhythm to match the pacing of the original language as closely as possible.  
  4. Post-Recording Production: After recording, the voice track undergoes editing by experienced audio producers who equalize the audio levels, manually insert the new recording into the video, and fine-tune synchronization. 

Pros:

  1. High-Quality Translations: Experienced human translators ensure accurate translations, which can be reviewed and perfected prior to recording. 
  2. Engaging Voice Talent Recordings: Fluent, professional voiceover talents deliver captivating and authentic audio for your video. 
  3. Tailored Synchronization: Skilled audio producers provide hands-on editing to ensure the timing and rhythm of the new recording matches the video’s original audio for an engaging experience. 

Cons:

  1. Expense: Traditional dubbing can be costly due to translation, recording, and post-production expenses. 
  2. Time: With multiple steps required, the process can be laborious and may lead to delays with the final product. Translator and voice talent availability will factor into the timeline. And, depending on the level of synchronization required for your project, the replacement language could take significantly longer to record than the original. Out-of-sync scenes will need to be massaged in the post-production phase, which can be a tedious process. 

AI: The Latest in Language Replacement  

For those on a tight budget and hard deadline, the traditional dubbing method simply may not be a viable option. Thanks to the refinement of AI-powered language localization services, businesses can now consider a more streamlined approach. 

AI technology is no doubt a topic of debate, with valid arguments both for and against its use. While AI technology may not replicate the finesse of the human touch, it does offer cost-efficiency for businesses that cannot afford traditional dubbing services. Depending on several factors, including the length and complexity of the video, the specific languages involved, the quality and expertise of the human translators and voice actors, and the level of customization required, AI dubbing can be 50% to 70% more cost-effective compared to traditional dubbing – or, in some cases, even greater. 

Time is often of the essence when it comes to producing video content. Although not always, traditional dubbing methods can cause delays. With AI technology performing the heavy lifting, the translation, recording, synchronization, and post-production editing steps of the traditional dubbing process are executed with ease in a fraction of the time. Through AI-powered language replacement, videos are seamlessly resynchronized, while preserving the original content, including music, transitions, and timing intervals.  

While the AI method may sound like a no-brainer, it’s not without its drawbacks. Consider the pros and cons: 

Pros:

  1. Cost-Efficiency: AI solutions are budget-friendly, making language replacement accessible to a broader range of businesses. This affordability allows these businesses to expand their reach with language replacement and connect with a broader audience when they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. 
  2. Expedited Turnaround: AI-powered language replacement services reduce the time it takes to produce the final product compared to traditional dubbing methods. AI-powered language localization can help businesses meet their strict deadlines, making it a viable option for those who require a quick turnaround without largely compromising on quality. 
  3. Availability of Voices/Languages: Depending on what AI technology you enlist for your language replacement project, you will likely have more voice options to choose from than you actually require – with extensive variations in age, gender, vocal tone, etc. And the technology will likely offer any language you could ever need for your localization projects.  

Cons:

  1. Voice Authenticity: Although the quality of AI voices is always evolving, they still may not sound as natural or “real” as professional human voice talents, potentially impacting the authenticity of the audio content. The rendering of an AI voice may need to be fine-tuned several times until it sounds as genuine as possible. 
  2. Translation Quality: While the accuracy of AI-generated translations has improved over time, AI is not advanced enough to completely match the precision of experienced human translators. Prior to recording an AI-generated translation, having a person fluent in the language review the script for accuracy is highly recommended.

Unlocking the Potential of Multilingual Video Content  

In an increasingly globalized world, the ability to adapt video content to different languages is essential. Whether you’re considering the traditional dubbing method or AI-powered language replacement for your videos, these services will allow you to reach a wider audience, foster inclusivity, and engage your viewers in their native languages.  

Ultimately, the choice between these methods should align with your budget, timeline, and the level of authenticity you desire for your language replacement project.  

Still unsure which method is right for you? Consult with your audio marketing provider, who will steer you toward the best approach based on your specific requirements. 

Key Takeaways 

Language Replacement for Video: This vital solution adapts video content from one language into multiple languages, making your message accessible to a broader audience. It’s an essential tool for breaking linguistic barriers, fostering inclusivity, and educating and empowering your audience on a larger scale than originally intended. 

Process Options: Traditional dubbing and AI-powered solutions are the two primary methods for replacing the language of your video’s audio content. 

Traditional Dubbing: Offers high-quality translations and engaging recordings by experienced professionals but could be a costly and time-consuming process depending on the scope of your project. 

AI-Powered Language Replacement: Provides cost-efficiency and expedited turnaround but may present authenticity and translation quality concerns. 

Choosing the Right Method: Your decision depends on budget, timeline, and authenticity requirements, as well as the scope of your project. 

Consult the Experts: Consult with your audio marketing provider for guidance tailored to your project’s needs. 

FAQ 

Q1: Why is language replacement for video important? 

A1: Language replacement for video enhances accessibility, promotes inclusivity, facilitates global reach, educates/empowers your audience, supports multilingual communication, and contributes to business growth in our diverse, interconnected world. 

Q2: What are the advantages of replacing the audio content of your video with a new language as opposed to subtitling? 

A2: Replacing the audio content of your video with a new language offers several advantages over subtitling, as it enhances engagement by providing a more immersive experience, improves accessibility for those with visual impairments or limited reading skills, fosters a deeper cultural connection with viewers, offers the convenience of passive consumption, and widens your audience reach by catering to a broader, global audience, including those who may not be proficient in the video’s original language. 

Q3: What replacement languages should I consider for my videos? 

A3: The choice of replacement languages for your videos should align with your target audience and business objectives. Identify the primary languages spoken by your target audience. If you’re unsure, gather feedback from your audience to understand their language preferences and use this data to prioritize languages spoken by a significant portion of your viewers. If your videos have a global reach, consider the most widely spoken languages worldwide, such as English, Spanish, Chinese, and Hindi. Choose languages that resonate with the cultural context of your content to enhance cultural connection. And, if you’re entering new markets, select languages that support your expansion goals.  

Q4: Which language replacement method is best: the Traditional Dubbing approach or the AI-Powered approach? 

A4: Both methods have their advantages and drawbacks. Traditional dubbing offers high-quality translations and authentic voice talent recordings but can be cost-prohibitive and time-consuming for some businesses. On the other hand, AI-powered approaches are cost-efficient, offer quicker turnaround, and provide more voice and language options. However, they may lack translation precision and voice authenticity, which may need to be fine-tuned before the final product is ready. 

Q5: How should I choose between Traditional Dubbing and AI-Powered language replacement for my project? 

A5: The choice should align with your budget, timeline, and the level of authenticity you desire for your language replacement project. Consulting with your audio marketing provider, who is experienced in both methods, can help you make an informed decision based on your specific requirements. 

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marketing marketing-triage multilingual Translation

How to translate English into English for different audiences  

You may be speaking English to English speakers, but if you are talking over their head, or delivering irrelevant information, your message is not being understood. Add to that the challenge of speaking to a splintered internal audience that holds doctorates, GED’s, and/or speaks English as a second language, and external audiences that have no background in the subject matter, and you have quite the communications challenge on your hands. It’s something that Kelly Katapodis is very familiar with, serving as the Head of Comms and PR at SOPHiA Genetics and previously as Director of Marketing at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, MA.  

“Many of us in healthcare have to communicate complex, technical topics in a way that can be easily understood by internal and external audiences,” she said. “The challenge is figuring out how to loop in the audience and connect with them to further the business at hand. 

Kelly says the first step in crafting any message is understanding “the why” of the message. “Remember your potential readers will be asking, ‘Why are you telling me this’, and ‘Why is this happening’? If the communication answers those questions, there is a much higher likelihood that it will be seen as relevant and will be read.”  

Whether the audience is comprised of employees and patients or potential customers, asking “why” is just as important for the writer as it is for the recipient. Internal communications set the tone for the organization’s culture. External communications need to be carefully “translated” so readers can understand and connect.  

She uses the five “Ws” of journalism to organize her approach and weave common sense into a complicated communication equation. Being intentional and proceeding with clarity of purpose helps determine where the audience is and increases the chances they will be listening.   

  • Who are you trying to reach?  
  • What is the message? What are you trying to say?  
  • When do they need to receive it, in what cadence and timing? 
  • Where will people see the message, on what platforms?   
  • Why is the communication being sent? 

For communicators working inside large organizations, the audience will always be splintered, and there isn’t necessarily the luxury of crafting multiple laser focused messages. Kelly has one piece of advice, “You may not nail it the first time, but that’s ok. Have a desire to learn what works, evolve your style, and your success rate will continue to grow and you will continue to improve the rate at which you connect with an ever changing, diverse audience.”  

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IVR localization multilingual phone menu prompts Translation voice over voice talent

Leveraging the Diversity of New York City: How to Build an Inclusive Business and Serve a Multicultural Clientele

New York City is known for its diverse population and vibrant culture. One aspect of this diversity is the wide range of languages spoken in the city. According to a recent study, over 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

This diversity brings many benefits to the city and its residents. It allows for a rich exchange of ideas and cultures, and it also makes the city a more welcoming and inclusive place for people from all backgrounds.

However, this diversity also presents challenges when it comes to communication. In order to effectively serve the needs of all its residents, it is important for businesses and organizations in New York City to be able to communicate in the languages of their clients and customers.

One way to accomplish this is by providing translation and interpretation services. By offering these services, businesses and organizations can ensure that their communications are clear and accessible to all. This is particularly important in industries such as healthcare, education, and government, where effective communication is crucial for providing high-quality services.

In addition to providing translation and interpretation services, it is also important for businesses and organizations to prioritize language diversity in their hiring practices. By hiring multilingual staff, businesses can better serve the needs of their diverse customer base and foster a more inclusive work environment.

Another important touch point to consider regarding language diversity is your business or organization’s phone systems and IVRs (Interactive Voice Response systems). By offering multiple language options on these systems, businesses can make it easier for callers to navigate and access the services they need.

For example, a business with an IVR system that provides upfront language preference options ensures callers are able to access the information and assistance they need in their own language. This not only improves the customer experience but also increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

The availability of different languages on business phone systems and IVRs is an important aspect of effective communication and customer service. By offering multiple language options, businesses and organizations can better serve the needs of their diverse customer base and foster a more inclusive and accessible environment.

Overall, the diversity of languages spoken in New York City is both a strength and an opportunity. By recognizing and addressing this diversity, businesses and organizations can better serve the needs of all their clients and customers and contribute to the city’s vibrant and inclusive culture.

One More Thought…

Check out this press conference excerpt of the Mayor discussing the need for all hospitals to offer multilingual brochures and communications for patients. NYC Health + Hospitals offers their callers 9 distinct language preference options on their phone system’s IVR prompts.

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customer experience IVR multilingual phone menu prompts scriptwriting tips Translation

The Best Method for Translating Your Audio Production Scripts

Human vs. Machine – Translation Excellence?

You’ve just finished writing a comprehensive IVR script for your organization’s phone system.  But before submitting it to Holdcom, you remember you were tasked with having the script recorded not only in English but also Spanish, French, and Mandarin, since a significant portion of your client base communicates with your organization in those languages.  Like any professional working within a budget, your first instinct is to research the most cost-effective options possible to have your English script translated into the other languages.

Perhaps you’ve seen ads online for websites promising no-cost, on-the-spot translation solutions.  Or maybe you remember there’s a built-in translation app on your mobile phone that you’ve always wanted to try out.  Or perhaps you simply decide to type the words “free translation” into your web browser, and up pops Google Translate as the first search result.

Whichever of these methods you choose, you’re amazed not only at the ease-of-use the automated tool offers but also the immediacy that it renders a seemingly thorough translation.  All you had to do was simply copy-and-paste your English script into the “Enter Text” box, select the desired language for translation, and INSTANTLY a fully formed translated document appeared.  And you didn’t need to pay a single cent!  Nothing short of victory, right?

But before you email that translated script over to Holdcom to be recorded, remember the age-old saying – If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

While no-cost translation sites/apps can be a great resource for quickly translating stand-alone words, short phrases, or even full paragraphs to obtain the gist of information presented to you in a language you don’t understand, these same sites/apps can yield varying degrees of inaccurate translations, depending on the context of the verbiage you’re translating and the languages involved.

So while a free automated translation site might be an adequate solution when it comes to personal use (such as helping you understand an email or text from your new social media friend in France, who’s writing to you in his native language), that same site’s lack of 100% accuracy renders it an ineffectual tool for professional applications, especially long-form applications such as Message-On-Hold and IVR scripting.  In other words, the longer your script, the greater the likelihood the automated tool will produce errors in the translation.

Of course this begs the question – WHY do these automated translation tools produce such errors?

Think about it.  In English, a word can have various meanings, and those meanings can be very different from each other.  If someone were to say any of these common homonyms to you –

fan, park, play, right – as purely stand-alone terms and expect you to know the exact meaning they’re implying, you could certainly take a guess.  But you would really need to know the surrounding context associated with those words to understand the precise meaning that person was intending.  Such is true for homonyms in other languages.  And therein lies one of the reasons an automated translation site/app can easily take a wrong turn.

Depending on which type of auto-translation tool you use and the languages you’re pairing, the software may rely on direct (or, “literal”) translation methods, meaning it translates each word of your text separately, without considering how those words are used collectively in the full context.  This can result in not only grammatically incorrect – but oftentimes, nonsensical – translations.

To give you an example, I remember receiving a client’s Spanish translation years ago and immediately realized they had used an automated translation tool.  I’m not fluent in Spanish by any means, but when I referenced the client’s English version of their Spanish translation, I noticed the word “Queens” throughout.  And based on the context of the English script, I could see the client was referring to the New York City borough of Queens.  However, the word “Queens” appeared nowhere in the Spanish translation, which was a red flag.  I could see that instead of leaving the proper name of “Queens” intact in the Spanish translation, the automated tool mistakenly translated it literally as “Reinas” – the plural version of “a female sovereign or monarch” – which was obviously not the word/meaning the client intended.

So what will happen if you unknowingly submit a faulty translation to Holdcom to be recorded?  In general, it will cause confusion and ultimately delay the production of your final product, which is never ideal – especially if your leadership has given you a hard deadline to have the recordings implemented on your phone system.  So as our voice talent sits down to record your translation, s/he will inevitably spot grammar and word choice errors that will likely render the script unreadable.  In these situations, I often receive feedback from voice talents as such: “Unfortunately it appears this script was translated using Google Translate or a similar site.  If I were to record this as is, I’d basically be reading gibberish in some sections.  I think I know what the client is trying to say, but I honestly can’t be sure and I certainly don’t want to guess.  So please circle back with the client for clarification.”

Although the accuracy of certain automated translation tools has improved over the years, don’t assume the site/app you’re using is necessarily selecting the word/meaning it thinks best based on the specific nuances of your content.  Such automated tools are more likely relying on a language pattern-matching algorithm, so there’s no guarantee it will select the word/meaning you intended.  To compound the problem, there is no reliable way to confirm the auto-translator’s word choices are fully accurate without an actual human being, fluent in both the original language and translated language, to verify those word choices.  A machine using an algorithm simply can’t understand the contextual subtleties to the same degree a trained human can.

And that is why, when translating a document that will be used for a professional application, it’s crucial to steer clear of these “machine translators” in favor of skilled human professionals.  Experienced professional translators will take the necessary time and effort to avoid the pitfalls of literal translation methods.  They’ll factor in the all-important rules of grammar as well as any cultural references and nuanced language contained in your script.  They may utilize not only their personal knowledge and expertise of the languages required for the translation but also well-established multilingual dictionaries/glossaries, “back translation” methods, and proofreading/review techniques, which automated translation tools do not employ.

If you don’t already have a reliable human translation source (such as a fluent bilingual staff member with a proven track record of providing error-free translations), then Holdcom, at an affordable rate, can provide you with professional translation services, performed by certified, highly experienced multilingual translators.  And since word choice can be subjective even when skilled human translators are involved, you will be given the opportunity to review and approve all translated documents before we record them.  This way, if our Spanish translator translates the phrase “To repeat these options, press 9” as “Para repetir estas opciones, oprima 9” – but you prefer the word choice of “Para repetir estas opciones, presione 9” – we can certainly adjust that to your liking before the script is recorded and implemented on your phone system.

Contact Holdcom at 800 666 6465 for assistance with foreign language localization assistance