Why Mistranslation Matters More than You Think

We’ve all had the pleasure of laughing at a funny translation fail. Like the time when a restaurant owner served Language in Sauce on his menu. A very witty Google Translate suggestion for translating of Lengua in Salsa in English. 

But if you think mistranslations are harmless mistakes that cause an occasional giggle, think again. 

The real cost of mistranslation

A faulty translation can end up in devastating lawsuits and losses, too. There are glaring examples of million-dollar hospital lawsuits due to a wrong diagnosis. We’ve also seen cases of large corporations losing hundreds of thousands in marketing costs. The main culprit? A mistake in translation. 

A mistranslation might be eroding your revenue stream more subtly, too. With the exponential growth of information, our attention span is decreasing. So your customers are becoming pickier about their purchase decisions. A poorly translated message can become a tipping point for a customer. Why? The low quality of your content does not evoke trust. And if they don’t trust you, they won’t buy from you.

Saving on translation services looked like a wise move. But in reality, it could be costing you tenfold in the sales you lose.

How to avoid mistranslations?

Speaking two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. Translation requires skill and training. Another vital part of ensuring quality is inherent to a well-controlled process. It includes certified translators, translation memories for consistency, and proofreading. Something only a serious translation agency will provide.

If assurance fails, there’s insurance

Translation is a human process. So there is a slight chance of something going South even with the best processes in place. If that happens, a good translation agency will have business liability insurance to cover potential losses arising from a mistranslation. This is something that freelancers rarely offer because the cost of such insurance is high.  

With LingPerfect, you can rest assured and insured. We have a rubber-stamped quality management process (ISO 9001:2015). And on top of it – best-in-class liability insurance. 

Now is the time to get ready for your new global market

These are unprecedented times for all of us. With the economy giving no signs of a quick and steady recovery, business is becoming increasingly hard to predict. At least that’s what the experts say.

In reality, what they mean is that business-as-usual is becoming increasingly challenging to predict. Because your customers are still out there, and so are their needs. What is changing is how they make their buying decisions and how (or where) they enjoy your service or product.

The current situation has produced an unseen peak in online content consumption across the globe, driving an increasing number of interactions from offline into the online realm. The Internet has become a significant business delivery channel even for industries traditionally bound to physical presence – think yoga studios or museums, for instance. We wager that this trend will continue long after the movement restrictions have been lifted.

So what does this mean for your business? 

Well, it can mean good news. With more and more of life’s activities consumed remotely, your business is less bound to be physically present in the local market. Therefore, it’s a perfect opportunity to reconsider your customer geography – who will your business be targeting after the slowdown. Now more than ever, it’s time to plug into that The World is My Market mindset.

In this new reality, there are some new ground rules you should consider, however. A more global audience means having to deal with a variety of new cultures. The key success factor will be your ability to address customer needs and create value around your brand locally. Having your corporate or e-commerce website in English will not be enough. Pitching your prospects with marketing collaterals that don’t resonate with the local culture will result in fewer leads and fewer sales.

In other words, you need to walk the walk in the local culture, or else your message will get lost amidst the plethora of content out there.

If you want to be ready for this new reality arising after the slowdown, you need to start investing in creating localized content now. Translating and culturally adapting your marketing and sales materials should become an integral part of your business strategy, not a nice-to-have marketing perk.

Luckily, you won’t need to set up regional teams or offices to help you create your content locally – we’ve got your covered there. With our global team of expert linguists and content strategists, we take your message and recreate it so that it gets heard and acknowledged in the local culture. Drop us a line or give us a call, and we’ll be happy to walk you through the details.

TO ALL OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS

LingPerfect cares: during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, our top priority is the health and well-being of all our employees, linguists and partners around the globe. Your health, safety and welfare are important to us. LingPerfect wants to assure you that we actively monitor the progress of the virus, communicating daily with many of our customers and working together to address this serious challenge. We will continue to be an active partner for you in your preparation efforts and in the event of a pandemic.

What we do: we are implementing active safety procedures. Due to the person-to-person spread of the virus we are introducing safety measures which are designed to minimize direct personal contact. In this time of crisis, we have implemented a set of processes to ensure business continuity for our employees and customers around the globe. All our project management work will continue seamlessly 24/7.

IT’S TIME FOR BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLANNING

What we offer: a highly qualified global list of remote distributed interpreters – our network provides access to distributed points of service and allows uninterrupted operations.

Contact us to ask how to:

  • move your face-to-face interpreters over to video remote interpreting (VRI),
  • access/set up interpreting by phone,
  • deliver American Sign Language interpretation by video,
  • integrate video remote interpreting-on-demand directly into existing platforms or workflows,
  • improve online meetings (GoToMeeting, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others) with interpreters using API or phone.

Because the best time to prepare is now, LingPerfect has set up a special team to address any queries related to your business continuity planning. Please contact us directly at sales@lingperfect.com as soon as possible for more information and to schedule these programs.

Thank you for your continued trust and partnership with LingPerfect. Stay safe and be well.

Global Technical Skills: Keeping the Secure, Secure in Localized Government

Security is important for everyone, but for those working in government organizations, it can literally mean the difference between life and death. Intelligence agencies, military intelligence, and government agencies deal with highly secure information on a daily basis and each person with access to this data constitutes an additional risk to the safety and security of the information they are accessing, and to the lives of the people they need to protect. In an international environment, where content is translated to and from English with language pairs all over the world, there is an even greater risk of leaks unless those in charge of security take measures to protect the information. This blog will give recommendations on protecting your data security, especially when you are working with outside resources to manage your content translation.

One of the first questions you need to ask when you are working with a translation project is what level of security does it require? For the most secure documents, many organizations will source translations internally, which means if there is a staff translator who is a native speaker of the target language and can translate the document accurately and on secure internal networks, this work will be done at the office. In most cases, these individuals will need to have security clearances, so make sure you know who is touching your content and what clearances they have. When the security needs are not so extensive as to require an internal resource or security clearance, you will want the assurance that the translation service provider you choose takes appropriate precautions to keep your data safe.

            There are a number of ways to investigate the security of your supplier. One is to ask who, both among the employees of their company and the contractors, will have access to your data and where this access will take place. You can request that the translators and the project manager work in specific offices with network security, even onsite at your location, and that there is no way for data to fall into the wrong hands. Another tip for people concerned about security is to request that all contractors or employees who work with your content sign NDAs or umbrella NDAs which specifically reference your project and any extra security requirements. Lastly, you will want to make sure that the translation service provider has taken quality management precautions as certified by the ISO 9001 family of certifications:

“This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement. These principles are explained in more detail in the pdf Quality Management Principles. Using ISO 9001:2015 helps ensure that customers get consistent, good quality products and services, which in turn brings many business benefits.”

Source (https://www.iso.org/iso-9001-quality-management.html)

LingPerfect Translations has been ISO 9001:2015 certified since 2013. We would be happy to discuss the details of the certification with you as well as any security issues you may have with your content translation services.

Localization in our World: Language Interpreting in the US and Globally

As the volume of global content grows in private and public sector, the volume of written translation naturally increases. This is measurable and is undeniable. Translation refers to written words that are transformed from one language to another. Spoken language, when transformed into another language, is referred to as interpretation. Language interpretation takes place all around us, all the time, when you have someone who helps 2 or more people communicate more effectively by being an intermediary. In less formal environments, this might happen in public, at events or in private spaces. In more formal environments, like business, government or conference settings, you typically hire professional interpreters. 

When asked if LingPerfect Translation does interpreting as one of our services, we respond with a definitive “YES”. However, there are often many questions that follow when our client wants to engage with us. The initial questions of which language and what dates and times are typically easy. We also delve into content as well as preferred interpreting structure of flow. 

The 4 main types of interpreting are consecutive, simultaneous, whispered and Over-the-Phone Interpreting (OPI). 

Consecutive interpreting is when the interpreter speaks after the speaker has conveyed a message, either in the gaps of pauses in speech or at the end of a longer statement, using notes. Consecutive interpreting typically takes place in a live environment. Simultaneous interpreting is where the interpreter speaks while the original speaker is still speaking. Typically, this will be done in larger events or conferences where there is access to interpreting equipment, like headsets, for the interpreter and the audience. This isolates the languages so that the original language can be spoken in its natural flow and the interpreted language can come across in the headphones. Whispered interpreting is a form used in person, without headsets, where the interpreter whispers or interprets in a very low voice as to not disturb the speaker. Typical venues for interpreters are legal, medical, conference, broadcast media and for business escorts or 1-on-1 meetings. We are seeing much more interpreting work in the public sector all over the world to support individuals who have immigrated and need support to access schools, public services and jobs. Over-the-Phone interpreting is one of our most popular interpreting services. OPI is exactly what it sounds like, interpreting that occurs over the phone. It is a cost-effective and flexible way to access interpreting services regardless of your location, time-zone or urgency. OPI can be set up for immediate needs as well as projected, future needs and many times, the typical minimum charges that apply to in-person interpretation do not apply. Of course, there are also no travel fees for OPI interpretation so costs are definitely more affordable. 

As we can see, interpreting is happening all around us at all times. If you are interested in a career in interpreting, there are interpreting certificate and degree programs offered in many universities as well as professional certification through local associations and larger ones like the International Association of Conference Interpreters, or AIIC or the China Accreditation Test for Translation and Interpretation, short for CATTI. If you are interested in learning more about interpreting services provided by LingPerfect Translations, contact us here

Localization in our World: Managing the Language of International Business Mergers and Acquisitions

Another day, another merger, another acquisition. Whether it is your company, your client’s company or your supplier’s company, it feels like international business is always shifting in some way or another. If you’ve been through a merger or acquisition in your own company, you know first hand how this can affect your business, your employees, and your bottom line. Let’s take a look at these areas in more detail and take a look at how language is a key factor in all of this.

We can start with the basics of what it means to merge or to acquire a business. It is not always transparent to the outside or inside world what is actually happening. A merger is a consolidation of 2 or more companies into a new entity. In mergers, generally a new company name is created as well as a new organizational structure. With an acquisition, there is a lead company that takes over another company and typically retains the same name of that company. Regardless of whether it is a merger or an acquisition, you are taking 2 or more companies, and with them all the cultural considerations, both company culture and the country culture of the enterprise.

What kinds of considerations should be made for mergers and acquisitions that cross international lines? You need to think about how the company culture is defined by the country culture of the companies that are being combined. How is your HR department organized? What has been the official HR language until this point in each of the entities?

There are many levels of employee engagement that need to be considered. We will start with the basics, the content for contracting and HR documents.You may have 2 companies, each with HR in the native language of their home HQ. It’s possible that they have already translated major contracts and documents into English as a common language, especially if they are doing any international recruiting. As you combine the HR function, you will want to take a look at redundancies in contracts and aligning language between the 2. It may make sense to adopt English as a common source language for these documents and then extend out to different languages, or to keep the source content in the native HQ language.

After the basics are taken care of as far as internal communications, you will want to consider what the approach will be for ongoing training and communication. Internal communication includes training and learning as well as memos about the merger/acquisition itself. The clearer you can be with your staff, the more settled they will feel. This includes giving them the details about future plans and changes in their preferred language to avoid misunderstandings.

Once you have determined your internal communication strategy, you can begin to think about your customers as well as your suppliers. Like internal employees, they are going to want clear communication in their language if possible. They will need to know if and how any of their working relationships might change as a result of the merger/acquisition and whether new contracts will be needed. Consider whether, due to your new organizational structure, you are able to service your clients or support your own suppliers more effectively and make sure to include this in your communication plan. Of course, if you are expanding the sales of your products internationally, you will need to localize the product, marketing and training as well. If you need help planning for an international merger or acquisition, contact LingPerfect Translations for a free quote.

Document & Multimedia Transcription Services

Our team of professional linguists have the experience and trained ears to transcribe your speaker’s message accurately to written form. LingPerfect Transcription Services team is prepared for the strongest accents, regional dialects, and technical verbatim to achieve the highest quality transcription possible.

Today’s globalized world creates many language challenges due to the wide range of interactions in the corporate playfield. LingPerfect can handle them all, recorded audio, recorded video meetings, interviews, trials, depositions or hearing. If it is recorded, we will provide an accurate and high-quality transcript of the source.

The LingPerfect transcription method;

  1. We receive the audio or video format file (We can transcript live too!) and our project management team will analyze it to select the best linguist expert for the task.
  2. The expert will carefully and meticulously interpret the meaning and the message the speaker is trying to convey until the transcription is completed and coherent.
  3. Our Quality Control team and management staff will also review both the source and transcription once it is finalized. This will add layers of reliability and certainty to guarantee the best results possible.
  4. LingPerfect’s transcription services are done in a secure and expedited way. We follow accurate proven methods to deliver a professional transcription service on a clear and concise written document.

LingPerfect also provides customized formatting, executive summaries, or any other format required by our clients.

All of our processes follow strict confidentiality standards to protect:

  1. Corporate and Trade Secrets.
  2. Sensitive Information.
  3. Commercial Agreements.

We take pride in managing our information cautiously to protect all parties involved, treating security with utmost care. LingPerfect is fully compliant with HIPAA* Privacy Rules, meaning that projects are managed in a secure environment which limits the amount of information that is shared to transcribers/translators. Also, our personnel are obliged to comply with the integrity and confidentiality policies within the company, making background checks for sensitive projects and if required, sign additional client specific NDA and legal contracts.

*Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

Global Careers: Translation in the Legal Field

As specialists in legal translation, we at LingPerfect often get asked when translations are necessary and what matters in the legal field. This blog will focus on the various types of legal translations, the reason someone may need a specialized legal translation and the importance translation brings to the legal field.

What types of clients come to us looking for legal translations? This depends on the type of content they are working with. Legal translation encompasses several content types. The vast majority of legal translations that are done are contracts. With the rise in global business, we see contracts between businesses such as sales contracts, contracts with customers such as end-user license agreements (EULAs) and contracts with employees. The most important aspects of translating legal contracts are accuracy of terminology and adherence to local laws. Using terminology that doesn’t work in the target language or breaks regional laws will invalidate the intent of the contract and create loopholes and misunderstandings which are costly to your organization.

Outside of corporate translations, we also see customers who are coming from the legal field for other types of translations. Lawyers, paralegals and other legal support service companies are often required to translate the content of their lawsuits into the language of the participants in the lawsuit or of the country where the lawsuit will be served. There are protocols outlined in the Hague Service Convention (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Service_Convention), which details the requirements for delivering, or serving, legal papers outside of the United States or between countries that are signatories. While translation is not a requirement according to the Hague Service Convention, it is left up to individual member countries, which generally require translating. The EU requires all content to be available in all member-country languages it impacts. This would include legal policies as well as information that may end up in courts.

Other than translating documents for contracts and for lawsuits, legal translators are offered in wraparound services for the legal community, including interpreting services and research in the form of discovery. Interpreters might be asked to participate in court proceedings or in depositions, or statements, made by individuals participating in those proceedings. The research done by legal teams, known as discovery, often includes materials that are written in a language other than English or need to be made available in another language. Legal teams often hire translators to help with the research or translating the findings. Looking for a supplier that specializes in legal translation will ensure that you will get the right translator for your content.

Are you looking for a supplier for legal translations or wraparound services? What are the  most important things to look for? If you are responsible to find a legal supplier, you will want to identify what kind of content you have and the purpose of translating. After you have found a supplier, you will want to let them know what you are looking for and ask for their experience in working with the content types you need, including the experience of the translators as well as important ISO process certification to ensure accuracy in translation and terminology. Ask your vendor to provide references and ask the references how the services worked for them. Maintain communication with your legal translation supplier and make sure someone on your team is available to answer questions the translators may have about your corporate terminology or legal intent, depending on your function. If you would like to discuss legal services provided by LingPerfect Translations, contact us here to get immediate assistance or request a quote.