Getting Translated? Here’s What You Need to Know

Image via Pixabay

As a writer, you’re a wordsmith. A connoisseur of words. At least, in your own native tongue. But what do you do when your words need to be carefully traded for those of another language? Unless you’re lucky enough to be multilingual, you’ll need a translator.

Whether you’re a business writer breaking out into new international markets, or an author looking to sell more books, you might be thinking about translation services. But hiring a translator isn’t always as straightforward as you might imagine. Here’s what you need to know.

 

Do you really need translation services?

If you need your words in another language, you might think the answer is automatically: “yes!” But actually, there’s a difference in translation versus interpretation. These two terms are often confused by people seeking professional translation services. What’s the difference?

Interpretation usually relates to spoken content and is essentially paraphrasing. Because the didactic use of language differs so wildly between languages, an interpreter will condense the meaning into the most culturally appropriate form. The overall message remains the same, but word for word exchange is altered to reflect the language being used. If you require language services for business meetings or events relating to your writing, interpretation services are what you’re most likely looking for.

Translation, on the other hand, is perfect for the written word. Translation provides an accurate and functional means of communication between two languages. It’s a highly technical undertaking that relies on experts to not only translate the content of your document but also change the formatting so it follows the rules and conventions of the target language. Translation is ideal for highly professional or legal documents, where it’s imperative that the exact meaning of the content remains intact. It’s also what you’ll need for written content like articles and works of fiction.

 

What you need to consider before hiring a translator

Before you hire a translator, you’ll need to know what your target language is. If your client is in a certain country, this element is taken out of your hands, as you’ll need translation services for that specific language.

If you are a self-published author on Kindle, for instance, you might want to do some market research to see where your book could have a chance of success outside of your own language. Bear in mind that translation into rare languages might cost you more (and be more challenging to source) than translation into a language that is more widely spoken.

 

Finding a professional service

When you’ve settled on a target language, find a translation service that is an expert within that language. Usually, a translator is a native-level speaker of the language that the work is being translated into. Therefore, you can be sure that your work will not sound unnatural and stilted. When translated by an expert translator and native-speaker, it should flow naturally just as if it had been originally written in that language. So if a translation service offers more than one language, it’s worth checking that the individual translator will be a native in that language.

Reading testimonials and online reviews can give you a great insight into whether this service will offer the kind of value for money you need. Quality translation services, whether they be freelancers or entire companies, should have lots of experience under their belt. They might be able to provide references or examples of previous work.

When getting a quote, the translator should tell you what the fee structures are. You can also ask what the policies are for things like revisions, should you need them. Let them know at this stage if you are likely to have ongoing translation needs; for example, for a series of blog posts, as you might be able to make a deal on pricing for longer-term work.

 

Look for expertise

More than just being an expert in the given language, your potential translator might also be an expert in your particular field. Whether it’s technical writing, marketing materials, or a full work of fiction, you should be able to find a service that has experience in this area. After all, each type of writing has its own unique conventions and expectations. You’ll want to make sure the translator understands what these are and how to navigate them professionally, just like you have done in your native language.

You’ll also want to make sure that the service looks professional. Translation services are often professionally accredited, with a membership to the relevant membership body in that country. If this is not displayed prominently on the website, it might be worth asking to see a copy. This can help to assure you that the company is serious and that they care about maintaining top quality industry standards.

 

Other logistics to consider

Finally, make sure you know where the translator is based, especially if they are freelance and their location is not immediately obvious on the website. This is important because the translation process might require a lot of back and forth communication. If their office hours are in the middle of the night where you are, it might be better to find someone in a more similar time zone to save a lot of drawn-out communication via email.

If you have a style guide that you follow, be sure to send it over to your translator. If not, it might be helpful to detail the tone of voice, formatting and any other stylistic elements that are important to you. The more you are able to communicate what you hope to get out of the translation services, the more likely you are to be impressed by the results. Providing this information upfront can save assumptions and minor mistakes that then lead to revisions, causing delays.

Getting your work translated can be a big undertaking, but by choosing professional translation services that are experts in their field, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and be very pleased with the result.

How Technology Made its Impact on Business Communication

How Technology Made Its Impact on Business Communication

Guest Post by David Webb

 

Nowadays, business communication has not only become faster, but more reliable as well. We no longer use carrier pigeons to relay our messages across great distances. Instead, we use communication software such as Skype and Viber to contact people in real-time wherever they are on the planet.

As a result of this technology, businesses, especially small businesses, are more efficient with their use of resources as well as their team management overall. Communication breakdowns were known to be quite costly in the past, but luckily for us, we’re living in the digital age, where swift communication is the name of the game. Therefore, here’s a more detailed explanation on how technology has made its impact on business communication:

Reliable Communication

 

Digital communication is both reliable and inexpensive, so much so that it totally replaced physical messaging of any kind in the business sphere. Once sent, digital messages have a better chance of reaching their destination than paper messages. As an example, there are no mailmen involved, so you won’t have to worry about them getting attacked by a guard dog and accidentally switching your letters in the process.

Also, apart from the occasional glitches, digital messaging is less prone to human error, as computers are more efficient at delivering them to the right source than we are. However, text messages are not the only thing we can send to our colleagues; the exchange of files is yet another thing we take for granted nowadays.

By using cloud storage software, employees can access their files even from home and can share them with the rest of the company as easily. This makes business data more secure as there are constant backups online in the case of a security breach.

Moreover, business communication has become instantaneous, with multiple colleagues often editing the same document or file in real-time. No matter where they are, the USA or Australia, co-workers can engage in work together from anywhere around the world at the same time.

Source

Video Streaming

 

Speaking of the land down under, there’s a technological revolution taking place. Sydney is slowly turning into Australia’s Silicon Valley. Companies are shifting from outdated business tech and practices to new innovative ones.

For example, large conference room meetings are becoming obsolete as they are steadily being replaced by video conferences instead. With these, workers don’t even have to abandon their work stations in order to attend one such meeting. Everything can be done from the comfort of their desks as webcams do the rest.

It saves businesses a lot of time and space and is better overall than making a phone call because you can actually see the person you’re talking to. In that sense, video streaming is more in-depth as you can convey both visual and audible information at the same time.

However, what this means is that workers in general, not just the managers, need to fall back to their presentation skills every once in a while to be effective during such digital conferences. Thus, this skill is becoming an essential trait for any successful employee, and will likely become the business standard in the near future, so honing it might be an excellent idea. Many local startup companies actually send their workers to presentation skills training in Sydney so they can acquire new and useful skills and get a head start.

Finally, video conferences can be recorded and stored as data to be replayed at a later date. Meaning, the information is never lost and can be looked up fairly easily when the need arises.

Source

Increased Productivity

 

Organizing a large group of people is cumbersome work for any manager out there. This is why, with the advent of technology, organizing your workers and co-workers has never been as simple as it is today. Project management tools allow everyone involved in the project to keep track of what exactly is going on it at all times. Tasks and sub-tasks are assigned to specific employees so there can be no confusion about what needs doing.

Consequently, this enables everyone to be on the same page both literally and metaphorically, as everything necessary is kept in a single virtual office. Moreover, the location of the employees doesn’t really matter, they could be half a world away and they could still work on the same project and the same boss could oversee their work as if they were all present in the same office.

Lastly, because communication is so rapid and data transfer made so accessible, businesses can use technology to their advantage and outsource some of their workload to other companies. This way, businesses can focus all of their efforts on growth rather than investing money into building their own in-house departments for certain services. Data storage and IT service companies are just one of the many examples where businesses can offload their extra workload because it’s made a lot cheaper by technology.

All in all, we’ve yet to see the full impact of technology on business communication. What we’ve seen so far is just the beginning of technology’s true potential. New innovations will surely make communication cheaper and more enjoyable as is the case so far.

 

About the Author:

 

David Webb is a Sydney-based business consultant,online marketing analyst and a writer. With six years of experience and a degree in business management, he continuously informs the public about the latest trends in the industry. He is a regular author at BizzmarkBlog. You can reach him on Twitter or Facebook.

Why Your Communication Skills Are Uber Important

Having amazing communication skills is one of the most important things you’ll work on in business. Whatever position you’re in, ensuring nobody misunderstands you is a must. You want everybody to be on the same page. Here are a few reasons why your communication skills are so important:

 

Employee Morale And Satisfaction

Keeping up employee morale and satisfaction is crucial if you want to avoid a high turnover of employees. Your employees are your ambassadors, so you really need to keep them happy. By communicating with them effectively, you can ensure they stay with you in the long-run.

 

Customer Service

Being able to communicate for customer service purposes is also important. You’re never going to be able to please everybody, no matter how hard you try. You need standardized customer service processes that come with this. Being able to relate to customers and make them feel good about choosing you again is so important.

 

Customer Engagement

You don’t just want to engage with your customers when they’re upset with you. You need to make sure you’re engaging with them daily on social media, and that means being able to communicate as effectively as you can!

Being able to communicate effectively is a must. It’ll make your life so much easier, and ensure everybody is on the same page. You don’t even have to be a natural born communicator. You can build up these skills over time with practice.

Take a look at the infographic below for more information on this:


credit to USC Online Master of Communication Management

Cut The Small Talk; It’s Time To Communicate

How much of the communication that happens in your business really gets the message across, and how much is noise? That’s the big question that we’re going to try and help answer here.

Proper communication practice is essential in business. It saves time, it helps you solve problems better, it makes employees more engaged, it even helps you win and keep customers. But it’s a big, multi-faceted topic, so let’s break it down into a few questions, and the answers you should have ready for those questions.

Image by maura24

Is everyone communicating?

This is the big one. There might be some roles in the business you think don’t have as much to contribute as others. However, if you’re not taking the time to check in on them, you could miss some valuable insight.

Keeping an eye on employee performance is only one reason you should do it. It can help you highlight problems in the business operations from the individual’s perspective or bring to light new solutions from a viewpoint you haven’t considered.

Mostly, people like to be included in the business they’re in nine times out of ten. It shows you’re willing to spend some time prioritizing the individual, which they will appreciate and respect. Make sure this practice is learned by all of your managing staff.

Are people on message?

Another reason to ensure that you’re communicating with individual employees individually is to make sure that they’re actually behind what the business is trying to achieve. You might think that it’s important for them to just worry about what lies in their own role, but the truth is that aligning their work with your goals will always result in better engagement.

Rather than just doing work because they know they have to do it, the context of the collaborative objectives of their work can help motivate them. It makes them realize they’re not just a sole worker but part of a team that’s trying to achieve something better. Set clear goals and let employees know how they’re linked to the wider company goals.

Image by geralt

Do people keep asking the same questions?

The first time you hear a question, it demands an answer. The second time, it’s understandable. The third time you hear that same question, it’s starting to waste your time. New employees will need reassurance, but they should be able to find those answers by themselves. But only if they have a means to access them.

This is the process of creating sticky knowledge within the business. It might include the roles and responsibilities and point of contact for individuals. But it should include wider community practices and resources.

Many businesses will print this sticky knowledge out for new employees. However, hosting it online can make it a lot easier to amend with new goals and new knowledge. It’s crucial you make the sticky knowledge easy to read and easy to sift through, as well. If it takes an employee longer to find the information they need than it would to simply ask and receive an answer, you’re doing it wrong.

Are meetings mindless?

The team meeting can be a valuable use of time to quickly get everyone caught up on the most important developments in the business as well as to find and address problems collaboratively. Unfortunately, in a lot of businesses, they become a morning slog that your employees will hate and get very little from. If you want to run your meetings well, you need to make sure they have a purpose from the get-go.

The meeting should have actionable conclusions and, most importantly, they should have a set ending time. If you want to get employees more engaged in a meeting, then get them prepared for them as well. Ask them beforehand if there’s a point they want to bring up or a problem needing a solution. Get them to name the challenges of any point you’re bringing. Most importantly, make sure that responsibility is assigned for the solutions that come out of a meeting.

Image by TeroVesalainen

Do you spend all day in your inbox?

Sorting out your emails might not be quite as much of a mindless banality as a bad meeting, but it is a time-sink. Keeping on top of emails is important, but it shouldn’t interrupt you all the time at work.

Set periods in the morning, afternoon, and the end of the day to work through your inbox and leave it. But what if people still need you? That’s what the next point is about.

Are you slowed down by single channel communication?

To deal with emails that still need an answer, you should learn how to prioritize them. For instance, set up a public-facing account and an internal account. But email shouldn’t be the only way employees reach out to find you. There are times to use email and times to use other methods.

If it’s a problem that needs a solution quickly, then a face-to-face or a phone call is much better. If you’re discussing a process or a question that’s not quite urgent but requires back-and-forth communication, then keep it to chat clients like Google Hangouts. Keep multiple channels of communication open for different purposes. For instance, emails aren’t good for back-and-forth. Similarly, face-to-face and online chats aren’t good for sharing information that needs to be repeatedly referenced.

Image by qimono

Do people get sent in circles?

Even worse than not finding the right way to communicate is not finding the right person to communicate with. If you have multiple people who deal in customer service or you have a business that has several different teams or locations, then getting sent in circles until the right person is found can be infuriating. It’s not enough to know the direction to point people in.

A business phone system can ensure that people can easily get directed based on the nature of inquiry they have. It saves a lot of time internally, but it also increases customer satisfaction. How many times can you think about when terrible customer service caused you to cast a business in a worse light? That will happen to you if you don’t organize a better internal redirection system.

Is distraction a serious problem?

Prioritizing communication is just as important. There are different levels of urgency and importance to different requests. But without distinction, any request can distract an employee from the task they’re currently involved in when they might have better been left to it.

Using an internal color code to highlight the importance of requests, whether it’s through email or through internal support software, can ensure that employees are only being interrupted and distracted when it’s necessary or when they can spare the time (if it’s less necessary).

Image by TeroVesalainen

Are you open to employee ideas?

Helping employees communicate is just one step in fostering an environment where sharing knowledge is widely practiced. You have to make it clear that you and your managers are open to ideas. One way of doing that is leading by example.

A company newsletter can be a great way to share interesting ideas that aren’t quite important enough to feature in a team meeting, and they can be used to ask employees to contribute to them, as well. You should give them opportunities to come back with more knowledge, too. You probably can’t attend every industry event and conference yourself, so give the job to some of your employees and ask them to come back with some ideas.

Do you know how to communicate to the market?

Internal communication is essential, but you have to switch to a different track when you’re looking outside the business. The best way to do that is to better develop and understand your brand. You can create a brand guide that ensures you avoid using jargon in promotional material, memorize a voice for the business, and keep in mind the specifics of the audience you’re communicating with.

Image by succo

Do you know how to listen?

Communicating with that target market isn’t just about making sure you’re understood. When it comes to the individual, it’s about making sure you understand, as well. If you’re in a rush to try and sell a client on your services, you might not really be listening to them. Leading the conversation and convincing them of the value of your business is one thing, but if they’re not contributing, or you’re not listening to their contributions, you’re not learning anything that could help you close the lead or improve the business.

Ask more leading questions. Get to know the specifics of their situation. Don’t immediately shoot down needs that your services don’t care to; try to think flexibly about them instead. Don’t diminish the importance of their needs in any way.

If you can answer all of the questions above in the positively, then your business communicates better than 99% of the others in the market. Communication is an on-going process and thus needs on-going fixes and examinations. It’s worth it, however, as every problem you solve wins you more time, more customers, and a happier, more engaged workplace.

Great Tools For Better Internal Communication

With the fast pace of business and media these days, it seems it’s harder than ever to get anyone’s attention. This applies not only to your marketing initiatives, but also the people who work for you. Without effective and reliable communication within your business, everything is going to suffer. Here, I’ve listed some of the most effective tactics for improving your internal communications.

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Credit: Pixabay

Use A Social Collaboration Platform

If you’re looking to improve communication within your business, one of the first things you should do is implement a social collaboration system, which will give your employees access to a single platform of communication. You’re probably already running a commercial phone system from a firm like Phonetel.

However, when it comes to sharing complex information and pieces of the work itself, you’re going to need something with more room for collaboration. With a social collaboration platform, you’ll be able to share important information seamlessly, and integrate it with your existing systems and software, allowing essential communications to happen when and where it’s needed, no matter what kind of device your employees are working on. It will also open up a great opportunity to bring together the data, processes and people needed for greater engagement through a much more convenient medium.

Provide Your Workers with Regular Feedback (Especially Younger Ones)

Younger workers, by which I mean Generation Y onwards, like to receive frequent and detailed feedback about the work they’re doing. Even your older workers, who may not care for specific pointers all that much, can benefit massively from it. If some of the people at your company are a little rudderless in terms of what they can be doing to be better workers, then this needs to change.

Start providing your workforce with a weekly status report, covering the projects they’re working on and the specific priorities within those projects. This should be followed by concise feedback from managers and higher-ups. By doing this, you’ll make your younger workers, and your staff as a whole, feel more empowered, and aware of how the work they do affects every facet of the business.

Create an Online Forum for Queries and Response

Online forums, especially if the company you’re running is fairly large, can be a hugely effective tool for better online communication. Today, there are many enterprise-based social networks, such as Yammer, which will give your workers an online platform where they can interact and engage with various different echelons of the company.

While the most straightforward function of this kind of communication is for workers to throw out questions and have them answered by colleagues with a little more expertise, there’s a lot more that an online forum can offer your business in terms of communication. Staff will be able to share documents and collaborate on projects throughout the network, whether their cubicles are right next to each other or they’re separated by several floors. This will break down your information silos, and make the whole company a melting pot of knowledge and experience.