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Reasons why culture is important to localization: French

In this series on why cultural localization is important for business, we’ll open with French and why a localized marketing strategy is needed based on where a language is spoken.  

As the world becomes more and more interconnected through technology and travel, it is becoming essential for business platforms to diversify within the global market to stay relevant and competitive. This has increased demand for translation and localization services as it has become increasingly essential for international business on websites, eLearning platforms, and various eCommerce services.

What is cultural localization?

Cultural localization is catering a product or platform for a specific market or region, which factors in the local language and its cultural diversities, beliefs, values, experiences, and social constructs. Why is this important? When culture is considered for localization strategies, people show more interest in the content or product. Further, cultural considerations create relatable products, increasing positive perceptions of the product and its sales.

To show you how important cultural localization is, here’s a look at the French language and how a one-size fits all approach doesn’t work for every region it’s spoken in. 

French – a forthcoming language for globalisation with a rich history

There are approximately 80 million native French speakers worldwide, and it is the official language of 29 countries. French is highly regarded as one of the most important business languages as it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and more. It’s also a language renowned for its history and culture; in fact, the word ‘culture’ is derived from French. 

Map of French Speakers in the World

Geographical Distribution of French speakers in the world – Image by Carnetfrancaise

History of the French language

French originated in Gaul, now part of France and Belgium, after the Romans took over. The Germanic invasions also had a large influence on the language, and by the 9th century, French was well established as its own distinct language.

translation and localization for france

French flag – Photo by Cecile Hournau on Unsplash

While French variants in different countries are generally well understood by any French speaker, there are still many nuances depending on where it is spoken. 

French vs Canadian French

In 1534, Jacques Cartier left to find an expedition route to China and found himself in the new world, modern east coast Canada. As French settlers expanded in the area, the French language became the native language of its growing community.

translation and localization for french

Quebecois and French flag – Photo by Nicolas Raymond on Flickr

Canadians continued to speak French after Canada was ceded to the British in 1763. As Canadian French developed in isolation from the rest of Europe, it created its distinct cultural variant. 

  • Canadian French sounds older.

    Due to its isolation from Europe, Canadian French has managed to retain French verbs, expressions, and accents that date back to 17th and 18th century France. 

  • Canadian French has more vowel sounds.

    After France ceded Canada to Britain in 1763, the French-speaking community became more isolated, allowing certain phonetic sounds from the elite French-speaking classes to remain. 

  • Canadian French includes more Anglicisms

    As the French-speaking parts of Canada are near the English-speaking parts of Canada and the United States, they adopt more words from the English language. Further, some words are even adopted from the indigenous population of Canada, such as carcajou (wolverine) and atoca (cranberry).

  • Canadian French is less formal

    Canadian French uses more informal means of address. The informal tu (you) is used more often than the formal vous.

  • Canadian French uses more religious vocabulary, especially when swearing.

    Catholicism is the most practised religion in the French-speaking regions of Canada, whereas France is more secular. 

French is now the lingua franca of around 7.4 million Canadians, making up nearly 22% of the country’s population, as well as being one of the two official languages in the country. In the province of Quebec, 95% of the population uses French as their first or second language. Differences in slang, idioms, and religious beliefs are some of the biggest differences between these French variants. They are essential considerations when creating a localized strategy for your business.

French vs African French – The future of French 

Canada isn’t the only country deeply influenced by the French. After the colonization of Africa and even after the French withdrew from many of the African nations, the language stayed and is often spoken alongside many of the indigenous languages. 44% of French spoken today comes from sub-Saharan Africa, with estimates that by 2050, 85% of the continent will speak the language. 

French is no longer just the language of France, and this evolution of the language is something to pay attention to when forming a good localization strategy. 

Reasons why cultural localization is important

Blunders in cultural localization can ruin any localization strategy. For example, if you were promoting an eCommerce business that sells items for children, the word gosses in France is a playful word for child; however, in Canadian French, the word means testicles! This would be a serious, albeit hilarious, mistake in any marketing strategy. The same goes if you wanted to reach the market in France but used informal tones or Canadian idioms and slang in your approach; it would make your strategy appear tone-deaf and make your product less attractive to the local market in France. While these may appear as subtleties, it’s this type of attention to culture that can make or break a localization strategy.

Related: The Top 10 Translation Blunders in Advertising

Things to consider when creating a cultural localization strategy

  • Use professional multilingual translation services

    Hire marketing, translation and localization specialists to create a localization strategy that ensures quality translation that involves the appropriate cultural research needed to create a successful marketing strategy. 

  • Use the right language for your audience

    Consider idioms, jokes, and sayings specific to the region’s language. 

  • Create culturally relevant and specific product information

    Consider the context of the culture when selecting images for products for an eCommerce platform or eLearning course. 

Cultural localization and creating a good localization strategy may feel overwhelming if you’re looking to enter a new global market, but it doesn’t have to be!

Into23 specialises in translation and localization in all major global languages offering global language solutions for your business. All we need is a website or file to get you started with a free quote. Contact us today for all your global quality translation needs.

Why your company needs a legal translation partner

If you have a global company or are a company with global aspirations, legal translation services are needed to protect your business. Certified multilingual translation services ensure that your documents are correct and reflect your company regardless of region or language.

Did you know that over 50,000 companies today operate in more than one country? If you’re thinking about expanding into international markets, regardless of what type of business you’re running, it’s important to have an expert legal translator. Having a legal translation partner or outsourcing services is important for keeping your business running smoothly. Legal translation is a highly specialised field that ensures your business’s documents are in order no matter what localized market you’re working within.

What is included in legal translation?

require legal translations

Image from Pixabay – Contracts and binding agreements often require legal translations.

What exactly is included in legal document translation? If you’ve just started looking into these types of services, here are a few types of documents that often require translation services,

  • Contracts and commercial proposals
  • Purchase agreements
  • Service agreements
  • Technical documents and manuals
  • Financing agreements
  • Company by-laws
  • Patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • End-user license agreements (EULA)
  • Application letters
  • Deposition records

Why legal translation is important?

legal translation is important

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels – Effective team communication is one reason legal translation is important.

Having your documents in order is hard enough in one language, let alone others. When companies look to go global or if they’ve acquired an international merger, their business documentation should be translated into the native language of the area where they’re working. This ensures that communication is seamless and that the policies, procedures, and brand are consistent across the board. Further, businesses’ legal documents need to be translated appropriately when localizing to avoid lawsuits, hold-ups, and serious misunderstandings that could jeopardize the businesses’ legitimacy.

Machine translations don’t offer quality or consistency

Not even today’s current machine translations are a match for the translations performed by translation experts. Only a real person can understand cultural nuances, regional differences, and specific legalities that a machine may misunderstand. Official document translation performed by high-quality translation services ensures that translation mishaps won’t happen. With that said, machine translation can be suitable for certain types of legal projects, such as large-scale discovery projects. Output from the machine translation process can then be enhanced by introducing a human editing stage to correct obvious machine translation post-editing errors.

Related: Why Google Translate isn’t effective enough for business

Accuracy And Efficiency 

Legal translations need to be completely accurate, and this attention to detail can only be provided by a legal translation expert, making it imperative that you have a translation partner for your global business. Not only is having a partner more efficient it also takes the guesswork out of your sensitive documents while providing the right tone and avoiding potential liabilities.

Why do you need legal translation services?

International translation companies can help expedite a business’s international goals while getting through the legal hoops of a new global region by ensuring that all your legal documents are in order no matter where you’ve expanded.

Timely delivery

Like anything in business, a quick turnaround is important, especially if you’re moving into a new market. When you have an experienced legal translation partner at your fingertips, they will know the language and region you’re working in and will have a translation memory database to work with that will allow for a quick turnaround on documents that will be professional, accurate, and relative to the business area you’ve expanded into.

Complex legal terminology

Legal jargon can be overwhelming and complex, even in one’s native language. Legal translators know how to maintain the essential legal specifics of a document from one language to another so that it is comprehendible and maintains all the critical legal meanings, thus avoiding any liabilities or potential misunderstandings when making business deals and arrangements in your new region.

Cost-effective

Professional legal translation services will already have the knowledge needed to get the job done effectively and efficiently, cutting down costs and guesswork. This means you can get back to what your business does best within its new area.

Project management

A good legal partner can effectively manage a translation project as they can allocate the right number of translators for the job and will be able to manage the project from start to finish.

Ethical

Google translate or other machine translation post-editing can never ensure that the documents they translate are confidential. Items such as non-disclosures and contracts are important documents that must be handled securely and efficiently. A legal translation service can ensure that your documents are kept private and that they are accurately translated into the languages that you require.

Into23 is perfectly positioned to be your legal translation partner. Into23 specialises in document translation services, localization translation services, website translation services, and more for your global business. Contact us today for a free quote, and become our partner today.

What are the main translation methods and techniques?

The process of translation may seem like a mere exchange of words and phrases from one language to another but as any quality freelance translator will tell you, there is a lot more to it than that. A good translator will use a variety of translation techniques and methods depending on the language it’s being translated into and the target market it’s aiming to reach.

Translation’s beginnings

The Gilgamesh on a partially broken tablet

A section of ‘The Gilgamesh’ on a partially broken tablet – Wikimedia

In history, the translation of writing goes back as far as the Mesopotamian era and is believed to have started with the epic Sumerian poem, The Gilgamesh, which was translated into a variety of Asian languages around the second millennium BC. The need for translation began to increase with the development of religious texts and theories. The word translation is derived from a Latin term that means “to bring or carry across”. The word metaphrasis in Ancient Greek, which means “to speak across” created the word metaphrase which was the first term for a “word-to-word” translation. As translation and translation studies became more common, defined techniques and methods took form. 

Translation methods and techniques

Vinay and Darbelnet Translation Technique

Vinay and Darbelnet – Time Toast

J.P. Vinay and J.Darbelnet were pioneers of translation studies as they created and published formalised translation procedures in 1958 with their book titled, Comparative Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation. It was one of the first times translation methods had been categorised and since it has become the basis of technique for modern multilingual translation services

Vinay and Darbelnet’s methods and techniques

While a translation method can be applied to an entire translated text, translation techniques and types of translation vary based on what elements will be translated. Vinay and Darbelnet detailed seven different techniques within two methods of translation.

Direct or literal translation method

This method is used when similar concepts and structures of the source language can be used in the translated language. Languages need to be similar in a variety of ways for these techniques to work as these types of translation techniques are not able to capture a lot of nuances found in language.

Borrowing technique  is a technique that involves borrowing a word from one language and using it in another. So the translator will make the conscious choice to retain a word while translating the rest of the sentence. You’ll often see this with English as the English language tends to borrow many words from other languages. While not explicitly a translation technique it is common with globally familiar words. 

Borrowing examples: sombrero, café, kimono, hamburger, kimchi

Calque technique  Many words don’t translate well into other languages, the calque technique is used by translators in this instance. A translator will coin and come up with a new word or term in the translated language. 

Calque examples: gratte-ciel in French is a calque of ‘skyscraper’.  An ‘Adam’s apple’ is calque of the French phase pomme d’Adam. Beer garden is a calque of the German biergarten

Literal translation technique – This technique is the most straightforward in that each word is translated directly. This is generally ineffective for languages that are not closely related and is generally only used with select legal or corporate translation.

Indirect or Oblique translation method

This method is most often used when languages and cultures are substantially different, such as English to Chinese translation. This method will usually change the structural or conceptual elements of the text to preserve its meaning.

Transposition – This technique involves a shift from one grammatical structure to another, usually with languages that have different grammar structures. 

Transposition example: Rendering a French noun with an English verb, Je l’ai vu avant la rentrée can be directly translated to English as  “I saw her before school started”, this changes the noun la rentrée into a verb.

Modulation – The modulation technique is extremely common in marketing when localizing into a new market. Modulation changes and adjusts the original text completely but it preserves the same meaning and patterns so that it is recognisable in target translated language. 

Modulation examples: Lebensgefahr in German means danger to life, whereas in English we would say “danger of death”. A literal translation of this phrase from English to German would sound odd and confusing to a German person. Another example is how French speakers refer to the top floor of a building as dernier étage which translates as “last stage” in English. A literal translation of this phrase from French to English would baffle many prospective English apartment buyers and renters.

Equivalence/reformulation  – Similar to modulation and also an essential technique for any localization strategy, this technique preserves the meaning of an expression or proverb by using something equivalent in the translated language. 

Equivalence/reformulation examples: The English phrase “It’s pouring,” which refers to a downpour of rain doesn’t translate into German but the meaning can be altered to give the same effect, es regnet in Strömen (It rains in streams).

Adaptive – This technique is a sort of cultural substitution or equivalent in that one cultural element is replaced with one that will be better suited and understood in the language and region it’s being translated to. 

Adaptive examples: Baseball or NFL football in the US 🡪Football in England

Choosing the best translation technique 

Out of these basic and common techniques, how do you know what translation tools, translation techniques or methods are the best for your business or localization strategy? Every business, strategy and approach is different so the best way to get a return on your investment is to use certified translation services. Quality translators will assess your documents, software, website, eLearning platform or eCommerce software to ensure that your business successfully reaches your target market and audience. 

Into23 offers high quality translation services in any language your business needs. Contact us today for a free quote so we can help your business enter new global markets and enterprises.

Important things to consider if you’re localizing your business in Chinese

Chinese is one of the most important business languages. It is second only to English in terms of being the most spoken, so here are a few important things to know while creating your localization strategy.

With a large population and a growing number of middle-class consumers, the Chinese market has been a new hotspot for businesses. The Chinese market can be a successful market for your business if it’s done right. It’s easier than ever to crack this market with the growth of technology, online shopping, eCommerce translation services, and eLearning platforms. However, there are some major points to consider if you want to localize for a Chinese area or region, as there are many pitfalls when localizing to Chinese.

localize my business in chinese - hong kong

Hong Kong signs – Photo by Katie Manning on Unsplash

History of the Chinese language and its different types

Chinese is an old and diverse language. In mainland China alone, around 70 million people belong to 55 different minority groups, each with their dialect and some that don’t even have a distinguishable written form. However, with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Mandarin was chosen as the official language of the country. Today, more than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin. 

Written Chinese

localize my business in chinese - calligraphy

Calligraphy – Photo by chuanyu2017 on Pixabay

Written Traditional Chinese is around 6000 years old and is the oldest written language in the world. Cantonese speakers generally still use these characters, as do Mandarin speakers in Taiwan. Mandarin speakers in China use Simplified Chinese characters. Simplified characters have been around significantly less than their traditional counterpart as they were formalized at the beginning of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949, and at the time, the majority of Chinese could not read or write. To improve literacy, Mao Zedong initiated a new system of Simplified Chinese, simplifying around 2000 Chinese characters by reducing the number of strokes used for each character. Simplified Chinese was first used in 1956

While there are various spoken dialects of Chinese, these are the two major forms of writing. This is handy as even if the spoken dialect is different, Chinese can generally communicate through writing. 

Different dialects

Seven major dialects are used in China and its Special Administrative Regions (SARs). To reach the Chinese market with your business, you need to know where your target market is and what Chinese form is used there.

DialectRegion Spoken
Mandarin (Putonghua)Most of mainland China, Taiwan, Macau
Cantonese/YueHong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou (Canton), and Wuzhou.
MinFujian province and parts of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Hainan, and Taiwan
WuZhejiang province, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, parts of Anhui and Jiangxi provinces.
XiangMost of the Hunan province, the counties of Quanzhou, Guanyang, Ziyuan, and Xing’an, northeastern Guangxi province.
GanJiangxi province
HakkaNortheastern Guangdong, adjoining regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, Southern Hunan, and the older generations of Hong Kongers in the New Territories. In Taiwan, Hakka is spoken by some in the Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli parts of the country.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Mandarin and Cantonese?

Important considerations regarding the different dialect types

  • Cantonese is the main dialect spoken in Hong Kong. Traditional Chinese characters are used for writing. While many Hong Kongers can speak Mandarin and use Simplified Chinese characters, if you are localizing for this region, you should consider using Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters.
  • In Taiwan, they speak Mandarin and write with Traditional Chinese characters. Both Taiwan and mainland China use Mandarin, but they have developed different terminology and writing styles.  

All of this variation within the Chinese language necessitates using the best Chinese translation services company to guarantee that sufficient research is done to develop a translation and localization plan that matches your strategy for entering this lucrative market.

Things to consider when creating a localization strategy for Chinese 

localize my business in chinese - tiananmen square

Tiananmen Square – Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

Know the culture, know your audience, and identify your primary dialect and region

Like any good localization strategy, you need to know your target audience, its culture, its language, and the things your target market values. You’ll need to consider how your brand voice and whether this will resonate with a Chinese audience. Can you directly translate your brand content, or will you need to consider a more creative translation, a transcreation, to convey your brand voice? As China is diverse, with differences across the regions, high-quality translation services can help you achieve your marketing strategy.  An experienced translation agency can help you avoid cultural mishaps and translation errors.

Learn from past successes and failures 

Learn from the companies who have attempted and accessed the market already. Localizing in China is challenging, and even some of the biggest names have failed after not performing thorough market research. Learning from what has worked with brands that are similar to yours can help narrow your research and expedite your localization strategy.

Related: The Top 10 Translation Blunders in Advertising 

Use local social media and eCommerce platforms

Mainland China uses various social media and eCommerce platforms that are not used or are less popular in other countries. Baidu is the search engine used by most people, with platforms such as WeChat for social media and eCommerce payments. Other social media platforms include Qzone, Renren and P1. In Hong Kong, western social media platforms are popular, and a variety of eCommerce platforms, from the Octopus card to PayMe, are used to pay for products online. 

Use expert multilingual translation services

It should be apparent by now the importance of localization and translation services when expanding your business globally, especially into Chinese markets. Navigating any new market is challenging, so take the guesswork out of your localization strategy and get the assistance of translation and localization experts. 

Into23 is a translation agency in Hong Kong offering localization and translation services. We are experts in Asian languages. Reach out to Into23 today to discuss your business localization strategy to set yourself up for success in the Chinese markets.

What’s the difference between notarized and certified translation?

Notarized or certified translation?

Notarized and certified translation services are some of the most requested services among translation companies. These two different types of translation are often confused with one another and are, at times, requested when they’re not needed. While they share some similarities, there are differences between these two types of translation and in the way in which they are used. If you are a business that has begun to expand globally and are putting together a marketing strategy, it’s not always easy to know which of these services you’ll need. So what are the differences between a notarized and certified translation and in what instances are they required?

What is certified translation?

highest quality translation standards

Man signing image by Sozavisimost on Pixabay  – Certified translation is for when you want the translation to be as accurate as possible.

Certified translation refers to translations that are done and signed by a sworn translator. The purpose of certified translation is to prove that the document has been translated correctly and is of the highest quality. Certified translations focus on the quality of the translation and are meant to ensure that it meets the highest-quality translation standards. Further, the translator is held liable for the translation and information presented in the document.

What is notarized translation?

certified legal translator needs to have a professional degree

Certificate Image by stux on PixabayNotarized documents focus on the legal side of translation.

A notary has authorisation from the government to authenticate and oversee specific legal documentation. Notarization proves that a document meets a set of standards and that it abides by a law or regulation. A notarized translated document focuses less on high-quality translation accuracy and more on meeting the legal standards and requirements of an institution or legal system.

What is the difference between notarized and certified translation?

Where things tend to get confusing between the two is that both certified and notarized documents have legal connotations to them in that the translator or the notary is liable to documents they are working with. The biggest difference between the two is that a notarized document doesn’t have the same demand on translation quality.

A certified legal translator needs to have a professional degree that majors in translation and they usually complete tests that prove their capacities as a translator and allow them to be part of formalized unions and groups to ensure consistent high- quality translation. This step is not required in notarization. When a document becomes notarized, it has often gone through a certified translation already and the notarization process is the additional step in ensuring that the document meets certain requirements. When the document is handed over to be notarized, a public notary isn’t looking for its translation accuracy but rather that it meets a set of legal requirements and that the person that did the translation is accountable for the information that is contained in it. Notarizing certifies the document or certificate itself, rather than the translation. Certified legal translators often sign an affidavit that is sworn in the presence of the notary which will contain the notary’s seal and signature. Sothink of notarization as an additional legal authentication process.

When to use certified translation services?

Legal documents are the most common types of documents requiring certified translation services. Here are a few common examples,

  • Immigration paperwork
  • Court documents
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage or divorce certificates
  • Backgrounds checks
  • Service agreements
  • Business contracts
  • Patent translation
  • Adoption paperwork
  • Medical bills
  • Business licenses
  • Legal deeds
  • DNA exams
  • Academic qualifications and/or transcripts


They usually complete tests that demonstrate their capability as a translator and enable them to join formalized unions and groups to ensure consistent high-quality translations.
The translator will then sign and stamp the documents, provide an official statement verifying its accuracy and provide credentials attesting to their skill and quality.

When to use notarized translation services?

When it comes to a notarized document, which performed, the translation is not important, what is important is that it meets a set of legal requirements which is all a notary will check for. The most commonly notarized items are usually on education-based documents and related administrative documents. For example, if you have qualifications that were acquired in another country and are in one language and you need to provide these documents to another education facility in a different language. Notarizing these documents proves that the education credentials from one country translate to meet the same standards in another.

Examples of items that don’t require certified translation or notarization

While having certified translation is essential for sensitive information and legal documents, these services also come at a different cost. While it’s important to employ a good translation agency for your translation and localization strategy, not everything needs to be officially certified. Examples of items a translation company can localize and translate that don’t necessarily need to be certified,

  • General workplace procedures or training guides
  • Marketing items such as signs, social media posts, websites, etc.
  • Email notices
  • Essays or homework
  • Most eLearning platforms and courses

While it is important that all of these items be translated properly, especially if you’re localizing, they are not legally imperative materials that require certification.

The importance of language translation services

When it comes to business documentation and translationit’s best left to language service providers and professionals. A quality translation company can help you discern what you need to have certified or notarized and more. Certified translation services can offer the assurance needed for sensitive legal documents that require high quality translation and will meet the standards for any regulatory body and be ready for notarization if required.

At Into23, we have a team of certified legal translators here to help your business thrive and meet the highest standards of translation. With all languages covered, let us become your language service provider and help your business succeed globally.

Why Google Translate Isn’t Effective Enough for Business

How accurate is Google Translate?

Even machine translation software like Google still has languages that defy translation.

In April 2006 Google launched a service that quickly became every internet user’s go-to for quick language translations. Google now boasts that it can translate 108 languages covering 99% of the internet population.

Yet in a world with over 7000 languages why aren’t more being included?

Many languages defy machine translation software, even though they are spoken by millions of people such as Bhojpuri (52 million), Fula or Fulani (65 million), Quechua (8 million), or African languages such as Luganda, Twi, and Ewe. So why is it that languages like Czech or Swedish, who have relatively smaller or similar numbers to these other languages, get translation support while the others are barely recognised?

Machine translation, like Google Translate, rely heavily on algorithms that are learned from human translations that require millions of words of translated text called parallel corpus. For translation machines to be effective they require a staggering number of parallel corpora for each language. An ideal parallel corpus will have content from a variety of contexts such as novels, news reports, and other pieces of writing that make up a language.

For languages like Czech or Swedish, as they are part of the European Union, a large part of their parallel corpus comes from official parliament documents. These countries are also important for big tech companies in terms of eCommerce marketing, language translation services and more, meaning that they have a larger parallel corpus to work with. With other languages, a large basis of their parallel corpus has come from the bible, which resulted in some entertaining doomsday prophecies from Google Translate prior to 2016.

In 2016, Google started using a new technique called neural machine translation which claims to have reduced translation errors by 60%. Neural machine translation is a type of artificial intelligence that can mimic some forms of human thinking. Sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, right? The neural machine translator can associate meaning to certain words and phrases. It can look at a sentence as a whole rather than translating each word. However, the database required to make this neural machine translation effective is still substantial.

Neural machine translation has been effective for select languages but what about the thousands of others?

When West Africa was hit with Ebola or when Haiti was hit with an earthquake in 2010 difficulties occurred when those that were there to help could not communicate with the locals to get them the resources they needed. With little translation support for the languages spoken in these areas, it shed light on the need for diversifying machine language translations.

With COVID-19, health information has been needed in many languages which machine translation has been incapable of helping due to poor translation quality.

Further, for countries that have low literacy rates or no written language, locals may not even be literate in their mother tongue, using voice messages to communicate which increases the need for audio translation.

So, while expanding on neural machine translation is revolutionary in terms of very basic internet communication and translations it lags in terms of international need and diversity, especially in times of crisis. So what about for business?

Is Google Translate effective enough for business?

Google Translate is a convenient tool so it would be a stretch to say never to use it as it usually gets the basic understanding of a text, however, it is far from ideal in getting a quality translation that would be needed for business. Especially if you are aiming to enter the global market, need website localization, eLearning translation services, or are bolstering your eCommerce platform.

Here is why Google translate is not effective enough to be used in business.

  • No Proofreading

    One of the appeals of Google Translate is the speed in which it produces translations, however, this comes at a cost as it doesn’t equate with a quality translation. When you use certified translation services you are guaranteed a properly formatted and grammatically correct quality translation. Further, Into23’s translation services offer 24/7 availability with a quick translation turnaround making them nearly as fast as Google.

  • No Accountability

    Google does not have to be accountable for any inaccuracies in its translations as it is a free service. Any user can also manually input their translations and at times malicious and incorrect translations are allowed through. What’s more unnerving is that Google isn’t even accountable to your security or privacy as it collects data on whatever content you place into its text box to translate. When you work with translation professionals, your confidentiality and privacy are ensured.

  • No Customisation

    The translations from Google Translate will not be catered to your specific business needs and you run the risk of having nonsensical or inaccurate translations. In today’s global market it is important to speak to clients and customers in their own language, such as with website localization, and if the first impression of your content is incorrect it sends the message to any prospective customers that you are not the right business for them.

  • Legal Concerns

    Misinterpretations in formal and legal documents have the potential for serious safety or financial concerns which can lead to legal disputes. In a study performed on the terms and conditions of airlines, it detailed the risks of machine translations for legal documentation and its possible negative outcomes.

Businesses Need Certified Translation Services

No matter what type of business you run if you need to translate in any language, using multilingual translation services is crucial for business success. From transcreation for marketing to eLearning or eCommerce translation services, Into23 offers high-quality translation services in any language. Into23 works on your time and your schedule with 24/7 accessibility and fast turnaround. Get a free translation services quote today by filling in the form below or uploading your files to our quick quote portal.

9 top tips for picking a trustworthy medical / healthcare translation service partner

There are few translation subject areas where inaccuracy can have such devastating consequences than with medical / healthcare language translation services. Accuracy and expertise are absolutely the name of the game in this regard. But how do you determine which service provider is the best fit? After all, not only would switching provider prove to be costly and troublesome if you’re unhappy with your initial pick, if there’s a mistake, then your firm is on the hook.

Sophisticated clients look at a range of factors to judge the merits of a potential translation service provider. If you’re in the market for medial language services, read on to learn more about these factors. These criteria are relevant for a wide range of translation areas, from medical journals, case studies and clinical protocols to consent forms, manuals and patient records.

1: Make sure the translation service aligns with the scale and scope of your project

You may get on very well with a certain freelance translator or a boutique agency and be pleased with the work they produce, but if you’re working on a multi-market medical trial with tens of thousands of participants, you’ll require the services of a multi-language, multi-market translation agency that’s well-versed in cross-border collaboration. Do you want multilingual translation services, which will require medical and translation expertise in several markets, or do you want to translate between one language pair? Do you need medical document translation services or translation and localisation? Ensure the service provision can match your needs. International translation companies usually offer a far more comprehensive service menu than a domestic boutique agency. Timescale is another important factor. Does the translation house have enough staff to handle large-scale projects quickly, if required? These are crucial questions to ask.

2: Look for internationally recognised standards of quality, such as accreditation, and a good level of data security 

ISO 17100:2015 certified translation services adhere to top-quality international standards. This ensures a set of established quality-control procedures are followed, which results in translation that can be trusted. Look out for this level of quality assurance. Also, check whether the translators are trained in both the life sciences and translation. The quality of any medical or healthcare translation depends on these two aspects more than any others. Different languages have different certifications. For example, in the US, Spanish medical certification takes the form of CoreCHI™ and CHI™-Spanish accreditation. Check that the translation agency has the right accreditation in every language you are likely to need. There can be no gaps. These certifications ensure rigorous standards are adhered to. For many, there are online registries you can check, such as The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters or the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI). Ensure your potential partner operates to the strictest data security standards and adheres to data privacy protocols. Medical trial data is a valuable corporate resource and a target for cybercriminals, for example.

3: Check for relationship chemistry

You may come across the most qualified translation house in the world, but if you don’t get on with the staff you’ll be dealing with on a frequent basis, the translation results will likely not pass muster. Relationship chemistry is commonly cited as a top-four determining factor when brands select an agency. The best agency understands your business inside out, and is able to anticipate your needs before you do. While you don’t want a ‘yes’ agency, you also don’t want any antagonism.

4: Great customer support

The minutiae of translating require intensive and collaborative relations. Checking terminology, securing revisions and setting deadlines all go much more smoothly when you have a rapport with your service provider. Trial projects are a great way of checking the chemistry with a potential translation partner.

5: Holistic service suite

It takes a lot of time to manage multiple third-party agencies. What with multiple marketing, communications and public relations goals to achieve, large medical firms typically deal with several agencies. While availing of the services of a boutique translation agency may seem appealing – after all, who doesn’t like bespoke service – an agency that can handle translation, localisation and any of the other myriad tasks large medical and healthcare firms need to complete, is preferable. This comes down to efficiency.

6: Good customer feedback for projects in the same field 

You wouldn’t consider securing the services of a translation agency that had no healthcare experience to handle your complex medical translation project. When it comes to experience, it’s a matter of the more the merrier. If your potential partner has done work with any of the big 10 firms, then that’s a sign they are a good medical translation partner. The ratio of good versus negative reviews is another indicator of quality. Another indicator of quality is longevity. A poor medical translation service provider is not going to stay in business long. Therefore, look for a translation agency with a long track record of mostly good reviews.

7: Professional onboarding process

This step is incredibly important. Signing the contract for healthcare language services is only the start of the relationship. From here, the onboarding process sets the tone for the rest of the relationship. Clarity is paramount, so everyone understands what’s expected of them and the parameters of translations are clear. A comprehensive onboarding process is the sign of a good translation agency.

9: Experts in your topic area

Healthcare and medicine are vast subject areas. From open-heart surgery, dentistry and medical trials to psychiatry, midwifery and vaccinations, if you’re dealing with a niche area, you want to make sure your healthcare language translation services partner is well versed in that topic. Look for case studies that are in the same subject area as you work in.

Getting medical translation right is a difficult balancing act predicated on the ‘do no harm’ concept. But getting it wrong can end up causing a lot of harm. For example, one British lady endured an unnecessary double mastectomy in Spain because of a translation error. However, by following the tips above, you’ll be in the best position to pick the right translator for your project. For a no obligation chat about medical translation services, get in touch.

What clients want from multilingual translation services in 2021

The international business communications market reached a historic turning point last year, as companies, organizations and institutions across the world accelerated the pace of digitalising their operations. The sheer extent of the transition has spurred a corresponding demand for certified translation services in applications as varied as elearning, software localization, legal documentation and multimedia content.

As video content continues to proliferate on streaming services and social media marketing channels, the industry now sees increasing demand for high quality captions, subtitles, dubbing and voice overs. The demand for website text and marketing content translation also continues to expand as businesses increasingly plan their strategies around emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

Enterprise Translation in Asia: Market and Method

English to Chinese translation services continues to be a mainstay in the Asia-Pacific region, while consumer markets in ASEAN economies, which include Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines and Singapore drive demand for local language translations alongside Chinese and English content.

The unprecedented scale and volume of material to be translated – which is only set to increase over the upcoming decade-  results in the increasing use of Automated Translation and Machine Translation with Post Editing, in which a human translator proofreads, improves and adapts the material generated by the translation. While machine translation engines have made a lot of progress in recent years, the most practical and efficient solution for businesses that need to regularly translate material at scale is working with a language service provider that offers streamlined, cost effective Machine Translation Post Editing rates and comprehensive, value-added services.

We work with both standard Machine Translation and Neural Machine Translation, which can efficiently process complex material and adapt to infrequently translated languages and language pairs, which don’t have pre-existing datasets. Neural Machine Translation engines can also be configured to output a formal or casual style, depending on the project’s requirements, although this aspect still requires human review and editing, for which our Linguistic QA specialists are indispensable because of their experience, ability and speed.

The ideal workflow for translating material at scale heavily depends on the unique circumstances and requirements that companies face. Our experience providing Translation Management as a Service (TMaaS) for a range of different companies, from multinationals to startups and SME’s, enables us to quickly identify the relevant metrics and value drivers in any business model, from which we develop a cost effective hybrid service plan that delivers quality at speed and scale.

According to Multilingual Magazine’s 2021 Translation Trends report, the use of Machine Translation with Post Editing is on the rise across the world, with Language Service Providers in Europe indicating that they plan to expand their services. Meanwhile, language service providers in Asia increasingly partner with technology enterprises, which are required to cater to diverse audiences at scale.

The report identifies Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Portugese, Russian, Italian, Polish and Persian as the ten most translated languages in the market. In terms of market size, Multilingual cites Statista’s Chart comparing language speakers and online content.

Languages in real life and online

Source: Statista

The chart identifies Chinese as the language with the largest native speaking population in the world, with almost 1.3 billion speakers, followed by Spanish, with 442 million, English, with 378 million, Arabic, with 315 million and Hindi, with 260 million. The percentage of websites on Statista’s chart with Chinese language content, however, is just 1.7%, compared to 54% of websites displaying English content, followed by Russian, with 6%, German, with 5.9%, Spanish with 5%. And French, with 4%.

Statista’s 2020 report on the most common languages on the internet by share of active users indicates that Chinese is the second most common language used online, accounting for 19.4% of people online, compared to 25.9% for English.

Most common languages on the internet

The most common languages on the internet by share of active users. Source: Statista

The discrepancy between the size of the native Chinese speaking audience (the second largest online) and the number of websites published in Chinese indicates the extent of the opportunity for companies and publishers to expand the reach of their platforms and businesses by translating content into Chinese.

The Human Touch : Work with Expert Translation Services to Localize

The Multilingual report also emphasizes that Human Translation is still the most accurate, effective and reliable mode of translation, because of its unmatched capacity to address “context, colloquialism and creative writing.”  These factors are vital for marketing and public relations, to the extent that content translation intended for a public audience should be fully carried out by professional human translators.

Localization is only possible with human translators, and holistically adapting brands to local markets and cultures often requires transcreation. Developing an organic local voice with an authentic tone is key to building brand value when working with English to Chinese translation services in a vibrant, dynamic market like Hong Kong or Singapore.

Translation services in Hong Kong in particular often have to contend with the rapid pace at which the local language and culture develops, as new colloquial phrases frequently move in and out of favor, while the local language, Cantonese, also differs in written form (Zhongwen) from traditional Chinese in other regions.

From a brand perspective, re-adapting content from the ground up is far more effective than attempting to circulate literal translations of previously written material, which can even carry a certain level of risk in terms of inadvertently humorous connotations with local audiences. While the same principle applies to translating and localizing for European markets, some regions, due to a variety of local factors, inherently require a more hyper-localized approach. Mainland China is one of the world’s most challenging markets for this reason.

What businesses want: language services industry statistics

High quality localization and translation service providers have the ability to effectively adapt brand messaging to a local context and match the pace of publication required by any client. The characteristics that enable effective localization and transcreation align with the priorities of translation clients worldwide, regardless of the type service they require.

According to Nimdzi’s 2021 survey on Translation Buyer Priorities, the top five factors which translation services clients consider important are:

  • On-time delivery
  • Quality of Translation
  • Customer Service
  • Price
  • Number of languages offered

We work fast without compromising quality. Our commitment to developing our expertise matches our dedication to working closely with our clients, so we can provide individualized solutions that take markets and business models into account and offer better service at more cost effective rates.

At Into23 we are passionate about language, and the scope of our services is unmatched in every region. We translate all major languages, and we are experienced working in every sector. We are excited to share our expertise and insights with our clients as the industry continues to expand in Asia, where we specialize in localizing overseas companies and taking local companies global. We translate for tomorrow’s markets today.