machine translation Archives - Into23

A brief guide to mobile app translation

Working on a mobile app and want to have it translated? Here’s what you need to know to get started. 

Did you know that 84% of the world’s population owns a smartphone? Smartphones have transformed our lives, and a large part of that has come down to mobile apps that have been created to make our lives and customer and business interactions easier, more efficient, and more convenient. If you’ve got an app that you want to take global or reach a new target audience in a different language, mobile app translation or app localization is a feature and service you should look into. Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to get started in translating your mobile app. 

Why app translation is important

Cartoon app store UIs – Photo by 200degrees on Pixabay – Caption –“Mobile applications are now a part of our daily lives. Apps are more likely to be used if they are in the native language of the user.”

Apps are used for just about everything now, with the average smartphone user using around 10 apps per day and around 30 apps per month. If you do business in any other language other than English, getting your app translated is an effective way to increase your business within a set market. A study by Distimo in 2012 found that translated apps saw a 128% increase in app downloads and a 26% increase in paid subscriptions for those apps that had them. Now, these stats from 2012, imagine how much more these numbers would be in 2022. 

While mobile app translation may sound as simple as translating content from one language to another, there is much more to consider. 

Can I just Google Translate my app?

You could, but there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t. While machine translation in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s missing an essential part of any quality translation, which is the proofreading and copy editing that comes from a human translator. Machine translations cannot consider cultural nuances and can still make obvious grammatical errors that can ruin any good mobile application. 

Related: Why Google Translate Isn’t Effective Enough for Business

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 1

So, what should you do if you want to translate your mobile application effectively?

Application localization

Mobile app translation is a necessary part of entering a new language market. However, translation in and of itself is very limiting. This is where mobile app localization steps in. Localization transforms and translates your product so it carries the same meaning and tone in the language it’s being translated into. It considers the cultural, geographical region, beliefs, local regulatory standards, and values of the target area in the translation process. It’s an adaptive review of your product to make sure that every aspect of the platform is suited to its new region. 

Here are a few areas that are often included in app localization,

  • User interface and general design
  • The tone of content and general appearance
  • Customer support base and contacts
  • Multimedia translation and localization, including images, audio, fonts etc.

Tips for simplifying the translation process

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 2

Photo by Elf-Moondance on Pixabay – Caption – “If you’ve never localized an app before, here are some important factors to consider.”

The first step in translating any app is to know your target markets thoroughly. This includes knowing your target users and their behaviour, along with proper market research. It will also require a substantial amount of project management and setting clear goals and outcomes of what you expect from the translation of your app. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you started on your software translation.

Separate translatable resources


Resources such as text, images, audio etc, that have executable code should be outsourced. This makes it so that content can be changed efficiently without having to change the base executable code of the app.

Keywords and SEO

Just like with websites, keywords and SEO are important for apps too. When you’re localizing, you need to consider your keywords, too and determine what words will work best in the regions you’re looking to enter. This localization of keywords will give you better rankings in app stores. So be sure to perform local word searches and know who your competitors are, along with what words, tone, and strategies they’ve used. 

Related: Why website translation and multilingual SEO optimisation are important for your online business

Text expansion and/or contraction


Depending on what language you’re translating into, text expansion and contraction are necessary for apps since they’re often used on small-screened devices. For example, English to Mandarin Chinese contracts by up to 20-50%, while the opposite occurs from English to German, with the text expanding anywhere from 10-30%. Not taking these factors into account when translating your app can result in serious user interface issues.

App store optimization


If you’re looking for an additional reason to localize your mobile app, both Google Play and the iOS AppStore can detect if you’ve localized, which can increase your app’s ranking. Further, by optimizing your app for the app stores, you’re increasing your chances of your app being successful. For example, when people are looking for an app, the first thing they see is the app name, meaning it’s important to have an app name that is descriptive and attractive. Both app stores also allow for a short description following the name, so use this to increase your ranking in app store results.

Quality assurance testing is a must


Having a linguistic QA specialist do proper QA testing on your app after the localization process is essential for a seamless app launch. QA testing ensures that your app works on all devices and platforms and that the translation work you’ve put into your app is flawless. QA testing ensures a better ROI, especially since users are less likely to use and engage with a glitchy or buggy app.

Work with an app localization service

If this guide has shown you anything, it’s that there are a lot of considerations, extensive planning and research that are needed to go into a successfully translated mobile app. To get the best out of your mobile app investment, it’s important to work with a language translation technology company that can take you through the translation process.

Into23 offers multilingual translation services for mobile app localization, software localization services, website localization and more. With international experience and a specialization in Asian languages, Into23 can help you mitigate risks and increase your ROI when entering the global market on any translation project. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your translation and localisation requirements.

How civilisation today owes a huge debt to Baghdad translators of yore

When we think of the technology behind today’s machine translation, and the science behind the wondrous COVID-19 vaccines, and space travel, it’s hard to believe that none of this would have been possible were it not for a group of expert Arab translators located in Baghdad some 1,000 years ago.

From WordPress translation, localisation services  and multimedia localisation, to transcreation and linguistic testing, today’s language services companies  are the inheritors of a noble tradition that has had a profound effect on the very fabric of civilisation. Read on to discover the surprising history of translation.

The Graeco-Arabic translation movement

The Islamic Golden Age (8th to 13th century) centred on Baghdad, and saw science, economic development and cultural endeavours flourish in the Islamic world at a time when Western Europe was shrouded in the so-called Dark Ages, where most ancient Greek and Roman texts on maths, science and philosophy had been lost and Christianity held sway. The Christian church preached that it wasn’t humankind’s place to probe God’s creation, so inquiry into the nature of the world was effectively discouraged. Indeed, many of these texts were considered heretical, and the penalty for engaging with them was severe.

During this period, Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic. It’s estimated that nearly all Greek secular books available in the Near East at the time were translated into Arabic. The subject range was vast, covering alchemy and astrology, the theory of music, philosophy, physics and botany, logic, health science, pharmacology and medicine, to name just a few. Just one edition of commentary on Aristotle comprises 74 volumes. Much of what we know today of Hippocrates, Plato, Socrates, Euclid and many other great thinkers, is the direct result of these Arab translators.

Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic.

Arab translators preserved ancient Greek and Roman texts through translating them into Arabic.

Cynics may wonder what significance translating musty old tomes a millennium ago has on today’s scientific and social achievements. The Graeco-Arabic translation movement saw secular Greek and Roman text translated into Arabic and these texts then found their way into Europe, partly through Spain, which was then controlled by a caliphate.

Caliph Al-Mansur launched the Arab translation movement in CE 754, a few years after Chinese paper-making techniques had leaked to Arabs. From here, Arab translators organised into an extensive translation system with vast resources.

The House of Wisdom

Built by Caliph Haround Al-Rasheed (786-809 CE) and located in Baghdad, The House of Wisdom – the size of today’s British Library – was a huge library of ancient texts. These texts outlined concepts like common zero and the numerals we know today. This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world. At the time, Western Europe was still using Roman numerals, which made division and multiplication or any higher forms of mathematics incredibly challenging.

 This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world.

This abstract mathematical language underpins scientific innovation and would go on to transform the world.

The library, which contained Indian and some Chinese works as well as Greek and Roman texts, became a centre for learning. Translators trained in specific areas, like engineering, much like today’s translation agencies do. As the library’s collection grew, the building was extensively extended. It was populated by scientists, scribes, writers, and philosophers, who spoke a wide range of languages, like Farsi, Hebrew and Arabic, much as today’s translation agencies rely on experts in their fields and language area. It was a diverse and learned environment.

At the time, this was the largest transfer of knowledge in history. The model proved successful with other Islamic leaders, who emulated the endeavour and established their own centres of learning, such as Dar al-Hikma in Cairo, which was constructed in 1005 CE by Caliph Al-Hakim.

So, just how did these Arabic texts make their way to Europe and help spark the Renaissance and Enlightenment?

Viva Toledo!

Another massive translation movement took off in Andalusia in Islamic Spain in the 12th century. Here the works that had been translated into Arabic were translated into latin, making them accessible to latin-speakers across the continent. Jewish, Christian and Muslim scholars flocked to the city to get involved, which fostered the creation of a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic centre of learning. Though Toledo was the centre, translators were hard at work across the caliphate.

When Christian forces reconquered Spain in 1085, they set about methodically organising the huge body of work they inherited from the caliphate. This acted to accelerate the pace of translation. Under this system, a native speaker would speak the contents of the text to a scholar, who went not to dictate the Latin equivalent to a scribe.

Perhaps the most prolific translator of this era was Italian Gerard of Cremona, who translated some 87 texts, including works on surgery, physics and maths.

A step away

The extent of knowledge that was transferred is staggering. From Spain, this knowledge extended through universities across Europe, where ecclesiastical opposition to studying ancient texts had softened somewhat.

In a vivid example, Al-Zahrawi’s translation of information on surgical instruments helped revolutionise medical intervention. It included information on a drill to dislodge calculus from the urethra, and a technique to remove tonsils. In another example, translations of chemistry texts by Jabir and Al-Razi helped form the basis of modern science. These works comprised information that led to industrial processes like metal refining.

translation of information on surgical instruments

Al-Zahrawi’s translation of information on surgical instruments helped revolutionise medical intervention.

You may have learned about Kepler and his revolutionary telescope at school. Kepler’s achievement was made possible by texts on optics translated by Ibn al-Haytham. There is also evidence to suggest that Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo.

Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo

Copernicus, who determined that the Earth orbits the sun and not the other way round, built his model on ancient Greek knowledge translated out of Toledo

This flourishing of knowledge in the Christian world helped spark the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and the explosion of scientific discoveries and theories that led us to where we are today.

So, when you next send a text to your expert Translation Agency in Hong Kong , commission a legal document translation  or use AI generated sentences , you’re participating in an endeavour that helped create the modern world. To speak to an expert translator, contact us today.

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.

Machine, mind, or machine and mind: how to best deploy today’s machine translation solutions

Advances in machine translation (MT) mean enterprises now have a sophisticated translation solution in their toolkit that can translate quickly and at scale. Long gone are the days of weird menu translations and Yoda-like results. But given the recent rapid advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies must navigate how to optimally deploy this productivity-boosting approach alongside human translation. Knowing where and when to use machine translation will ensure translations are cost-effective and fit for purpose. Embracing translation technology and innovation in the right areas is the way to increase engagement and efficiency. Read on to find out the criteria you need to consider when deploying the latest machine translation solutions.

From little acorns

Though you may think language translation technology is a relatively modern phenomenon – after all, computers have only been around since The Babbage Difference Engine back in 1822 – its roots stretch back, all the way to the Arabian peninsula in the 9th century, where one al-Kindi translated ancient Greek mathematics, science and philosophy texts that had been lost to European civilisation, helping spark the Renaissance in the process. He developed various systems based on frequency analysis and statistics, key concepts in MT. Now, AI translation software enables clients to customise according to subject area, such as meteorological reports. This has massively widened MT’s applicability and usefulness.

Source

Where is machine translation now?

Machine translation was initially developed in the 1950s, and has since been transformed through continuous advances, diverging into four categories: SMT, NMT, RBMT, and Hybrid Machine Translation. SMT, or statistical machine translation, automatically maps sentences in one language into another, whereas NMT, or Neural Machine Translation, encompasses a neural network that relies on algorithms working together to process highly complex data inputs. RBMT, or Recurrent Batch Machine Translation, replaces the input texts with translations of a set of translations of the same text, and Hybrid Machine Translation combines elements of both NMT and RBMT.

Source

Key benefits

The advantages of using machine translation mean it is a very effective and efficient solution in a company’s toolkit. Firstly, machine translation is incredibly fast. It can process huge volumes of text in a near instant. Therefore, it improves efficiency and productivity. Companies that deploy machine translation typically see an improved profit margin, all else being equal. Secondly MT is scalable. If you need to translate a short document or an entire library’s worth of text, MT can handle it. Lastly, and partly as a result of the first two points, machine translation is much more cost-effective than human translation. Before you rush out to onboard a range of machine translation solutions, there are many circumstances where human translation is preferable, and numerous others where a hybrid approach of machine translations processed by human editors is best.

How best to deploy machine translation

Getting the best out of machine translation requires optimally deploying it. Several factors will determine the ideal approach. A Nimdzi survey of 33 localisation buyers found 22.6% report extensively using neural machine translation. The survey notes that sectors like media, video gaming and marketing are laggards in MT adoption, mainly because they require high levels of cultural sensitivity and creativity that MT as of today can’t match. That’s not to say MT isn’t making inroads into these areas. For example, world top-10 gaming company Electronic Arts (EA) adopted MT tech quite early in its development. Notably, in areas where content is intended to prompt emotional engagement, EA uses human-edited MT translations. The survey also found that in circumstances that directly impact business revenue, human translation is preferred.

Source

Applying those findings to business activity, MT is useful for quickly transmitting a message to large numbers of people in various locations. Even in this instance, it’s always wise to have a human check the copy. The content lifecycle is also a consideration. For short-lived content, such as product specs on a short run of merchandise, then the return on investment is not there for human translation, which costs more than MT. Here, the requirements for quality and timeliness are key determinants.

Another great use case for MT is where recipients are aware that the content they are consuming is translated by a machine. This enables them to read with caution.

To summarise, the important parameters to consider are:

  • Scale: If you are translating small amounts of text occasionally, then off-the-shelf MT is suitable. If the volume is any higher than that, hybrid translation often is most suitable.
  • Timeframe: A very short turnaround time is where MT excels. However, be mindful that the quality might not be sufficient.
  • Content consumers: One of the golden rules of translation is to pitch to your audience. Consider whether MT will meet your audience’s needs. If your target audience just needs to get the general gist of a text, then MT will suffice. However, if expectations around quality are higher, then human translation or human-edited machine translation is the optional approach.
  • Objective: The goal of the translation must be carefully considered. For example, if you wish to sign a legally binding contract and need to translate it for the other party to sign, then accuracy is paramount when it comes to legal document translation. Another example is scientific and technical translation, which would require a custom language translator.

A bright future

In a sign of just how far MT could go in the future, a group of scientists recently launched a project to decode sperm whale ‘speech’ with a view to enabling whale-human communication. That would be an interesting one to add to the digital translation services already available. The Cetacean Translation Initiative is using AI to understand whales’ clicking sounds, known as codas. The scientists are deploying natural-language processing, which processes spoken and written communication, to that end.

Source

MT is improving all the time, and as it does, it becomes applicable to an ever-expanding set of scenarios. However, we aren’t anywhere near the point where MT is good enough for businesses to abandon Machine Translation Post-Editing (MTPE). Finding the right balance is key, and a professional translation agency will help you navigate the optimal configuration of MT, human translation and MTPE. Get in touch today to speak to an expert and explore your options.

The 6 keys to effective eLearning translation in Asia

The eLearning industry is projected to be worth 181 million USD by the end of 2025, with an annual growth rate of 12.26% per year. Driven by the widespread adoption of eLearning platforms by educational institutions and employers around the world, as well as the increased popularity of online course providers, eLearning made the jump from supplementary service to primary platform in 2020.

The industry has continued to grow in 2021, as workplaces expand their online skills training platforms and commercial eLearning providers more effectively engage their users with gamified app experiences, data driven personalized services, advanced modules, microlearning (short bursts of platform access) and content optimization, including the use of audio and video.

The expansion of the eLearning market drives service providers to offer their programs in multiple markets to reach new audiences, which requires the use of eLearning translation services and website localization. The pace of development in the industry has resulted in increasingly complex platforms with more content, which makes effective translation and software localization challenging, considering the scale and scope of material to adapt.

Machine translation services are ineffective in this context, considering the nature of the application. eLearning translation not only requires attention to detail, but also an extensive level of quality assessment in order to ensure that course materials effectively engage users. Linguistic QA specialists can identify and evaluate the lexical and grammatical options which make the difference between efficient progress through course modules and ambiguity that can challenge users’ patience.

eLearning platform design in any language carries inherent cultural connotations. Everything from curriculum planning to content and the layout and user interface has a culturally specific context in the original language and culture that the module is developed for. This comprises the source language and content. There are six elements which make all the difference between successfully adapting to different cultures and lessons ending up lost in translation.

  • Text
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Layouts
  • Graphics

Text: The basis for eLearning platforms and modules

Text is the simplest but most important aspect of eLearning translation and software localization. Opting for simple machine translation  is unlikely to provide accuracy, and while machine translation with post-editing ensures a level of quality and consistency, it does not  provide a framework for cultural context and therefore has limited scope for localization.

Cultural context often accounts for variations within same language. For example, people from Hong Kong use an English transliteration for the word strawberry,  (士多啤梨)  while in other regions it is translated as 草莓.

While Cantonese is spoken in Malaysia, local lexical variations arise from from Hokkien, Hakka and Malay influences, which contribute loanwords like (play) which in Hong Kong is written . There are also considerable variations in pronunciation.

For eLearning platforms,  the most efficient translation and localization solution when faced with cultural variations within a single language is to identify the most important market and develop the eLearning translation accordingly.

It is important to consider which language to use for localization in Asia: most content localized for the Malaysia market is in English. However, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Mandarin are widely used in Asia.

While there is considerable regional variation in Chinese language usage, the cost effective approach is to develop eLearning translation and localization for the most important market.  Articulate Rise is a widely used course authoring tool for eLearning platform developers. Rise 360 is well suited to text-heavy courses, which can be challenging to translate into multiple languages. We can quickly and efficiently process translation and localization for all courses designed with Articulate Rise.

Audio and Video: professional eLearning voiceover services

Multimedia localization in particular requires a solid understanding of regional and cultural context in the target market, in order for audio and video content to effectively supplement the text. Articulate Storyline is a streamlined multimedia content solution for eLearning platforms, and we can effectively process and translate all assets from Storyline 360 projects.

elearning voiceover services and multimedia localization

Localizing the text provides a basis for the eLearning voice over, which should also be developed for the most important market.

Planning, developing and organizing a workflow for high quality translation of text, video and audio between completely different languages requires expertise and experience with  providing localization and translation services.

Images: Visual learning and culture

Visual content in images and video should also be assessed for cultural relevance. While American Football imagery effectively conveys concepts to North American audiences and translates reasonably well in Europe, it may distract Asian learners who are less familiar with the sport and might not intuitively grasp concepts illustrated with quarterbacks and goalposts. Sports like soccer and tennis are more culturally neutral and help make content more easily localized across markets.

Layouts and Graphics: The culture of colour, and how it affects UX

Image and text elements should also be maintained separately, in order to avoid difficulties with translating and localizing images with text. Videos should ideally have captions set up as distinct elements in order to streamline translated versions. The design language for video caption and user interfaces should ideally provide a degree of flexibility, because colours have different associations in different regions and cultures.

For example, the colour red indicates passion in Western cultures, while it is associated with prosperity and luck in Asian cultures. In South Asia, the colour the colour orange is associated with the Hindu religion, while in the Middle East, green is associated with Islam. Streamlining colour configuration settings makes for an efficient eLearning localization strategy. Designing elements with flexibility and configurability in mind is an important step for eLearning platforms to take so that they can effectively translate their content for different markets with software localization services and expert translation services. Another efficient approach is to opt for culturally neutral design elements in order to effectively serve a wider eLearning audience.

eLearning translation and eLearning localization go hand in hand. Unlike legal language translation services, culture cannot be separated from language in an educational context. While marketing transcreation is an essential aspect of adapting an advertising strategy which would certainly enhance eLearning platforms, the scale of eLearning projects are generally best served by cost-effective localization and multilingual translation services with specialized eLearning voice over carried out by experienced professional translators who can optimize your platform and efficiently scale the reach of your services while ensuring they are effective for every user.

Into23 provides comprehensive eLearning and localization services with unmatched quality, speed and value in Asia. Our translation system supports Articulate Storyline and Articulate Rise content, which streamlines the setup of translated and localized courses. We can deliver a complete portfolio of course translations in any number of languages you require, including all audio and video content, in one go. Our clients never have to worry about keeping track of 25 different translations and coordinating launch dates. In Hong Kong’s English to Chinese translation services market, attention to detail and appreciation of cultural context is key to effectively serving markets.

Our experience in the region, global partnership networks and passion for language and culture enable us to develop effective solutions tailored to the scale of your project.

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.