The translation industry has changed hugely over the years as a result of technological advances. We sat down with Ofer Tirosh, CEO of translation company Tomedes, to talk about those changes and how they have broadened the horizons of international businesses.
Translation Companies in the Past Decade and in Coming Years
Technology has changed many industries over the past couple of decades and that certainly includes the translation sector. Advances in tech have changed everything from the art of translation itself, to how easy it is for businesses to manage teams of remote translators, to opening up the global marketplace for translation clients.
However, I think many people’s perceptions are still lagging somewhat. A lot of people hear the term ‘automated translation’ and instantly think of poor-quality translations produced by Google Translate. In fact, advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence have led to a range of ways in which machines and humans can work together to translate faster and more productively, without there being any compromise in terms of quality. Indeed, the right software can actually improve the consistency of a translation.
So, there’s a gap between what people think automated translation can do and what it actually delivers. Over the coming years, the translation industry needs to educate clients around this – around where automated translation can help and what that involves.
Technology has also made it much easier for translators to work remotely. Video calling is now so much slicker than it was a decade ago! Plus, there are platforms that allow translators to collaborate, active forums that provide a social and support element… all of this contributes to greater productivity. Again, this is something that will continue to advance over the years ahead.
The final area where technology has helped over the past decade is in opening up the global marketplace to translation companies. Such businesses are, by definition, international enterprises – they have to be, given the nature of the work. However, technology has made it much easier for a translation company to market to and support international clients. This has presented both an opportunity and a challenge, with companies now facing greater competition – but with potentially greater rewards as well.
Tomedes Translation Company “Broaden Your Horizons”
It is the combination of these factors that has led to Tomedes encouraging businesses and private clients to broaden their horizons – to really maximise what they can achieve in the global marketplace.
Translation Technology: Enhancing the Translation Process
Combining advanced translation technology with the expertise of remote local translators, along with other professionals specializing in different fields, has levelled up the translation process. Translators are now able to work on vast, complex projects so much more easily than they could ten or even five years ago, with businesses able to reap the rewards of this.
Individual translators have had to level up their use of tech to facilitate this. It’s a question of learning to get the very best out of the software they’re using, as that’s where maximum productivity gains lie. The benefits in terms of efficiency are then passed along to their international business clients.
Bringing “Human” to “Smart Human Translations”
Despite the advances in technology, the human element of the translation process is still essential. The nuance and creativity that translators bring to the process are invaluable. Machines can’t deliver that level of finesse, but they can support human translators to deliver their work faster, more efficiently and with greater consistency.
This is what Tomedes means by “smart human translations” – our translation company blends the best of what machines can deliver and their ability to facilitate collaborative remote working with highly skilled professional translators.
Being a Customer-Centric Translation Company through the “Follow-the-Sun” or Remote Work Model
Another excellent way that the industry has changed in the past decade – and which will strengthen further over the years ahead – is its use of technology to provide enhanced customer support.
Any translation company can now operate truly global teams, which means they can harness the potential that working across different time zones delivers. Chat, email and telephone support services no longer need to be limited to a single country’s working hours. Instead, businesses with the right infrastructure can deliver 24/7 support to their clients – and all without the need for offices.
For international businesses, this is excellent news. They can speak to someone about their translation project any time of day or night, using whichever communication method suits them best. With so many business leaders – and increasing numbers of their employees – now working outside of traditional office hours, this service has become an invaluable part of the way in which translation companies support their global client base.
Translation has Made Our Globalized World Closer
Throughout history, translation has worked to foster connections that extend beyond national borders. Consider the great works of literature and religion that have been shared around the world and the insights that they provide into the culture and thinking of their authors. These glimpses of life in other countries can help break down barriers and enhance our feeling of connectedness.
In the modern world, companies can use remote translators working with state-of-the-art translation technology to achieve goals as diverse as reaching out to new customers overseas, sharing advances in healthcare, raising awareness of humanitarian issues, operating global supply chains and so much more.
Without question, the fast delivery of language and translation solutions, backed by customer service that’s available across different time zones, is bringing our world closer together.
We’ve seen this most recently in the global approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic. While a number of lingua francas – such as English and Arabic – have been used to share news of the pandemic and progress with the medical response to it, translation has also been key to delivering a globalized response. We’ve seen translations delivered in local tongues via radio to remote communities in the Amazon, as just one example of this in action. Around the world, medical communities have relied on skilled translators – backed by the most advanced translation tech – to connect them swiftly and reliably. It’s a sobering example, but one that reflects the true power of translation when it comes to making our globalized world closer.