E-commerce is making the business world a smaller and smaller place and global marketplace is booming – 2015 closed with worldwide e-commerce sales of almost £1 trillion and this figure is expected to almost double to £1.74 by the end of 2018.
And while English is widely-spoken in business circles, is still the most commonly-used language on the internet and serves as a bridging language in the online and business worlds, if you really want to make real inroads into emerging markets it’s good to speak their language.
Advances in technology and a reliable translation service can help your business speak to customers in a language they understand.
Automatic machine translation, or MT, involves using software to translate written material from one language (source) to another (target) – the most common example of this is Google Translate, which is used by more than 500 million people every month and makes over a billion translations every day.
The Google app allows you to paste your source language text into one field and directly translate it to any target language, and while it can be useful for getting basic translations done, such as comments or posts left on your site, it’s not recommended for large-scale or high-profile translations – as some big businesses can attest to.
While most businesses and agencies will make use of machine translations, this will normally be used in conjunction with a professional translation service that will make sure any translations are given the once over by a human fluent in both the source and target languages.
How this works is that a skilled translator will scan the machine-translated content for any grammatical or contextual errors and should always be used as a way to double-check your translations.
Translation memories and glossaries allow databases of previously translated material or industry-specific terminology to be stored, searched and re-used and is particularly useful for human translators working in technology sectors.
Using translation memories can speed up future translations and maintain consistency of technical terms and product names.
Interpreting spoken words
Just as translations deal with written words, interpreting deals with spoken words – many of the larger video chat services, such as Skype, have installed technology that take the spoken words from one participant and present it as translated on-screen text to another.
This is still an emerging technology, but one that is sure to change the face of e-commerce forever.